Snap judgment: 'Shark'

144717__shark_lI enjoy James Woods, and I’ll watch him in just about anything. That includes Shark, even though the premiere last night made the show look awfully derivative. It’s basically House in a courtroom, jazzed up with the celebrity-lawyer theatrics of Fox’s new Justice. Like Dr. House, Woods’ Sebastian Stark (who names their kid Sebastian anymore?) is an abrasive but brilliant crank overseeing a team of wide-eyed young Scoobies and chafing under the supervision of an attractive lady boss (Jeri Ryan). Humanizing him a little is his wise-beyond-her-years 16-year-old daughter (Empire Falls‘ Danielle Panabaker, surely a rising actress to watch for).

The pilot was slickly directed by Spike Lee (who, I’m guessing, won’t be behind the camera in future episodes), and its plot cannily alluded to the phenomenon of supposedly ”unauthorized” celebrity sex tapes that mysteriously make their way to the Internet. Then again, the legal case had a big hole in it that was glaringly apparent even to someone as slow on the uptake as I am, but it took Stark/Shark until the last few minutes to spot it. Guess I won’t be watching this show for the legal intrigue, but just for Woods, who, as a cynical star attorney, could eat Justice‘s Victor Garber as a canapĂ©. Besides, given the show’s placement on CBS on Thursdays at 10, what are my alternatives, Six Degrees and ER? Nah, gimme Jimmy.

Anyone else watch Shark last night? Whadja think?


Comments (22 total) Add your comment
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  • Jill

    I thought the show was terrific….mostly because of James Woods. Danielle Panabaker was also quite good. (I thought she was going to be the next Disney channel star? Sorry, I digress.) Anyway, I watched the show because it came on after CSI. But by 10:10, I was hooked. Besides the obvious ‘House’ connection, it also reminded me of ‘Reversal of Fortune’….with all the wannabees doing the behind the scenes work for their boss/prof.

  • Ed

    Gary, didn’t catch this show, nor did I know it was coming out but I will say this, it smells like Valerie Cherish. That cut and paste picture of James Woods (what came first: hair pluggs, face lift or botox)is hard to watch. Much like my beloved V.C said “after a long day at work – I don’t want to see that”!

  • Lila

    I thought James Wood’s performance was over the top. But, since I do really do like him, I will give it another shot next week.

  • Lori

    My guess is that Sebastian’s parents named him some 50-plus years ago, so your question is sort of moot, no?

  • Stephanie Travitsky

    i was watching ER and I thougnt that Jerry was a goner, but I am glad that the evil ex was killed.

  • Michelle

    Ummmm, I named my kid Sebastian. And for some reason no one can spell it.

  • guinevere

    thank you, lori…that’s what i was thinking.
    since i bowl league on thursdays, i had to decide what to tivo. shark looked really interesting (i LOVE legal dramas…long live perry mason–the young, hot,, so i went for it. james woods has been one of my favorite actors since he was hades in hercules (i’m young). the show’s great. storyline with the stupid problem with the case…eh, but james woods with spike directing–it was beautiful.

  • ftworthbabe

    Jimmy has not had cosmetic surgery (ok, I’ll give you the hair plugs!) because if he had ever been near a dermatologist or plastic surgeon they would have lasered some of his acne scars into oblivion!!

  • mark in nyc

    I missed it, how was jerry Ryan?
    I can watch her watching paint dry all day.

  • sam

    I really enjoyed it and I didn’t expect to like it at all. I am not a fan of Woods, but he carries this show and he is fun to watch. I will give it a try again next week and see whether it was just the direction that hooked me.

  • Ceballos

    Oh Jimmy, put the hair dye away! I thought he looked about 30 times better during that period a few years ago (around Any Given Sunday Time) when he just went gray.
    Do we really need him looking in 2006 the way he did in “The Specialist”?

  • Meka

    I too also watched it cuz it was on after CSI but I gave it a chance since they moved Without A Trace (stupid CBS..messed up a good thing) anyway I thought it was OK so far…I’ll stay tuned for a while.

  • Chris McVetta

    Vertical Horizon to EW: “James Woods is God, and ‘Shark’ is not …and I just thought, that you should know…”
    The show was pathetic. “ER” more so. I’ll just keep watching the TIVO episode of “The Office” over and over again …until “Lost” comes back on the air.
    The id and I – “Welcome to The Bermuda Triangle of journalism!”

  • Ann

    “Shark” was so damned boring and derivative, and featured such utterly unlikable characters that I switched over to HGTV after the first fifteen minutes. Did roughly the same thing with “Smith”, except I believe it was Animal Planet I switched to. Oh, well. Two down…

  • Justafan

    I liked the show because it address an issue for me. Loved the plot devise on how they got this guy to switch to the prosecutor side and yes, the daughter and the rookie lawyers were a bit much but I love how James Woods character show how lawyers really act when they get reamed by the opposition.
    I didn’t and I hope he does more shows. Jeri Ryan what can you say…great, and I hope they give her more screen time.

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