"Guardian" for my money is the best TV drama of this century, and perhaps ever. Its understated plots and dialog eschew the cheap or easy way, and episode endings are often ambiguous. Every actor is superb, but the standout is Wendy Moniz as Lulu. This gorgeous woman plays a sultry yet vulnerable young attorney who wants to change the world, coming on strong enough in early episodes to be reprimanded by a judge.
Her one weak spot is Nick. Rita Moreno, playing Lulu's mother, spots the attraction almost instantly when she appears for one episode. But as for Nick - Simon Baker's cold fish portrayal makes this fan (at least) want to reach out, slap his face and say "Grab her for keeps, you idiot!'
Meanwhile, Netflix appears to have pulled the plug on this outstanding series - before I've even finished Season 2. I wonder where else it's available.
"The Guardian" is an excellent show that could have been even better. It needed more "edge," or grit, especially in the case of the main character, Nick Fallin, as played by the elegantly handsome Simon Baker. Although I have no insider information about this, I get the feeling that Baker himself may have objected to having his character shown in extremely humiliating, messy, or too explicitly sexual situations.
Maybe it's not fair to compare "The Guardian" to "NYPD Blue," as they're very different types of shows, but nonetheless, if David Caruso was willing to bare his backside in the extended sex scenes on "Blue" in the early 1990's, it seems to me that Simon Baker should have been willing to do the same in the early 2000's. Instead, Nick's first sexual encounters with Lulu are barely glimpsed by viewers. They take place in semi-public and rather sordid places, the kind of locations that feature in male fantasies, but rarely in reality: a public bathroom stall and and office. I'd be surprised if one woman in a thousand prefers this kind of unexpected and uncomfortable--not to mention unprotected--sexual encounters to a good romp in a comfortable bed. And then, once Nick and Lulu are an item, we rarely see more than a few seconds of their love life. Nick's other sexual encounters either take place entirely off-stage (Suzanne Pell) or are glimpsed only briefly (the gorgeous blond
Then there are what I'll call the "sick Alvin gets one of those--he's heard throwing up in a Legal Services bathroom, comes out, drinks water and throws up again. Jake is heard heaving in a Fallin law offices toilet. But Nick, who is repeatedly shown practically falling-down drunk and one time sprawled on a barroom floor, never gets sick. After that take-down punch he absorbed in the bar, he should have been projectile puking tequila! No need for the camera to dwell on this-- but a quick shot of this kind of messy humiliation would have made his drinking problem a lot more vivid. Same with drugs: we never actually see him using cocaine; we just hear about it and see him once with his drug of choice in hand. The single episode toward the end of the series, where Nick OD's on a hallucinogen, was very powerful, but it made his drug use seem occasional and exceptional, rather than habitual.
And speaking of drugs, Nick admits that he REALLY likes cocaine, a drug whose recidivism rate is extremely high. Given his continued drug and alcohol use, plus his blatant infidelity, I don't find it at all surprising that Lulu refuses to marry him and for a while wants nothing to do with him.
Regarding Alvin: I don't understand why an obviously "ethnic" Jewish character-actor was given the WASP last name Masterson. Alan Rosenberg not only looks Jewish; his speech patterns, gestures, everything about him, including what must have been the ad-libbing of a couple of Yiddish words into the dialog, are quintessentially Jewish.
Clearly, David Hollander was told that the series would end with its third season, and he had to come up with an appropriate ending. I thought he did well, given that circumstance. Throughout the series Nick seemed like a balloon being pumped full of more and more air: how many more encounters with poverty, violence, vulnerability, misery, abuse and the endless variety of family dysfunction could he take before he exploded? But Hollander didn't go for the obvious; Nick never does explode, unless we count his tearful moment coming out of his hallucinogen-induced trip. But by the end of the series he finally becomes fed up with corporate greed, pettiness and dishonesty, and he abandons his lucrative legal career for one as the head of the Legal Services office where he'd initially been forced to work. This is an enormous transformation, shown effectively without resorting to pyrotechnics or theatrical drama.
wished there was more then three seasons where lulu and nick got married and raised their baby while pracising law. showing more of nivks dad and and thir family as well as practicing law or gaing addituional add ons to the group like where they delt with special needs etc. I believe this Tv series could of gone further in many ways after he got off probaation. I know i began watching it on netflikx and was hooked. Too bad they stoped after only three seasons. i didnt like how nick and his dad both were gone out of their own buissness and the other greedy partners and lawyers were greedy. also where nicks dad couldnt realize that nick just may have been a klittle upset cuz his dad took good care of shannon but not to nick. I could go on and on and on.
I found this series on Netflix and I was could not stop watching it til the end of the three I went on internet to find more! cannot believe it was was so much intensity in the characters and each character's weaknesses were exposed regardless of their social positions or financial portrayed the humanity of the world and the struggles within its justice just wish it would come back!!!
A curiously compelling drama, populated by three of the most annoyingly self-righteous characters I have ever seen on a screen. The central character, Nick Fallin, is a young, wealthy, hot-shot lawyer with a drink and drugs problem. Part of his problem is his emotional distance from those around him. His father Burton is a self-absorbed, self-righteous man who really cannot understand that maybe his son might just have this problem because his father has limited understanding and empathy himself. Burton chooses to adopt a teenage girl, even when he is taken on a complete ride by the girl, he learns nothing from the experience. Nick is sentenced to complete community service which involves him doing pro buono work for a child services legal service. Nick can barely be responsible for himself, but through his job he learns a measure of selfless responsibility. However, his boss, Alvin (another self-righteous know-it-all) is yet another difficulty for Nick to overcome. There truly are times when Alvin's general blindness to reality, and tiresome meddling really reach epic proportions.
Inexplicably, Nick falls in love with Lulu. She is engaged to another man. She clearly desires Nick, but elopes with the other man anyway. Whom she then leaves for Nick. Yet somehow, she maintains an annoying moral high ground, as Nick struggles with his difficulties to open up because he has genuinely fallen in love with her, she treats him either to a display of hostility or with a breathtaking lack of understanding.
Nick is a flawed character, but he has heart and a conscience. At times it seems as though everyone around him, with the possible exception of the social services case worker Lauri Salt, has neither heart, understanding, or conscience.
I could never understand why he is attracted to Lulu who at best blows hot and cold. His father is cold and manipulative, and his boss at the social services legal team is manipulative and not precisely supportive or helpful. If I were Nick, I think I would have chosen a complete break from the people who do a lot to keep Nick exactly where he starts out at, and not help him in any way.
It is a well put together series. Nick is played with true emotional understanding by Simon Baker (pre the very much better The Mentalist). It is worth catching, but you will find yourself wanting to line Burton, Alvin and Lulu up to slap them. Therein lies the frustration.
The Guardian centres on the rather socially inept character of Nick Fallin, a Pittsburgh lawyer who has been caught on drug charges and is sentenced to community service. The series follows Nick's growth and eventually his redemption.
For me, The Guardian is very good. It lets characters develop and grow. Nick Fallin is an extremely flawed character who has some very dark sides to his personality but also some very caring ones. All actors in this show are very good; it is a great ensemble piece. Dabney Coleman is excellent as Fallin Senior who eventually finds common ground with his son. Rafael Sbarge, an actor I had not known before, is very good as the initially good but ultimately slimy colleague of Nick who stabs him in the back to climb the career ladder. What a shame it was cancelled before we could find out if Nick found happiness in his personal life. Simon Baker has come a long way from Home and Away and does a terrific job with this character.
The Guardian really captured all the problems within the system and how it fails to protect people living within poor areas. All the characters were amazing and brought different takes on how people can be. James who fought is way out of inner city areas, and learnt how to play the system. Alvin who genially cared about making a difference and Lulu the middle class do-gooder who worked at the centre for her own self importance. When you saw the difference between the centre and the corporate world (Burton law firm) it was a real eye opener of how the world of rich and poor real lived, and how the opportunities for the poor were limited. It was an amazing show but got a bit disappointing when James was killed off in the second series.
Simon Baker (better known in the UK as the enigmatically charismatic Mentalist) play Nick Fallin a successful if (slightly) disfunctional Pittsburgh Lawyer.
After being busted for a drug offence and receiving a sentence of 1500 hours community work, he ends up walking a line between two quite different legal worlds. His "Day" job - so to speak- is working in the high powered world of corporate deals and multimillion dollar deals with his father, Dabney Coleman.
However, his other life is filled with child advocacy cases where he becomes the champion of children's rights and futures.
The show is a good mix of fact and emotion. Nick is a cold character most of the time, not in a cruel way but in an "unable to deal with emotions" way. To watch him melt and grow as the show continues is fascinating and engrossing. You start to feel for him and hope he can find peace and love. The rest of the cast are all well rounded individuals with their good and bad points, Jake for example one week you are worried he will lose his job because he tried to help his family and the next week you watch him stab a colleague in the back !!!! (figuratively)
No one is really Good, and no one is really bad (well except for Litman and the Senator!).
A good all round show, Simon plays the part well with feeling and without. I am enjoying the marathon showing on FiveUS combined with The Mentalist for an example of when "Good US Dramas.... Go Even Better !"
A show about an antisocial and emotionally shut lawyer (Nick Fallin) who is on probation and has to work at legal services for 1500 hours. At the same time he works at his father's office, which leaves him little time for a social life
A decent show, I didn\'t care much for the legal stuff but the development of Nick throughout the seasons was very interesting. Well played by Simon Baker. The disturbed father/son relationship was an important storyline; they just couldn\'t communicate! Also the relationship between Nick and Lulu was very interesting. In the first season and a bit of second one, it was all about Nick trying to win Lulu over. And boy did I hate her! She was just toying with him because she knew he liked her. The rest of the season two and three was about their relationship which was complicated to say it mildly.
One scene I will always remember is the scene (beautiful blue mystic)where Alvin finds Nick in his home and Nick breaks down after he used drugs. That was just so beautiful to watch and I had been waiting for Nick to break down a long time!
It\'s a shame the show was cancelled because we didn\'t get to see how things were gonna work out with Nick and Lulu.
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