Monday, April 27, 2009

Pilot Script Review - US Attorney

Written By: Frank Military
Draft Date: January 15, 2009
Pages: 69
Network: CBS
Category: Jury's Out

I recall having neither a good nor bad reaction to this script, and it hasn't left much of an impression in my head. I do remember reading it while Damages was early in its season and thinking "hey, the A-plot of this pilot is the same as this season's main case on Damages" and then I mentally wrote the pilot off for being derivative-but-not-as-smart as Damages (although what a mess this season of Damages turned it...)

The case is that UPP, a petroleum company, has plants that are contaminating the water nearby and the contaminants are causing cancer at a disproportionate rate. The USAs have a study that seems to show that this is the case, but because the researcher had a sexual relationship with one of the victims of the cancer-causing-chemical, her research is thrown out of court (it's more recent research than what the company has). The entire case hinges on this evidence, so the prosecutor (Michael) asks the jury to vote with their heart, regardless of the evidence being thrown out. Oh, and unbeknownst to Michael, his ex-wife-turned-co-worker and second chair on the case (Susan) talks discreetly to a New York Times reporter... so the fact that the evidence was thrown out is all over the place.

There are two other cases, one involving insider trading at a pharma company (the guy under investigation tries to swing Andrew, one the USAs, promising to get him a vastly higher paying job at a private firm for his cooperation... which of course results in an entrapment scenario because you can't just go around bribing federal officials) and another involving a NYC councilman taking brides for prime vendor placement near the new Yankees Stadium. They try to turn the councilman into wearing a wire to nab a higher placed corrupt government official, but the councilman doesn't do a great job... and winds up dead in the end (so there's going to be some kind of on-going investigation element in the series).

A fairly standard crop of lawyer characters, the show certainly doesn't break the mold... but it's not terrible. If CBS is going to go with just one lawyer show, though, it damn well better be The Good Wife...

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