Review of "Rake" on FOX From The TV MegaSite

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cast of Rake

"Rake" review by Sundi 12/28/13
Premieres January 23, Thursday 9/8c on FOX

Warning -- for those of you looking forward to FOX’s new lawyer show, Rake, let me tell you: You have seen this show before. Greg Kinnear plays the affable, disheveled, anti-hero, lawyer, Keegan Deene with addiction issues and unhealthy relationship habits. Except for the affable part (and the lawyer part) this characters sounds a lot like House -- and this show looks a lot like House as well, but its Kinnear’s portrayal of Kee that will save this show, if it is possible to be saved. Kinnear plays Keegan as a troubled, although optimistic, character which everyone else seems to think is terribly charming and magnanimous. It remains to be seen if the audience will fall in line with this characterization or if we’ll just have to take the other folks’ word for it.

Bordering on a procedural legal drama, Rake shows Kee taking on one hopeless case a week, becoming more and more bizarre and unwinnable as they go along (the pilot features a suicide/cannibal storyline that was far-fetched, to say the least). Each week we are meant to see Kee, an underappreciated, misunderstood underdog himself, represent the dregs of society and prove to the audience that no one is beyond redemption. It is a very thinly veiled metaphor for Kee’s personal life that is in such dysfunctional disarray that almost 80% of the show is cringe-inducing (imaging Kinnear playing a character that gets punched by a friendly bookie, develops an unhealthy crush on a prostitute, and receives free counseling from his ex-wife). It is hard to watch, and not always in a good way.

Although I just spent the last two paragraphs making a case about why you shouldn’t watch this show, I feel like you probably should watch it anyway. For one, it has Greg Kinnear. Can he do anything wrong? He is endearing, and self-deprecating and this show is trying so hard that it seems a shame not to give it a chance, even if that chance hinges upon it being a one-man show. So watch it… at least a few times, and then decide that it is far too derivative and sentimental for what it is, and then you can thank me for making you a far less misanthropic television viewer.

You’re welcome.

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