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'Girls Club's' version of law is disorder

October 21, 2002|Howard Rosenberg | Times Staff Writer

Fox's new "Girls Club" is about three young attorneys who are beautiful when they're angry.

Which is often.

Lynne Camden (Gretchen Mol) is mad because senior partner William Hahn (Giancarlo Esposito) is on her case. Sarah Mickle (Chyler Leigh) is mad because another partner, Meredith Holt (Lisa Banes) -- nicknamed "Praying Mantis" -- is on her case. Jeannie Falls (Kathleen Robertson) is mad because partner Spencer Lewis (Brian Markinson) is repeatedly on her neck and shoulders.

With his hands.

Lynne, Sarah and Jeannie are 27-year-old graduates of the same law school who somehow wound up working at the same posh law firm in San Francisco, where they have bouncy hair, share a fancy pad and spend evenings hemorrhaging self-pity and telling each other how teed they are at their bosses.

If "Girls Club" sometimes acts like a shampoo commercial, it also holds your interest when Lynne becomes the first of the roommates to get her own case defending an accused murderer who may have the hots for her. The courtroom stuff is rather unrealistic, though, as is some of the dialogue throughout the hour, with executive producer-writer David E. Kelley extending his practice of dabbling in the surreal.

"Girls Club" follows "Boston Public," granting Kelley (who also gave America the vastly better "Ally McBeal" and "The Practice") a Monday-night franchise on Fox.

Litigation meets libido in Episode 2. Boyfriends, romance and sex show up, as does Stacy Keach as a seedy former congressman whom Sarah tries to recruit to assist on a case even though he's a drunk and a loose cannon. Not liking that one bit is Holt the Mantis, whose main job is to poke her head into associates' offices and sneer.

There are several keys here. When one of the partners begins a sentence with "Let me tell you something" or "In my office," expect a lecture. When one of the "girls" walks in slow motion, you know a Serious Moment is nearing. Expect lots of those.

When your responses operate in slow motion, it's time to turn this off.



`Girls Club'

When: Mondays at 9 p.m.

Where: Fox.

Rating: TV-14-DLS (may be unsuitable for children under the age of 14 due to suggestive dialogue, coarse language and sexual content).

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