Web This Site

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Close to Home

October 12, 2005

Thanks to those Desperate Housewives we all know the suburbs can be a scary place. Behind those white picket fences, may lurk a psycho, child abuser or a killer.

In the latest CBS legal crime drama Close to Home, assistant prosecuting attorney Annabeth Chase takes on these white-collar criminals, who seem to have perfect suburban lives but are hiding disturbing crimes.

Annabeth is a new mother, just back from maternity leave. She’s struggling with a baby who won’t sleep through the night, raging postpartum hormones, and a boss, Maureen, who isn’t exactly warm and fuzzy about the entire situation. Working mothers everywhere will no doubt empathize with Annabeth. She’s trying to juggle her family life with her professional life, without slighting either. It’s the plight of every workingwoman. Chase does it all while looking good in her expensive suits, but not without the occasional emotional meltdown in the ladies’ room.

Close to Home is formulaic and predictable, but the kind of show CBS audiences usually devour. In my opinion, it’s not nearly as entertaining as the legal show The Guardian that CBS canned a few years ago.

The best part of Close to Home is the talented cast. Soap fans will recognize the fantastic Jennifer Finnigan from the CBS daytime drama The Bold and the Beautiful. She received three Emmys for her work there. Non-soap fans my recognize her from one of the worst sitcoms ever made: last year’s Committed. Don’t hold that against her. That horrible nasally voice she used in Committed was just for the sake of that awful sitcom. She returns to her normal voice in this new drama.

Christian Kane, of Angel, is Annabeth’s hunky, supportive husband. Kane is always a scene-stealer and doesn’t disappoint here, either. But I kept hoping he had a guitar stashed in the closet, so we could have heard him play some of that amazing Kane music.

Annabeth’s overbearing boss, Maureen, is in the capable hands of actress Kimberly Elise. You may recognize her from the film Diary of a Mad Black Woman. Maureen is career-driven and got the promotion Chase wanted, before she took time off to have a baby.

If you haven’t watched Close to Home yet, there is a good chance you’ve at least seen a commercial for it. The show received tons of promotion, starting as early as last summer. Even with all the hype, the show fell flat for me. I enjoyed the girl-power premise of a woman who wants it all, but the show in its entirety was just another ho-hum crime drama. I was bored, with a capital B.

If you love legal dramas, you may enjoy Close to Home. For me, it missed the mark. I prefer the zany Boston Legal. I give Close to Home two stars out of four. And one of those stars is just for the cast.

You can catch the show at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays on CBS.

Originally published 10/12/05 in The Exponent Telegram newspaper.


Copyright 2007 Tube Talk