Fairly Legal : Season 1

  • Network: USA
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 20, 2011
Season #: 1, 2
User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 29 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 29
  2. Negative: 5 out of 29

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User Reviews

  1. Jan 26, 2011
    5
    It's probably not a good sign when the best part of a show is the transportation. For me, the star's regular ferry rides were the high points of the show; San Francisco from the water is magical, especially at night. Shooting cityscapes seems to be something the USA network does really well, New York is practically a character in "White Collar." (Note: yes, I know "Fairly Legal" isIt's probably not a good sign when the best part of a show is the transportation. For me, the star's regular ferry rides were the high points of the show; San Francisco from the water is magical, especially at night. Shooting cityscapes seems to be something the USA network does really well, New York is practically a character in "White Collar." (Note: yes, I know "Fairly Legal" is mostly shot in Vancouver; what isn't these days?) Okay, onto more substantial matters. Our protagonist is a paradox: a woman without an ounce of natural diplomacy who is . . . wait for it . . . a professional mediator. A double shot of high concept with an irony chaser! And there's more: she has walked away from a dazzling legal career, but she can't let go of the lawyer men in her life, sleeping with her ex-husband, calling her dead father's voice mail, serving wine to his cremains. And, bless her heart, Sarah Shahi almost pulls off this human oxymoron, except that she also has to manifest such astonishing powers of persuasion that she can defuse an armed robbery before she even tastes her morning coffee! Yes, I know, TV characters all have magnificent skill sets, but there are limits to the quantity of disbelief I can suspend without hard drugs or a sledgehammer blow to the head, and FL exceeded them within the first 10 minutes of the pilot. Were the show to give the protagonist a bit more nuance and concentrate on cases that challenge her, it could be good, and I'll be among the first to cheer if that happens. (They can start by losing the cellphone-based Dorothy-in-Oz conceit.) Until then, I'll watch for the ferry rides. A little while, anyway. Expand
Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jan 20, 2011
    67
    [Sarah Shahi] plays this lead role with assurance and aplomb, elevating the entire enterprise in the process.
  2. Reviewed by: Aaron Barnhart
    Jan 20, 2011
    80
    It's a bright, fun little show, adhering to the formula that has worked for so many other light dramas on USA: tight writing, a little romance, whirly movement.
  3. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Jan 20, 2011
    40
    Over the three episodes USA sent out for review (the pilot, a mid-season episode, and the first season finale), what Kate does only occasionally matches up with the judge's speech, and none of her cases are interesting enough to distinguish Fairly Legal from the abundance of law shows on TV.