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  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 1, 2008
  • Season #: 1 , 2
Raising the Bar Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 23 Critics What's this?

User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 28 Ratings

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  • Summary: Bochco returns with a new legal drama set in the criminal justice system.
  • Genre(s): Drama
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 23
  2. Negative: 5 out of 23
  1. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Good show with fine cast, but it all still feels a little too familiar and old-fashioned.
  2. 63
    Bar is so slow to start, it might as well be in reverse. The first episode is, simply, flat-out terrible. Which is why, if you're a Bochco fan, you'd be wise to wait for the fourth episode, when Bar moves to mediocre.
  3. 60
    What it isn't is very dramatic. If watching attorneys haggle like rug traders was all that interesting, Feige probably would still be doing it. Nonetheless, there are worse ways to spend an hour than watching Raising the Bar, especially since the cast members are all quite pretty.
  4. Bar still feels like an attempt at a '90s-era edgy prime-time drama whose time has past.
  5. 50
    Seriously, it is hard to take the show very seriously. It does traffic in issues and hot topics--and protests, in its way, the general corruption of the legal system--but not in particularly fresh or original terms.
  6. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    All the characters appear to have emerged from the stockroom.
  7. It's not just familiar, but lazy.

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 19
  2. Negative: 9 out of 19
  1. MattD.
    Oct 8, 2008
    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
  2. NYPD
    Oct 28, 2008
    This is currently my favorite show on tv -- very realistic -- great characters -- interesting plot -- hope it stays around for awhile.
  3. seanb
    Aug 4, 2009
    One of the best shows that I have watched ever.
  4. Raprilc
    Sep 2, 2008
    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
  5. LeeF
    Sep 2, 2008
    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. Expand
  6. Dianne
    Sep 6, 2008
    Cutting edge. For 1984. Horrid acting, writing, everything.
  7. RaichaS.
    Sep 7, 2008
    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. Expand

See all 19 User Reviews