Screener Girl Checks Out Raising The Bar

Raising The Bar Cast PhotoIs The New Steven Bochco Show Worth A Look?

Raising The Bar on TNT is a perfectly good show about a group of public defenders and district attorneys that fight in the courtroom, then share drinks in the bar after work.  Steven Bochco created it.  His wife produces it.  They are a great team.  Adding to their pedigree is the crazy-good cast they’ve assembled.  Mark-Paul Gosselaar (he’s freaking Zach Morris from Saved By The Bell) is the do-gooder public defender who is doing his job to fight the system for the wrongfully accused.  His boss is the fabulous Gloria Reuben in a so-far-thankless role.  Other bonuses in the cast include district attorneys Currie Graham (Officer Dick from Men in Trees) and J. August Richards (Gunn from Angel), as well as the always fantastic Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm in the Middle) as a snarky judge who is out for public defender blood.

There were some really great things about the pilot.  Mark-Paul is better than I think I’ve seen him in a long time (he’s a far cry from the Bayside High School days).  He is the heart of his office, and the heart of the show (if I had one complaint about him, it would be his scraggly hair).  Jane Kaczmarek is sassy, witty, smart, and mean.  She’s also quite the cougar (are people still saying cougar?) and I have to congratulate the writers for giving her the juicy stuff!  As with any character drama, there are secrets and surprises, and I think they’ve set themselves up for a good run.  

A complaint, because there’s always something – I’m not sure I believe Melissa Sagemiller as the sexy cutthroat DA.  Something seems off about her, but I’m hoping it’ll work itself out as the show goes.  My other concern is that this show will get lost in the shuffle of Monday night shows.  With networks starting early, TNT might have trouble keeping viewers locked to the show.

While it’s not appointment TV, it’s definitely something to keep on the TiVo for long Saturday marathons!

The Series premiere of Raising The Bar airs tonight on TNT at 10PM EST.