Rake, a new law based dramedy from Fox, is the story of Keegan Deane; a lawyer who is always on hard times and looking for the next big score. Two episodes in, I have a few thoughts…and here they are.
So, in a nutshell, Keegan Deane is a loser. Sure, he’s a lawyer but that’s pretty much all that he has going for him. He is flat broke, divorced, a semi-alcoholic and is a mediocre lawyer at best. Oh yeah, he has a crippling gambling problem that has him in about $65,000 in debt to some pretty angry bookies. He lives on his friends couch, his car is crushed into a cube by the mayor in the first episode, and even when he has a win in the courtroom his clients still go to jail. But he’s loveable right? Nope. Keegan takes the loveable out of “loveable loser” and his character model is the biggest problem with this show.
Another one of the problems with this show is the high expectations going in. Fox really wanted to bill this show as the next House and rightly so…House was a huge hit. Sounds like a great idea, right? Well, the problem with that is that even though House had a jacked up personal life, he was a genius as a doctor. Keegan Deane may even have a bigger mess of an existence than House, but he doesn’t have the genius to back it up. He doesn’t even have the common sense to get out of a routine ticket for a broken tail light and even winds up in jail for his troubles. Even when Kee is the courtroom, he still isn’t all that good. In both episodes, his clients go to jail even when he has some flash of brilliance. It’s frustrating to watch.
Now, I will say that the acting is not the problem. Even though there is not a standout performance, there isn’t anyone who is distracting in anyway. Greg Kinnear, who I normally love as an actor, is just okay. Again, no one is just all out bad, but no one is overtly good either. The writing is actually pretty clever, however. Some of the interactions, especially between Keegan and his ex-mother-in-law, are quick witted and funny. It’s just the whole of the situation that is what gets me so down on Rake (besides the name…I mean, what is that supposed to mean anyway?). I can get that he is down on his luck, but it’s Keegan that creates all of the crap that happens to him. I want to be able to pull for this guy, but the way that he gets into all of this junk…it’s just impossible.
I don’t think that this show is going to make it, which is sad. The premise seemed interesting and there was a place in everyone’s heart for the hole that House left. Rake will not fill it. There is potential for Rake to finish the season, but I doubt it. It’s not fun to watch and Fox has a penchant for axing shows, so there’s that. With soooooo much good television to watch, Rake just can’t cut it. I will finish out this show, but I don’t recommend it for anyone else. I’ll fall on the sword and watch it for you; go watch something else instead and stay tuned for a full season review here at free4geeks.com.