Friday, September 24, 2010

Swift and Merciless Judgment

Doing a bit of a twist on my somewhat-regular liveblog feature today. Instead of watching something on Netflix Instant, today I'm doing real time comments on a recently premiered television show currently available on My main rule on these is that it has to be something I haven't seen before but I did see this. I watched the first five minutes anyway. That's how I know it will be a great vehicle for my sarcastic commentary. With that, sit back and watch me while I watch the pilot episode of the new Jimmy Smits drama Outlaw.

00:00 -- Oh cool, a commercial for Suave hair care products telling me to rethink salon hair. Hulu really gets me.

02:00 -- After the ad, we see some lawyer walking furiously through a prison in Pennsylvania. I'm not sure if he's doing something important or if he just had chili for lunch and is trying to find a bathroom. Ah, he has a client on Death Row who's facing imminent execution and whose final hope is a stay of execution from the U.S. Supreme Court. Usually, the problem with that is making a convincing Constitutional argument. In this case, the problem is that the Justice who has to break a 4-4 tie is Cyrus Garza (Jimmy Smits). Most Justices, when they're not Justicing, are giving speeches to law students or writing books about Marbury vs. Madison but now Garza. No, he's one of those flashy Justices who breaks the blackjack tables of Vegas and is a common paparazzi target. I see this going well.

03:20 -- Garza is something of a rock star/strict constructionist Justice who packs auditoriums surrounded by his screaming fans. He calls the young, female ACLU attorney pleading the inmate's case a flag burner before coming on to her in a somewhat creepy way so yeah, he's a jerk. Gee, I hope there will be some sort of process or series of events through which Garza can redeem himself.

06:00 -- Garza has a tightass clerk named Eddie who has just met a woman whose ass is tight in an entirely different way named Lucinda. Lucinda is some sort of miniskirt wearing researcher/hacker who introduces herself to people by saying she doesn't want to sleep with them so she fits right in with a guy who's described as the most conservative justice on the Supreme Court.

11:00 -- An evil Senator threatened Garza with impeachment if he stayed the execution. A quick Google search showed that only one Supreme Court Justice has ever been impeached. That would be Samuel Chase in 1798 and he won his impeachment trial. This means that there's never been a Supreme Court Justice who's been forcibly removed from office. Still, the execution, the Senator's threat and the recent death of his liberal father have come together and made Garza to decide that it would be much better to resign his position and become a trial attorney. Let me say that again. The makers of this show have created a character so fucking stupid that he actually thinks he can do more good as an attorney than he can as a god damn SUPREME COURT JUSTICE. My God, television can be stupid. The ad for LG refrigerators in which a woman pulls a fully laid out dining room table from her fridge was actually a relief.

19:22 -- Garza has joined a high powered corporate law firm that has agreed to pay him an outrageous salary and let him do whatever he wants even if it makes zero dollars for the firm. I don't mind unrealistic plots. Hell, I like the new revamp of Nikita and unicorns are more realistic than that. What I don't like is when something is both unrealistic and stupid, especially when I get one stupidly unrealistic event piled on top of another such as, oh, let's say a Supreme Court Justice being threatened with something that hasn't happened in 200 years so he quits in order to do more good off the Court than on so he joins a law firm run by money grubbing bastards who give him a huge budget to do whatever he wants. And the first thing he wants to do? That would be to represent Greg Beals, the inmate to whom he just granted a new trial. Not only do his clerks and sexy hacker/whatever the hell she is go along for the ride but he also scoops up Beals' lawyer, Al Druzinsky, to be part of his legal team. In about five minutes, they discover that the eyewitness who placed Beals at the scene of the crime recanted before he died. For some reason, this makes everyone think they shouldn't go forward with the new trial but should accept a plea agreement instead. Everyone, that is, except Garza. Cause that's how Garza rolls. Also, they needed something dramatic for Garza to do before they cut to commercial. My ad this time was for one of those icky KY sex gels. Thanks Hulu.

25:40 -- Beals was granted a new trial but, for some reason, he's have an appeals hearing. Can't Garza say something like, "Um, I kind of gave this guy a new trial." The important distinction here is that the defense has severe limitations when it comes to introducing new evidence in an appeal and boy oh boy, have they ever come up with new evidence. Seriously, I think I'm more likely to have committed the murder than Beals. Should be smooth sailing from here on but, unfortunately, we have around 15 minutes of broadcast time left which means some sort of godawful conflict is about to happen to set up the episode's third act. Let's watch.

28:30 -- Shockingly, the judge threw out their new evidence but there's something even more important. Due to a Three's Company level of misunderstood eavesdropping, Garza's very young law clerk, Moreta, thought he was dying and professed her love for him. she did this despite the fact that he sexually harasses her pretty much non-stop though this is probably why she hasn't filed numerous lawsuits against him by now.

33:30 -- I am watching this while logged into my Hulu account. This means they know it's me. I also click every one of those damn "Is this ad relevant to you?" boxes so they have some idea of what I like. So why the hell does Hulu think I am interested in ads for women's hair care products, Axe body spray and sex gels? Anyway, through actions both quasi-legal and highly unlikely, Garza and his team have tracked down some lab tech who hadn't testified in the first trial so instead of a devastating plot point setting up the final act, we have a hopeful one. This means all will appear to be lost before Garza pulls this witness out of his ass and saves the day. I wonder if I'm right.

37:30 -- Garza's witness knew all along that it was the deceased's husband, a police officer, who had committed the murder but never told anyone because, if she had, this whole story would have been denied its dramatic ending. This leads to a Jimmy Smits monologue about fairness and justice in the middle of the hearing. The judge, a man who until this point was a strict adherent of rules and process, tosses all that out the window and lets him. I may as well get comfortable as this could go on for the show's final four minutes.

42:00 -- Beals was set free so Garza and his team celebrated in the only truly proper way. They ate large amounts of nitrate laden barbecued meat while everyone tells lame jokes and half baked sexual innuendos. Garza spots an intimidating looking man following him but we never find out who he is. This sets up a mystery to be solved in future episodes, a mystery whose answer will never be known to me because I am never watching this definition of televised mediocrity again.

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