Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New Amsterdam Hits, Canterbury’s Law Misses

OK, full disclosure right up front. I am becoming a real fan of Fox’s New Amsterdam, and I could never stand Julianna Margulies on ER.

Now that this is out of the way, here’s what I think of Fox’s Monday line up with Canterbury’s Law and New Amsterdam. They are polar opposites.

Julianna Margulies of Canterbury’s Law plays a defense attorney. Nothing special there. She’s as stiff as a board and seems like she’s reading her lines. New Amsterdam’s Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has an expressive face, flirts with the camera, and is very easy on the eyes. And this makes all the difference I whether I decide to continue to watch a show – or not.

In the case of Canterbury’s Law, the weak link is the star of the show, Julianna Margulies. Her acting skills seem not to have improved since her stint on ER, when she played nurse Carol Hathaway. He face seems to have one expression, even when she’s angry. It seems that her ability to emote comes out as either yelling, or speaking so quietly that she can hardly be heard. I’m still trying to figure out how the jury, much less the rest of the courtroom, could hear her questions to the victim’s father. No wonder he punched her in the face. I felt the same way.

As far as the plot of Canterbury’s Law, it seems to be another typical lawyer show, this time from the perspective of a defense attorney, of which many people don't carry high opinions. Of course, she lives up to the billing by getting her client to lie on the stand. No wonder people think lawyers are scum. I was hoping that she would have taken the high road but no, she gets the victim's father on the stand by getting her client to fabricate what he saw. Jack McCoy, she's not.

And her questioning of witnesses was laughable. She asks one detective, who has an obvious weight problem, what color shoes he was wearing that day, hoping to illustrate that if he couldn’t see his shoes, he couldn’t have seen the evidence he said he saw at his own feet. Well, the man had to pick out his shoes and put them on that day didn’t he, so wouldn't he know what they looked like? He could have easily answered her question and made her look like the fool she was. Now, I’m relatively fit and trim, but even I can spot something from a few feet away, just like this detective could have as well. I found Canterbury’s whole line of questioning throughout the show laughable and I am sure real defense attorneys who dared to watch this show are cringing in embarrassment. This is a show that you’ll want to miss.

As far as New Amsterdam, well, that’s a whole different story. The story is about a man who was made immortal 400 years ago, by a spell cast on him in return for saving the life of a Native American girl. He’ll continue to be immortal until he meets his one true love. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has an amazing presence. This man really knows how to play to the camera. His face is expressive – no matter what era he’s in – and you feel what he feels. But the real kicker in the most recent episode, “Soldier’s Heart,” is how he seemed so, well, overjoyed when he got that simple doctor’s exam from Dr. Dillane, who he believes to be is one true love. He was almost enraptured with it, and his face let it show. Not to mention the simple joy he seemed to get just when she took his pulse earlier in the show. (I had to check mine a few times, too.)

It doesn’t seem to matter what scene he’s in, you know exactly how he feels because it plays on his face and in his words. I think Fox has a real winner in Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and hopefully they will keep this show going long enough so it can build a fan base. Because we all know that if you get a solid, attractive, and compelling lead character, the viewers will come in droves. Did I forget to mention he is easy on the eyes? Oh yeah I did, sorry. The plots of the story and some of the cast are a little weak, but these things can be either easily fixed or even overlooked. This is one show that could be a hit of Fox gives it enough time to play out a bit. I hope they do.

Check out my blog home page for the latest information,here.

No comments: