• Network: CBS
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 21, 2006
  • Season #: 1 , 2

Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. 80
    Shark works some of the same ground as Fox's new legal drama Justice, but with far more wit and style.
  2. 80
    "Shark" is one of the season's best and fastest-moving new dramas.
  3. 80
    Feels like a hit show about to happen.
  4. The series... is pure formula, but it's a formula that works.
  5. 75
    Woods is every bit as entertaining as he strives to be. [25 Sep 2006, p.43]
  6. 75
    Nothing about this cookie-cutter courtroom drama is really up to Woods' talent, but given his head and a lot of room, he makes it work.
  7. Mr. Woods has found a television role that suits his gift and runs away with it.
  8. Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    Good actors can get away with glib, and Woods is one of the best, persuasive enough to have you spotting freshness in the familiar and wisdom in cliches.
  9. "Shark"... is clearly a "House" imitator, but a pretty crisp copy.
  10. 63
    "Shark" now looks like above-average, workaday TV with promise.
  11. 63
    The show is not as good as Woods makes it, but not as bad as some of the new shows.
  12. Subtract James Woods from Shark, and you'd have an empty carcass. Instead, you have a carcass with James Woods and all his crazy energy inside.
  13. If you don't like Woods' frantic, frequent speeches, and you can't get out of the "Without a Trace" Thursday habit, best to steer clear.
  14. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    The show works only because Woods is a honey-baked ham playing a character who lives to be a showman.
  15. 60
    The lapping tide of gooeyness would be more tolerable if Stark’s empathy made him lose a big case, and if that loss got messy. “Shark,” though, wants to have it both ways: he keeps winning, but now for the right reasons.
  16. 60
    "Shark" is a very conventional courtroom TV drama about a do-good lawyer, and its only distinction is the ferocious acting of Woods.
  17. If you watch "Shark," it's going to be for those Woods-ian rants and for the sheer exuberance he brings to them.
  18. If the "Shark" writers feel the need to, in the very first episode, soften their hero in a way the "House" writers haven't had to do in two-plus seasons, how warm and fuzzy will the character be by November sweeps, let alone the end of the season?
  19. This is a paint-by-numbers legal series that's as predictable as they come.
  20. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Woods is such a compelling presence that he might be able to elevate even procedural fare.
  21. Of course, it's near impossible to break new ground in legal dramas at this point. But Shark doesn't even try to hide its weariness.
  22. 40
    The level of the writing and the bland supporting cast do not match Woods’ wit, intelligence and slightly scary ferocity.
  23. The episode galumphs loudly across a checkerboard of scenes -- Stark at work, Stark at home, Stark at work at home -- that achieve neither the convincing quality of detailed realism nor the dumb fun of untethered melodrama.
  24. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    The problem is, where Hugh Laurie's Gregory House is a hilarious character study, Stark--while played with ebullient aggression by Woods--is just another tool in a suit, and neither the characters, the stories nor the writing rise near House's level.
  25. "Shark" suffers from a variety of flaws too numerous to detail here, not least its sentimentality, its wooden characters, its tin-eared dialogue.
  26. It's an attractive premise but a pedestrian execution.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 57 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 38
  2. Negative: 9 out of 38
  1. JoshW
    Sep 9, 2007
    This show is ridiculous and contains the most unbelievable cases. Judges allow things that would never work in an actual courtroom. Absurd.
    Aug 29, 2007
    Go Shark!! He is "yards" better than watching/hearing about spoiled sports stars and their millions abusing drugs and wives; or otherwise breaking the law. Maybe they are exempt from our laws!! ?? Get'm Shark!!! Full Review »
  3. BillM
    Jul 30, 2007
    Does it not bother anyone else that Shark, while working for the public, has committed acts which should have had him disbarred not to mention sent to jail? The Dial M for Monica was the worst case of an unscrupulous lawyer. Full Review »