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DVD Review: Fairly Legal – Season One

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What, another legal show? You bet! In the case of the USA Network’s Fairly Legal, however, most of the overboard and above-board antics are reserved for outside of the courtroom — owing to the fact that the main character has dropped out of the hectic life of being a lawyer and moved to the even more frenzied world of mediation. Kate Reed (the lovely Sarah Shahi) has a natural knack for the way people think and act, and can practically get anyone to commit to anything, but she’s hit a bit of a snag since her father passed away, leaving his law firm in the hands of Kate’s wicked stepmother, Lauren (Virginia Williams), who is roughly the same age as our heroine.

The two butt heads constantly, mainly because of Kate’s decidedly unorthodox modus operandi — which every main character has to have in a legal drama series, or else we simply wouldn’t watch it, now would we? Further complications arise in Kate’s life as she battles wits with her estranged husband (Michael Trucco), who just happens to be the Assistant District Attorney, and is regularly called in to mediate by a judge (Gerald McRaney) who harbors a grudge against her for leaving the profession — dumping her with some real winners to mediate. Baron Vaughn co-stars as Shahi’s assistant, who fills both the token black guy and geek roles in one extra nerdy performance.

Unlike most of its own USA competitors (Covert Affairs, Suits), Fairly Legal doesn’t take itself so deeply seriously. As such, its light-hearted tone is a breath of fresh air, as even the most unlikely of plot twists don’t wind up assaulting your intelligence—they just make you chuckle and say “OK, I’m cool with that!” And that, perhaps more than anything, is a reason to love this fun, quirky show. Universal brings all 10 episodes of Fairly Legal: Season One to DVD in a three-disc set with a Standard-Definition transfer and 5.1 Dolby Digital sound that is as good as it can get. Special features include several scene comparisons with commentary, a few deleted scenes, and the proverbial gag reel.

Give it a whirl. You might be fairly surprised.

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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.