• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 1, 2008
Season #: 1, 2
Raising the Bar Image
Metascore
48

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

User Score
5.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 28 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 23
  2. Negative: 5 out of 23
  1. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    75
    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. Bochco delivers instead a solid lawyer show that fits comfortably into the mold formed by dozens of lawyer shows before it.
  4. Although the cases in Raising the Bar are apparently influenced by real-life cases, they tend to be either predictable or predictably unpredictable, however you want to look at it. In combination with the characters, this makes Raising the Bar about an average law series. That's pretty good for TNT, but less than expected from Bochco - fair or not.
  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. Part of what makes Raising the Bar so loopy is its commitment to this peculiar politics of personal responsibility and to a sappy liberalism that means none of the accused represented by Jerry Kellerman (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) and his compatriots in the public defender’s office are ever all that bad. They are just mentally ill, or poor and struggling, or innocent.
  7. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    30
    This shockingly ordinary new legal drama from Steven Bochco should seem right at home amid TNT’s ubiquitous Law & Order reruns. It feels like something you’ve seen before, maybe from way back when L&O was new.

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 19
  2. Negative: 9 out of 19
  1. 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 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
    10
    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
    10
    One of the best shows that I have watched ever.
  4. 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 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
    2
    Yuck, what a disappointment. Two of my favorite actresses (Jane Kaczmarek and Gloria Reuben) just wasted. Plot line was pretty far fetched. 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. Collapse
  6. Dianne
    Sep 6, 2008
    1
    Cutting edge. For 1984. Horrid acting, writing, everything.
  7. 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 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