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TV Review: USA's 'Fairly Legal'

USA’s newest character dramedy Fairly Legal premieres Thursday, Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. The following are reviews from TV critics around the Web, compiled by B&C:

“While we all hope for the best from new series, odds are most people aren’t expecting greatness from Fairly Legal —which works out well, because that’s not what the show is designed to provide. It’s a well-constructed piece of popular entertainment from a dependable provider of the same, with an easy-to-like star and an easy-to-grasp premise.” – Robert Bianco, USA Today

“The reason we care about Kate at all is because she is played by Sarah Shahi, who has natural charm to burn as she runs chaotically around town, always a little late… On Fairly Legal, she brings her virtues — wry humor, determination, skepticism — into a leading role without turning the volume up too much.” – Matthew Gilbert,The Boston Globe

Fairly Legal is adequately entertaining, thanks in large part to Shahi, an engaging actress who looks like Anne Hathaway. The most interesting relationship isn’t the one between Kate and Justin, but rather between Kate and Lauren, whose friction may be caused in part by similarities in their personalities. From a story point of view, it’s the thing that may give Fairly Legal a fighting chance on basic cable.” – David Wiegand,San Francisco Chronicle

“The Fairly Legal writers manage to make this intellectually formidable centerpiece lively and intriguing and Shahi, whose timing is just as exceptional as her looks, makes it funny and sexy. The rest of the cast give us characters who may have started off stock but quickly become multilayered and, like the show itself, capable of all manner of surprises.” – Mary McNamara,Los Angeles Times

“[T]he series itself has a lot going for it, including a great cast, interesting characters, a fairly original angle on the legal system and plenty of opportunity for interesting story arcs as the show progresses. So, while I can’t rave about the first episode, I do think Fairly Legal has the potential to be another fun, clever, character driven series to join USA’s other great shows” – Kelly West,Television Blend