I watched Century City this week, and it's pretty bad.
As in bleeech.
I usually stay away from law firm shows, mostly because I find them boring as in "this is less interesting than my job." [At the time I wrote this review, I was working at a law firm as a legal secretary.] Law firm shows are basically soap operas with court room scenes.
The exceptions have been Law & Order and The Guardian, the latter mostly because why pass up an opportunity to watch Simon Baker do anything? but The Guardian went soap two seasons ago, and I gave it up. [The Guardian is now off the air; I really did like it for its first couple of seasons; Dabney Coleman played the father--he also played the father in the Tom Hanks' movie You've Got Mail--and I thought the father-son dynamic was well-played. The downside was that the father-son dynamic was basically two emotionally stunted men trying to relate to each other, which meant lots of dead-end conversations, which I found amusing--rather like watching lots and lots of Spock & Sarek--but apparently, the powers-that-be decided the relationship needed more DRAMA. That's when the show went soap.]
[Back to Century City.]
However, the idea of Century City is so very cool, I thought I'd give it a try. It's set about sixty years in the future, and the legal debates are over things like human clones, etc. etc. Very cool and moreover, an interesting juxtaposition between sci-fi and contemporary culture, since sixty years isn't that long but long enough.
It was possibly the dumbest show I've seen on TV in a long time, and yes, I am including My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé (which had some interesting sidelights on human nature). Century City was mind-numbing in its stupidity. The "hero"-—the brash, young lawyer who is going to save the world—-was so annoying, I wanted to dropkick him through the plate glass window, and if it had been an Angel episode, he would have been. It makes me appreciate that however bad the shows I like get, there's bad and then there's REALLY bad.
The brash, young lawyer ends the trial sequence with this big, emotional argument that is completely groundless legally and instead of, well, dropkicking him through the court room's plate glass window, the judge lets him go on and on and on at the jury. His argument? It’s okay to break the law in this one case because it's, you know, really, really, really important.
So much for the law. I'd like to see my lawyer try that one in court: "Yes, he smashed into her car, resulting in permanent bodily impairment of 75%, but in this case, he really, really, really didn't mean it, so you should let him off."
They also used up something like fifteen of their ideas in one episode.
It's a failure waiting to be dropkicked into TVland's oblivion bag. [And it was!]
Unless this is par for the course on legal-eagle shows, and I just missed it up until now. If so, they're hideous! Ban them all!
[And, regarding my final statement, I don't appear to be wrong. Crime shows in general seem to do okay, but legal shows have a hard time treading the line between Boston Legal-what-do-we-care-we're-just-having-fun-besides-where-else-would-ex-Star-Trek-actors-go?-dom and accuracy. Perhaps because real law is kind of tedious and kind of dull and kind of mind-numbing and kind of goes on for hours and hours before anything remotely fascinating happens. This is also true of forensics, but, as the one CSI episode points out, you can always cut the time it takes to do a lab test to make it look more exciting. The end result IS still accurate. But if you try to cut a lawyer's argument to make it more exciting, you cut all the times the other lawyer said, "Objection! Objection!" while filing annoying documents with the judge, and the end result isn't accurate at all, at all.]