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TV Review: Fox’s ‘Rake'

Fox premieres Rake—starring Greg Kinnear—on Thursday Jan. 23, 9:00 p.m. ET. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

“Although TV has no shortage of roguish ne’er-do-wells, they are seldom as entertaining—at least initially—as the protagonist in Rake, a lawyer/womanizer/compulsive gambler whose life is a runaway train wreck occasionally interrupted by high-profile, slightly bizarre cases.”
—Brian Lowry, Variety

“A remake of an Australian drama of the same name, Rake is an unabashed throwback to the pre-Tony Soprano era. Back then, TV antiheroes existed but were always undercut in some fashion: their vital service to the community, for example, or the ironic remove that let viewers know the character didn’t really mean anything they said.”
—Todd VanDerWerff, A.V. Club

“If there's a problem with the scattered, jam-packed first hour, it's not Kinnear. Too many slow courtroom scenes and legal consultations don't help (they can't rival Rescue Me's firefighter action). And there's lots of exposition to get out of the way.”
—Joanne Ostrow, Denver Post

“But while tonight’s first episode of Rake (the only one given critics, besides an earlier version of the pilot that was remade since last spring) is–well, rakishly–amusing, it’s not really enough to give a sense of what kind of show this will be, and whether it’s worth sticking with.”
—James Poniewozik, Time

“In order to succeed from week to week, the series needs more than just a lot of figurative pratfalls: It needs a real and moderately compelling episodic legal case, something that doesn't feel like a last-minute addition.”
—David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle