- Atheists sue to remove ‘Ground Zero Cross’ from 9/11 museum
- Bishop in Aleppo: ‘We Christians live in fear in Syria’
- Oscar Pistorius vomits during graphic testimony
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford flubs daylight saving time advice: ‘Turn your clocks back’
- Americans don’t support sending U.S. troops to Ukraine
- Florida lawmakers move to wipe corrupt ‘Boss Hogg’ town from map
- N.C. math whiz to unveil secret of March Madness picks
- An appealing offer: Chiquita merges with Fyffes to make world’s largest banana firm
- Amnesty International says Syria guilty of war crimes for food blockade
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: ‘We are going to crush them’
A promising ‘Shark’
Another fall television season, another new legal drama.
Yet CBS’ “Shark,” premiering tonight at 10, is something different. Not because of its premise or plots, which aren’t particularly original. Rather, it’s the sheer force of James Woods’ magnetic persona that lifts the new show out of otherwise murky waters.
Mr. Woods, in his series television debut, stars as Los Angeles lawyer Sebastian Stark, better known in legal circles as Shark. He’s one of those high-powered criminal defense attorneys who often attract questionable clients, such as O.J. Simpson. You wonder how they sleep at night. However, Stark actually has a crisis of conscience after one of the clients he has saved from a guilty verdict goes on to murder the wife he had been charged with attempting to kill.
The district attorney’s office offers Stark a chance to do penance: help convict the criminals he once defended. At first, Stark resists: “I eat prosecutors for breakfast; they’re my main source of fiber,” he protests. Soon, though, he’s persuaded to switch sides — and it probably doesn’t hurt that DA Jessica Devlin is played by the voluptuous, blond Jeri Ryan (“Star Trek: Voyager,” “Boston Public”).
Mr. Woods, an Oscar nominee for his roles in “Salvador” and “Ghosts of Mississippi,” brings his trademark intensity and seriousness to “Shark” — a seriousness without irony or camp, traits not often seen on network television. Dialogue such as, “Your job is to win. Justice is God’s problem” might seem silly spoken by a lesser talent.
Tonight’s pilot was directed by Spike Lee, another talent known primarily for feature films. His fluid camera work provides “Shark” with a great deal of energy. Jousting scenes between Mr. Woods and Miss Ryan are particularly engaging.
“Well, this should be fun,” Miss Ryan’s district attorney says to Stark at one point.
So far, it certainly looks that way.
Kelly Jane Torrance
New season for ‘Earl’
Last year’s shock hit “My Name Is Earl,” returns at 8 tonight with nearly all its peculiar giggles intact.
The minds behind the NBC sitcom must realize the comic firecracker they have in co-star Jaime Pressly— as Earl’s ex-wife, Joy — so the doe-eyed actress is front and center in the season’s first fresh episode.
Joy gets ripped off by a Best Buy-like chain and gets revenge by swiping one of the store’s trucks. Earl (Jason Lee) thinks she’s overreacting, but one of the things mentioned on his list of wrongs to right is that he never backed up Joy during their marriage.
Given that, he tries to help Joy when her plan backfires. The truck, along with its wealth of electronic goodies, also contains a store employee who’s napping inside. Madcap antics ensue, but few are as impressive as the unexpected comic asides tossed our way. Better still, they don’t overwhelm Miss Pressly’s daffy performance, one of 2005’s nicest surprises.
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- CURL: Today's GOP really is Reagan's 'Big Tent' party
- As Crimea falls, Obama takes Key Largo golf vacation, Biden hits Virgin Islands
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: 'We are going to crush them'
- SAUERBREY: Taxing Marylanders until they flee
- Russia besieges Crimea as U.S. seeks diplomacy; Putin remains undeterred by Obama's sanctions
- Investigators puzzle: How does a 777 jetliner just disappear into thin air?
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again