The Firm: Is the New NBC Series Worth Watching?

The Firm TV showTonight, NBC premieres their latest legal drama — The Firm. This new TV series isn’t based on another TV show like Prime Suspect but is instead based on the John Grisham novel, which was turned into a feature film in 1993.

The Firm TV series picks up 10 years after the end of the 1993 movie with Mitch McDeere (Josh Lucas), his wife Abby (Molly Parker), and daughter Claire (Natasha Calis) coming out of the witness protection program. The mob boss they feared is dead and the McDeere family believe that enough time has passed that they’ll be safe. Relocated to our nation’s capitol, Mitch starts his own practice, Abby is a teacher, and Claire is making real friends. Unfortunately, things don’t go as smoothly as they’d hoped and trouble starts all over again. The show’s cast also includes Callum Keith Rennie, Juliette Lewis, Tricia Helfer, and Shaun Majumder.

It’s been nearly 20 years since the release of the feature film. Was the new TV show worth the wait? Is it worth your time? Here’s what some critics have been saying:

Boston Herald: “The two-hour pilot is a chore to sit through… ABC’s fairy tale serial Once Upon a Time has more connection to reality than this dreck. Parker is criminally wasted as the voice of common sense. Lucas is flat and dull, forced to spout such pompous lines as, ‘I spend my day making sure that no man’s freedom or future is taken unjustly.’ Mitch just might be the stupidest attorney ever depicted on TV. I wouldn’t trust him to handle a library fine.”

LA Times: “Although it opens with a fast-paced chase scene, things quickly bog down with flashbacks and all manner of story lines, none of which seem to be dominant or terribly compelling… Like so many reboots, The Firm is a waste of precious resources, especially its cast… The question is, do we need such a show when we have Damages and The Good Wife? It may be ironic to call a legal thriller created by the man who all but invented the legal thriller derivative, but in this case, it feels very much like the truth.”

Washington Post: “The two-hour pilot debuting Sunday night is strong and goes in every direction tantalizingly. Enough happens to keep you from changing the channel, but there are hints of a show that could get dull fast… There’s a lot going on, but for now, The Firm seems intriguing enough to have the time to decide what it wants to be.”

NY Times: “Having performed such leaps of logic, the writers apparently didn’t have much strength left for the weekly plot, which is notably slight and unbelievable, even for a TV legal drama. Mitch is forced by a do-gooder judge to defend a teenager in a schoolyard killing. Hearing that the dead student’s father wants to put out a hit on his young client, Mitch does what any good lawyer would do. No, not call the police. He has his brother pretend to be a hit man and solicit the job. The folks over at The Good Wife will be wondering why they didn’t think of that one.”

Hollywood Reporter: “The two-hour premiere of The Firm on Sunday (9 p.m.) is likely to snag viewers who are on the lookout for yet another legal thriller and don’t mind being diverted from the central shocker for most of those two hours. In the meantime they’ll get a solid if unspectacular story about one of the most unlucky lawyers ever depicted on television.”

Kansas City Star: “The TV cast is all right, but it’s not on that level [of the movie cast]. Lucas seems especially bland. And I resent it taking the time slot of the much better Prime Suspect.”

USA Today: “For the most part, The Firm cries out to be quickly forgotten — but it does have at least one memorable moment. Capping a geographically muddled opening chase, Mitch plunges into the Capitol reflecting pool, confounding his pursuers, who split up and go around rather than following Mitch across. What, because the pool’s filled with acid and Mitch is the only one with safety booties? It’s a small matter. But a show that opens with that kind of casual, incompetent stupidity is telling you how little effort it plans to expend on telling its story, and how little respect it has for your intelligence. Take the hint.”

What do you think? Are you going to watch the Firm series? If you’ve already seen it, will you tune in again?

Canceled and renewed TV show

91 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. DONNA says

    IF THIS SHOW ISN’T COMING BACK, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO REPLACE IT WITH, SOMETHING SILLY, OR VULGAR, OR SEX ORIENTED WE CAN’T SIT IN THE SAME ROOM WITH OUR CHILDREN AND WATCH TV?

  2. ginny says

    I couldn’t believe my eyes. I’m very disappointed to find out this show has been cancelled. Is it too sophisticated for the average viewer? How about giving it another season? Seems like all the good shows are being cancelled. Who makes these decisions?
    If it’s an entertainment critic, their opinions don’t mean a thing. If I paid attention to what some fool thought, I wouldn’t see/read anything at all.

    • John and MaryAnne Decker says

      Please do not allow “The Firm” to be canceled
      It is a good good show, full of suspense and mystery
      Please renew it.

  3. donna says

    I’m very disappointed that The Firm has been canceled. Too bad, one of the best series on TV. Seems like only the silly, vulgar, shallow survive.

  4. says

    THE FIRM
    If you cancel this show, you people are crazy. This is the best show we’ve had in a long time. I love the caracters, there interesting , there alive , they take risk, they love their families. In our minds they come alive and we can’t wait to see whats going to happen to them next week. I wish we had more shows like this, at least it’s worth watching.

  5. Denise Moore Savage says

    I was so disappointed when I heard that The Firm was being cancelled. I love the show and thought it was very well done. I read the book and saw the movie with Tom Cruise and quite honestly, I was pleasantly surprised by the series as I believe it was very well done. I found each episode compelling and the hour just flew by. I so hope NBC reconsiders or that some other network picks up the series for a second season. I have just read now the critics’ comments which has just reaffirmed for me that if a critic doesn’t like something, be it a movie, book, or TV show, I will probably enjoy it very much. Good luck to the cast of The Firm. I think you did a great job. Thanks for the memories.

  6. M. Parker says

    This is a good entertaining story. Look forward to each episode. Seems that when a series is liked by the people, it gets cancelled. Come on, leave it alone.

  7. JuJu says

    I love this show! I watched ’24’ and always thought it was very intense but The Firm is more intense. I think the characters portray their roles in an excellent manner. I look forward to the show. Please don’t take it off the air.

  8. Anonymous says

    I think The Firm is the very best show in TV! I look forward to each show. I think all of the characters portray their roles in an excellent fashion. I watched ’24’ and thought it was very intense – but this show has more intensity and completely holds my interest. Please don’t take it off the air.

  9. Molly says

    It isn’t that the stories are bad, they’re somewhat intriguing. It’s the acting – it pretty much stinks. I find myself bored and my mind drifting halfway through the show. I’m a HUGE fan of legal thrillers, and of the original story of The firm, but this program does nit measure up for me. They should’ve left Prime Suspect alone (a much better show) and ran this one during the summer.

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