Raising the Bar : Season 1

  • Network: TNT
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 1, 2008
Season #: 1, 2
User Score
5.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 28 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 28
  2. Negative: 12 out of 28

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  1. NC.
    Sep 2, 2008
    1
    The pilot was deadly dull with slow pacing accented by a terrible score. Somehow pretty good actors gave lifeless performances. Maybe it was due to the poor direction. Maybe the director was hired by Bochco because he was his son.
  2. MattD.
    Oct 8, 2008
    10
    It is refreshing to see the courtroom and the justice system portrayed for it is actually like in real life. I am a public defender and for once a tv show actually tells the story of what it is like from a perspective other than the cops and the DA. I identify with the characters in this story and when people ask me why I do my job or how can I defend these people I tell them to watch It is refreshing to see the courtroom and the justice system portrayed for it is actually like in real life. I am a public defender and for once a tv show actually tells the story of what it is like from a perspective other than the cops and the DA. I identify with the characters in this story and when people ask me why I do my job or how can I defend these people I tell them to watch this show because this is the closest it gets. Some of it is over the top but there are judges like that and Da's that play fast and loose with the rules. For those who hate the show, either they are law enforcement or have never been on the inside looking out in a courtroom. Thanks Bochco for looking at the system from all sides and not the law and order side that the public has been spoon fed forever! Expand
  3. PatrickM.
    Sep 19, 2008
    10
    Awesome show.. awesome cast....another winner from Bochco!!!
  4. c.s.
    Sep 4, 2008
    1
    Didn't even get through the first episode. Turned it off before the end. Expected crisp, sharp intelligent dialogue - sounded more like a freshman English assignment. Will not watch again.
  5. seanb
    Aug 4, 2009
    10
    One of the best shows that I have watched ever.
  6. RW.
    Sep 2, 2008
    2
    I was very disappointed. I was really hooked with all of the hype created prior to the premier. I will give the show one more week to strike enough interest to make me come back. if not... Then I guess it's back to WCW (kidding, of course).
  7. Raprilc
    Sep 2, 2008
    4
    TNT seemingly ran nonstop ads for this show, so I was excited to check it out. Boy was I disappointed after watching the first episode. With the exception of Gloria Reuben, I didn't find the cast intriguing at all. I actually thought most of the acting was really bad. Also, I have no idea what motivates any of these characters to do what they do, and w/o that context, everyone's TNT seemingly ran nonstop ads for this show, so I was excited to check it out. Boy was I disappointed after watching the first episode. With the exception of Gloria Reuben, I didn't find the cast intriguing at all. I actually thought most of the acting was really bad. Also, I have no idea what motivates any of these characters to do what they do, and w/o that context, everyone's actions feel contrived, hyper-dramatic and purely for the sake of television. Nothing felt real or authentic. Mark-Paul G., the main character, tries to be the hero at every turn, but he just comes off as naive and bullish. Jane K. as the judge is an ass for reasons that make no sense. (She feels so "disrespected" that she takes it out on a defendant? What?) "Raising the Bar" wants to be Ally McBeal, The Practice, and Law & Order all rolled into one. Nudge to TNT: it's not working. Expand
  8. Dianne
    Sep 6, 2008
    1
    Cutting edge. For 1984. Horrid acting, writing, everything.
  9. Yaele
    Jul 30, 2009
    10
    After the first few episodes this show bloomed into one of the best drams on TV and a sobering look at the American judiciary system.
  10. RickS.
    Oct 22, 2008
    10
    I love this show! it's picked up speed now, and puts a fair bit of action into each episode. Jane Kacz is wonderful: she's found her perfect role.
  11. NYPD
    Oct 28, 2008
    10
    This is currently my favorite show on tv -- very realistic -- great characters -- interesting plot -- hope it stays around for awhile.
  12. BernardoS.
    Sep 11, 2008
    9
    good cast and nice story so far, although i hope it gets more exciting and new stuff under the risk of getting just another boring series.
  13. ErinJ.
    Sep 17, 2008
    2
    Real crap. Fantasy fulfillment for some seriously inadequate former public defender. But apparently renewed for another season by TNT. Incredible.
  14. LeeF
    Sep 2, 2008
    2
    Yuck, what a disappointment. Two of my favorite actresses (Jane Kaczmarek and Gloria Reuben) just wasted. Plot line was pretty far fetched. And it was boring to boot.
  15. JohnB.
    Sep 27, 2008
    0
    Where do I begin? The writing is terrible, the casting is bad, the characters aren't believable, the story line is comical, the acting is worse, and the premise that all these characters from different segments of the justice system meet together after work for drinks and relationships is ludicrous. Much less than I had expected from Bochko. In my humble opinion, completely unwatchable.
  16. CandiceL.
    Sep 6, 2008
    9
    Loved it and cant wait to see next episode.
  17. RaichaS.
    Sep 7, 2008
    0
    Unwatchable. Shrill and nonsensical. The judge is totally arbitrary, without any rhyme or reason. No matter how bad you think the criminal justice system may be, it makes a lot more sense than this mess. I expected so much more from Bochco. At least some good old LA Law humor. But no. It's just a pile of poo.
  18. DPA
    Sep 16, 2008
    9
    just saw yesterday's episode--i thought it was good. it didn't seem ponderous or clumsy last night--i thought the story lines integrated nicely, and while the actors ham it up a bit, and the sexual tension can be a bit cheesy, it was still an entertaining watch. it obviously skews defense-friendly, but the world of tv justice shows needs that. (law and order's intro says just saw yesterday's episode--i thought it was good. it didn't seem ponderous or clumsy last night--i thought the story lines integrated nicely, and while the actors ham it up a bit, and the sexual tension can be a bit cheesy, it was still an entertaining watch. it obviously skews defense-friendly, but the world of tv justice shows needs that. (law and order's intro says there's only two parts to the justice system--cops & prosecutors.) it was nice to have defendants who aren't one-dimensional. Expand
  19. MattQ.
    May 21, 2009
    0
    Where should I begin? As a former prosecutor and a current criminal defense attorney, it's ridiculous how some of these reviewers who claim to be attorneys can actually say that this show depicts how the justice system really is. Most of these liberal public defenders do more harm than good for their clients. They lie in court, and engage in unethical practices in the name of Where should I begin? As a former prosecutor and a current criminal defense attorney, it's ridiculous how some of these reviewers who claim to be attorneys can actually say that this show depicts how the justice system really is. Most of these liberal public defenders do more harm than good for their clients. They lie in court, and engage in unethical practices in the name of defending their clients. This show is nothing more than a public defenders fantasy world, where all of their clients are innocent and wrongly accused of crimes, and everyone else is corrupt or unethical. This is like every other law show, where the criminal defense attorney sleeps with the prosecutor, and kicks her butt in court every day. First of all, the female prosecutors, who sleeps with Zack from "Save By The Bell", get her butt kicked in court by Zack. And in the rare occassion that she actually wins a case and gets a conviction, the accused is really innocent. If this case really depicted a real life view of the criminal justice system, do you actually think that the female prosecutor would still have her job? Don't waste your time with this show. I had a chance to meet the lawyer that this show is based on, and he is a huge arrogant jerk. I heard that he was a horrible atorney, so go figure. Expand
Metascore
48

Mixed or average reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 23
  2. Negative: 5 out of 23
  1. 30
    These are some of the most lackluster, unimaginative trials brought to TV in years, as every defendant's guilt or innocence is written all over his or her face from the get-go.
  2. 30
    Bochco has made the most cutting-edge drama--of 1994. These thinly drawn characters aren't compelling, and the entire production feels dated and stagey.
  3. 70
    The series seems to always eschew Hollywood-style courtroom theatrics and gotcha moments for resolutions that seem truer because they involve mistakes, bad timing, compromises, dubious ethics and sweated-out smarts.