The Firm (NBC) - Series Premiere: Synopsis and Review

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‘The Firm’ is NBC and Global’s (Canada) new legal drama, based on the John Grisham novel of the same name. Grisham himself serves as executive producer and the networks ordered 22 episodes straight-to-series, without seeing a pilot episode first. ‘The Firm’ premiered Sunday, January 8, with a double episode, and will now assume it’s regular timeslot on Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.

Ten years after the events in the novel and movie by John Grisham, the mob boss has died and the McDeere family exits Witness Protection. Mitch McDeere (Josh Lucas, ‘A Beautiful Mind’) and his brother Ray (Callum Keith Rennie, ‘Californication’) have just started a new law firm in a former travel agency, and they are struggling to survive.

For his first case of the series, Mitch defends a 14-year old who stabbed a classmate in the schoolyard. He finds out that the boy brought a knife on purpose, because he felt humiliated when his essay with an F on it was put on the bulletin board. However, the McDeere firm is able to have him tried in juvenile court. The victim’s father orders a hit on the killer, but Mitch interferes and makes sure that his client is safe, while the victim’s father can still stay with his family.

The son of the Mob boss has turned 25, which means he inherited the family leadership. Of course, the Mob has a long memory and has not yet forgotten that it was because of the McDeeres that their former Don was put away for a long time.

In the mean time, an old friend of Mitch asks him to join the big firm he works for, as the first member of the new criminal law division. At first Mitch is hesitant. For a new case he is working on, though, he needs the resources only a big firm can provide, so he reluctantly makes the deal and gives up his freedom.

In the last few minutes of the second episode, which was aired back-to-back with the first, we find out a shocking truth about the firm the McDeeres are associating with -- John Grisham style.

To be honest, I wasn’t really impressed by ‘The Firm’. I think I expected some more tension and cliffhangers, but only the first and last five minutes provided exactly that. The rest of the double episode mainly focused on the schoolboy case, which, frankly, was quite dull. Since NBC immediately ordered 22 episodes, ‘The Firm’ will be around for a while. The story arcs about the Mob seeking revenge and the shady firm that the McDeeres associate with seem very compelling, though we have only seen a very small portion of that yet. However, I really hope the weekly cases will be more intriguing, because now, they just make the episode longer, rather than anything else.

What do you think of 'The Firm'?

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  • It is ok
  • It is horrible
  • I still have to watch it
  • I'm not even going to watch this show
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6 comments

Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

I saw the previews for this show and it looked like you described it, long and drawn out. Then I saw part of the opening sequence with Josh Lucas running and I knew it wouldn't be much more than that. I think another problem is that this show lacks star wattage. Josh Lucas is a somewhat name but is known more for being a character actor in rom-com movies. If they could have found someone who was either completely unknown or staging a TV comeback then it might have fared well. Interesting hub, voted up.


Robin Oatley profile image

Robin Oatley 4 years ago Author

Part of the reason why the show is so slow is probably that Grisham writes novels, and now he is writing a TV series as if it were a novel. He takes this so literally, that the episodes are called 'chapters'. In a book, chapters can be only a couple of pages long, but here, each 'chapter' has to last an hour and not only carry on with the overall story, but also be interesting on its own.

Indeed, Josh Lucas isn't really the right choice for this role. I'm thinking who'd be the perfect actor for the part of Mitch McDeere, but nobody really pops out to me.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

I didn't know Grisham wrote the episodes. I think that presents another problem. They need a proven screenwriter.


Robin Oatley profile image

Robin Oatley 4 years ago Author

Well, he isn't the primary writer but he does have a lot of influence on the story. And of course it is not easy to go against THE writer Grisham, who created the story in the first place.


Hanna 4 years ago

I think people just need to give josh Lucas a chance and let John Grisham a chance to do something different because change is good and we just need to give the series a chance


Robin Oatley profile image

Robin Oatley 4 years ago Author

Hanna, you're probably right. However, right now, the show is bad legal procedural, so the only thing that it can possibly become is a good legal procedural. I'm not sure that this is really something that people are waiting for, because there already are so many of those.

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