USA Network has had a very good run of popular shows that have come out in the past several years. Some examples are Burn Notice, White Collar, Covert Affairs, and Royal Pains. These extremely popular shows left Fairly Legal, which premiered in early 2011, with enormous shoes to fill.
In mid-2011, the show that had initially been billed as Facing Kate was renewed for a second season. It premiered on March 16 of this year. USA Network changed many things about the show between the two seasons. Fairly Legal is a drama that follows main character Kate (Sarah Shahi) in her transition from lawyer to legal mediator. She works at a firm that was owned by her late father and is now owned by her step-mother, who she is constantly at odds with. She is surrounded by lawyers, with her ex-husband Justin (series regular Michael Trucco) being an assistant district attorney. The show centers on the problems that Kate has with her personal and professional lives being so closely intertwined.
USA changed the dynamic of the show from being largely centered on the cases that Kate and her firm were mediating, as it was in the first season, and allowing it to become more of a character study about Kate and her coworkers. And what a cast of coworkers she has. New series regular Ben Grogan (played by Ryan Johnson) becomes partner in the firm. Kate’s step-mother Lauren (Virginia Williams) is struggling to keep the business together, all the while constantly being at odds with Kate and everyone else who supported her late husband’s way of doing things. Michael Trucco’s character, Justin, dropped a bombshell on Kate during the season premier: while they were married, he was unfaithful. He also announces his candidacy for the office of the District Attorney of San Francisco, and it is implied that the upcoming season will follow his race closely.
Fairly Legal has a relatively small cast, but it keeps the cases interesting and fresh. They aren’t the same ones that have been overplayed by a million other TV shows. The characters are well-acted and funny. Overall, Fairly Legal’s second season should be a treat.