The Guardian

CBS (ended 2004)





The Guardian Fan Reviews (10)

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out of 10
226 votes
  • Oh my word


    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.