The Firm “Pilot” Review

The Firm television series which premiered on NBC in a two hour pilot but will take up its regular schedule on Thursdays is a remake of a 1990s movie starring Tom Cruise which itself was adapted from a book of the same name by John Grisham. This time Josh Lucas is in the Cruise role, and he’s surrounded by the likes of Molly Parker as his wife, Juliette Lewis as his secretery, Tricia Helfer as the woman in charge of the corrupt eponymous “firm”.

Lucas has a likable presence and easy charm. Hopefully he’ll be able to make the character of Mitch McDeere into more than the good looking guy with smarts and a supreme conscience. Seeing good people trying to to the right thing in a bad world can go two ways. Either you get an emotional show like Friday Night Lights or you get something bland filled with righteous do gooders like, unfortunately, this show.

The show has a weird balance of family and work. Mitch’s wife, despite being a school teacher, has become her husband’s confidant and right hand man. It’s a bit of a change from the nagging wife whose sole purpose is it create an obstacle, and even though I’ve been a fan of Molly Parker since her Deadwood days, I still wonder what her purpose will serve in the future.

Most of the time spent in the pilot involved a case in which a young boy is accused of murder: in a school yard fight he killed a classmate and now Mitch has to make sure he’s not charged as an adult. Things start to get weird when a hit is put out on his fourteen year old client by the father of the victim. I suspect that, unfortunately, the show will become a procuderal in which most of the time is spent on Mitch solving criminal cases. Mitch has a private investigator, a man who lets us know that he has a DEEP DARK PAST (something Archie Panjabi pretty much won an Emmy for avoiding).

In order to win the case, Mitch needs resources. He ends up giving fifty percent of his business to Tricia Helfer’s firm in order to get her resources and to retain his own business. It’s a weird, messy deal which seems too complicated to really hold up for long term: Mitch has not yet fully jumped in with the actual firm. Really, he’s just dipped his toe in the water.

What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below.