January 22, 2014 at 5:54 pm #310157
The series premiere of “Rake” (starring Academy Award nominee Greg Kinnear) begins on Thursday, January 23, 2013 @ 9 PM ET following “American Idol.”January 22, 2014 at 7:43 pm #310159
Really looking forward to this, if this is the next House I can see Greg Kinnear being nominated for an Emmy.January 22, 2014 at 8:44 pm #310160
Greg Kinnear looks absolutely amazing in this!January 22, 2014 at 8:46 pm #310161
Review from The New York Times:
He is late, yes, but he is under a lot of pressure. He can’t understand why she can’t understand.
you’re late, Keegan,” the woman says coldly, “it shows basic lack of
respect, and that is damaging to any professional relationship.”
It’s the kind of thing a shrink or an accountant might say to an overscheduled client. But on “Rake,”
a Fox show starting Thursday, the scolder is a prostitute who charges
$500 an hour. The call girl, Mikki (Bojana Novakovic), is not amused by
her regular, Keegan Deane (Greg Kinnear),
a Los Angeles lawyer with a gambling, drinking and womanizing problem.
Mikki is the closest thing Keegan has to a solid, loving relationship.
He apologizes, they make up, but before he can get his clothes off, his
time is up.
the kind of fecklessness, bad luck and terrible timing that has brought
Keegan to the brink of ruin. And it’s the secret to this otherwise
conventional legal show. The courtroom scenes are perfunctory, just
enough to depict Keegan as brilliant and to signal that his work is the
least of his problems.
is more imaginative when depicting the slow-motion despair that sets in
when a sure thing — a client’s payment, a royal flush, a football game —
crumbles into dust. Keegan, who owes almost $60,000 to the kind of
lender who doesn’t take i.o.u.s, keeps getting close to making a big
score, only to watch it all fall apart. His friendship with Roy (Omar J.
Dorsey), the thug who is tasked with collecting his debt, doesn’t
prevent him from getting his face smashed in as a friendly warning.
“Rake” was adapted from an Australian series that has the same name but a darker sensibility. This version is adjusted for American optimism: It’s a lighthearted look at a serious screw-up. And the first episode, at least, is surprisingly engaging.
writing is smart and the episodes well structured, but much of the
credit goes to Mr. Kinnear, who maintains a veneer of charm without
stinting on his character’s underlay of seedy desperation. Keegan is
still winsome enough to attract beautiful women in bars, but in
daylight, his boyish good looks, like his shirt collar and stalling
tactics, are unmistakably creased and worn.
Kinnear is helped by a good supporting cast, including John Ortiz as
his best friend from law school, Ben, and Necar Zadegan as Ben’s wife,
Scarlet, an assistant district attorney.
lost his apartment, works out of other people’s offices and mooches off
friends. He’s a disruptive houseguest, to say the least. He brings a
one-night stand home after a debauched night, and is still hung over
when the children come down for breakfast. When Ben asks him to leave
his house after four months, Keegan gently explains why he can’t. “I’m
not going to let you kick me out, Ben, because that’s going to make you
feel bad about you,” he says with tender concern. “And I’m not going to
do that to my best friend.”
is not television’s first unheroic hero, of course. “House,” the Fox
drama, was centered on the exasperatingly juvenile genius Gregory House,
a drug-addicted doctor and mercurial boss and friend. There have been
plenty of others: The tradition of likable loser goes all the way back
to “The Rockford Files,” which starred James Garner as an ex-con turned
private detective (he was falsely convicted) who lived and worked out of
a mobile home.
Keegan is worse off than either of those two: He is unreformed and
unsuccessful, a profligate parasite who doesn’t seem to earn any money
no matter how clever he is in the courtroom. His lifestyle isn’t just
downwardly mobile, his life is careening out of control.
each episode, the missteps, missed opportunities, unforced errors and
poor decisions pile up, and the show is quite ingenious in finding ways
for Keegan to scrape through — just barely.
“Rake” is a clever look at just how stupidly even smart people behave.January 23, 2014 at 5:28 am #310162
If this show does well and submits in comedy it could have awards potential. Here’s hoping!January 23, 2014 at 7:16 am #310163
TV Review: “Rake”
January 20, 2014 | 08:00AM PT
Greg Kinnear’s playboy/gambler/lawyer is good company, but his future’s still a dice roll.
Although TV has no shortage of roguish ne’er-do-wells, they are seldom as entertaining—at least initially—as the protagonist in “Rake,” a lawyer/womanizer/compulsive gambler whose life is a runaway train wreck occasionally interrupted by high-profile, slightly bizarre cases. Alas, the quirky legal shenanigans that give the series, presumably, its procedural foundation are also the least interesting aspect of the show, which features Greg Kinnear’s comic abilities with a tone that perhaps most closely resembles CBS’ “The Good Wife.” Those qualities also make the program’s prospects difficult to read, which of course wouldn’t stop our fumbling hero from betting on it.
The show is adapted from an Australian series, with Kinnear’s Keegan Deane shuffling from one crisis to the next, taking on cases mostly to service his vices. As presented in the Sam Raimi-directed premiere (which replaces, but closely resembles, the pilot), those excesses in general include betting on just about anything, and in particular driving with an expired license and bringing a woman back to the house of his friend Ben (John Ortiz), with whom he’s staying out of economic necessity.
Deane also has an ongoing relationship with a prostitute (Bojana Novakovic), although he doesn’t always seem to recognize the professional nature of their encounters; seeks counseling from his ex-wife (Miranda Otto); and indulges in surprisingly cordial exchanges with the enforcer (Omar Dorsey) sent to beat him up periodically for not paying his gambling debts.
Thanks to Kinnear, most of this works, although there are touches that feel a tad too precious—like the fact Ben’s severe wife (Necar Zadegan) is also a District Attorney and, as such, Deane’s frequent opponent in court. In the premiere, they joust over a serial killer (Peter Stormare) who seeks to recant his confession, while a later hour features another marquee guest star, Denis O’Hare, as a cannibal who insists the person he ate consented to such an end.
While “Rake” has initial promise, it’s one of those concepts that (like much of what Deane says) should be viewed with a degree of skepticism, since the balance of the protagonist’s shambles of a personal life and his seat-of-the-pants courtroom heroics are so delicate. The hope, clearly, is that viewers will become so enamored of the character they’ll show up primarily to spend with him (a la “House”), making the particulars and repetitive elements less important.
Fox has seemingly given the show a vote of confidence with its post-“American Idol” timeslot, but one suspects “Rake” won’t enjoy much overlap with that audience, meaning the series will probably have to sink or swim on its own. And while the cable-ish tone should garner praise, that’s hardly an assurance, as we’ve seen in the past, of the wider acceptance that broadcast shows need.
Fox has enjoyed occasional success with eccentric leads, and Keegan Deane certainly fits that profile. Indeed, even the title employs an old-fashioned term referring to a man who lives a life of debauchery.
So what sort of man (and mostly, woman) will want to watch this playboy? It’s hard to say, but if Fox loses on this dice roll, at least nobody should beat them up over it.
TV Review: “Rake”
(Series; Fox, Thurs. Jan. 23, 9 p.m.)
Filmed in Los Angeles by Fedora Entertainment and Essential Media & Entertainment in association with Sony Pictures Television.
Executive producers, Peter Duncan, Peter Tolan, Michael Wimer, Richard Roxburgh, Ian Collie, Sam Raimi; co-executive producers, Greg Kinnear, Sara Goodman, George W. Perkins; producers, Allison Abner, Grant Curtis; director, Raimi; writers, Duncan, Tolan; camera, Greg Gardiner; production designer, Bernt Capra; editors, Joel Goodman, Jonathan Posell, Howard Leder; music, Patric Caird; casting, Rebecca Mangieri, Wendy Weidman. 60 MIN.
Greg Kinnear, Miranda Otto, John Ortiz, Necar Zadegan, Bojana Novakovic, Tara Summers, David Harbour, Ian Colletti, Omar Dorsey.January 23, 2014 at 7:20 am #310164
EW’s capsule review:
In another time, Keegan Deane (Greg Kinnear, max charming) would be Don Draper, a rake who ruled. But white male privilege isn’t what it used to be. He can’t score favors or freebies from anyone, be it his bookie, his therapist ex-wife, or his hooker girlfriend. It’s all this silver-tongued itinerant lawyer can do to talk his best friends into letting him crash at their pad and keep his long-suffering secretary from quitting. An hour feels a little long for the tonally eclectic dramedy, but Kinnear is pitch-perfect, and with sharp stories, Rake can progress. B —Jeff JensenJanuary 23, 2014 at 7:40 am #310165
Review: In FOX’s “Rake,” Greg Kinnear is bad—but only to a point
A “House”-esque legal drama can’t decide how rough-edged it wants to be.
by Alan Sepinwall Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 4:00 PM
Networks used to make changes to pilot episodes all the time between when they ordered them and when they aired them, and TV critics often got to see both versions. And, by seeing what was added or removed, we could also get a sense of what the network and/or creative team wanted a particular show to be.
Often, reshoots led to improvement. The original “West Wing” pilot was so one-sided in its depiction of the religious right that it felt like piling on. (Or like a preview of Aaron Sorkin’s work on “Studio 60.”) A new scene was shot featuring Leo talking to a sensible and decent reverend that put things much more in balance, and pointed the way forward for a show that, while a liberal fantasy, at its best had fun depicting the other side as smart and passionate in its own right. When Lauren Graham replaced Maura Tierney in “Parenthood” due to Tierney’s health issues, producers didn’t just reshoot Tierney’s scenes, but added a couple of new ones, including one featuring the four Braverman siblings hanging out by themselves, which helped center the series and establish the mix of light and dark tones it uses so well. (Tierney was far and away the best part of the uneven original pilot; ironically, her exit made the whole thing much better.) Sometimes, though, shows get worse: each iteration of the “Terra Nova” pilot was blander and more dumbed-down than the one before, suggesting the people in charge had no sense of their own show’s strengths and weaknesses.
These days, production budgets are so lean that significant pilot reshoots are rare, even when they make sense. (“New Girl” didn’t simply reshoot all of Damon Wayans Jr’s scenes with Lamorne Morris taking over his role, for instance, which led to several years of complications before Wayans could finally return.) FOX’s new legal drama “Rake,” though, not only got an entirely new pilot, but several other episodes set prior to the events of the original pilot (which will air later in the first season). The first pilot was already emblematic of the struggle to do cable-style weirdness and moral ambiguity in a broadcast network context; the new pilot (it debuts tomorrow night at 9) sands off several of the edges that survived the first time.
In both versions, Greg Kinnear plays Keegan Deane, a brilliant, charismatic lawyer who’s also a self-destructive gambling addict slowly but surely ruining every healthy relationship in his life. Though it’s adapted from an Australian series of the same name—whose creator, Peter Duncan, is working on the new series, along with veteran American producers like Peter Tolan (“Rescue Me”)—it is, essentially, “House, JD,” and Kinnear has the impish charm to play this kind of character.
The original pilot tried to straddle the line between network legal procedural and something more complex, and though it didn’t entirely succeed in juggling a mix of serious and comic tones, it was at least interesting in its willingness to throw the viewer right into some deep, dark waters with Keegan Deane. The man we’re introduced to in that episode is in a lousy place, emotionally and physically, and no attempts are made to hide from that, even as Deane is cracking wise about having a cannibal for a client.
As it turns out, someone—whether FOX execs, the creative team, or both—decided they needed to hide from the darkness, at least at first.
“We found that we had an episode that had maybe an overload of not drama, I’ll say, but maybe a little sadness,” Tolan said last week at the Television Critics Association press tour, “which worked against the episode. And so we refigured it, sort of toning that down.”
In the new pilot, set earlier in time than the one that will air in a few weeks, Deane is still deeply in debt to his bookie, still bounces from office to office with the help of his frustrated secretary Leanne (Tara Summers), and still has a knack for taking cases other lawyers would never want to be associated with (in this episode, an incarcerated serial killer played by Peter Stormare). But he’s also crashing with his uptight best friend Ben (John Ortiz), Ben’s uptight wife Scarlet (Necar Zadegan), and their kids, and the wackiness level is cranked way up. Now he’s not introduced as a damaged man who lives alone and is clearly on the road to ruin, but a light-hearted bringer of chaos, who inspires Ben to plead for a little less of “your wild and crazy lifestyle” being brought into their home. The new pilot is also very brightly lit, like a single-camera sitcom; even though Sam Raimi directed both episodes, the new one visually resembles an episode of “Malcolm in the Middle” more than it does a more recent show featuring Bryan Cranston.
And if all “Rake” is aspiring to be is a quirky lawyer show that occasionally hints at darker things before leaning back on Kinnear’s gift with a deadpan one-liner—if it wants to be a show you fold laundry to, like the bulk of what USA and TNT program these days—then that’s no sin. But the original pilot—which, to be fair, is still going to air (*), and still feature certain status quo choices the show will have to live with down the road—suggests something more complicated and interesting than that.
(*) The original pilot features several scenes where what seems to be one kind of relationship for Deane turns out to be something very different. Those surprising revelations had to be duplicated for the new pilot, which means that by the time the original airs, it’ll be structured to spring info on an audience that already knows it.
If Tolan and company felt they needed to build more to what they did in that first pilot, then maybe that messier show will still exist, just a ways down the road. If, on the other hand, everybody freaked out about America’s willingness to watch that first version of the show, then their hopes for us are as high as our hopes for “Rake” should be going forward.January 23, 2014 at 8:28 am #310166
A.V. Club’s review:
Rake skates by on the charms of its star
Todd VanDerWerff • Jan 22, 2014 • 12 AM
Greg Kinnear can be very good in the right role, but he’s not a great actor. He’s less about burrowing into a character to find what makes them tick and more about projecting a soothing affability. No matter how much of an asshole a Kinnear character is, he has a tendency to get away with it because of that twinkle in his eye. The man came to fame, after all, as a television host on a program that made fun of other television, and he’s always had that air of cheeky irreverence.
Fox’s new legal drama, Rake, leans on that side of Kinnear’s persona to great effect. A remake of an Australian drama of the same name, Rake is an unabashed throwback to the pre-Tony Soprano era. Back then, TV antiheroes existed but were always undercut in some fashion: their vital service to the community, for example, or the ironic remove that let viewers know the character didn’t really mean anything they said. (For a good recent case of this, think of Hugh Laurie’s work on House, which encompassed both sides of this coin by the end of its run.) So much of this sort of antihero comes down to finding the right guy—and it’s almost always a guy—who can let the audience know he’s not actually that much of a jerk. He’s hurting somewhere deep inside, and if you just got to know him, you’d see that.
Kinnear is such a natural fit for the part of unscrupulous-but-winning lawyer Keegan Deane that it’s surprising to realize this program existed before without him (in another country no less). Though Kinnear hasn’t really been back to TV since he left Talk Soup, he’s perfect for a drama like this, able to hold the screen by motormouthing out of a jam but also capable of tossing to any other member of Rake’s talented ensemble cast. Too many television vehicles for movie stars are conceived as relentless onslaughts from the big lead, ignoring that much of TV is about building a dependable bench of supporting characters. Rake’s greatest triumph is deftly navigating these pitfalls in its early going.
The show’s sense of humor is also refreshing—in an arch, wry fashion that makes it feel less like the dour House clone it could’ve been. Kinnear helps here, but it’s possible to feel the bemused cynicism of executive producer Peter Tolan creeping through as well. Tolan’s co-creation, Rescue Me, eventually fell apart, but in its early seasons, the show was like nothing else on TV, blending the genuine tragedy of the 9/11 terrorist attacks with scabrously funny observations about the ways men behave when no women are around. Rake isn’t as rough-edged as that program, but there are elements of that complicated mixture of tones, particularly in the scenes where Keegan tries to get someone—anyone—to just kinda like him already.
Structurally, there’s nothing different or surprising about the show. Indeed, it might be a little overstuffed. Every week, Keegan takes on a new case involving some horrifying reprobate, usually to boost his own profile. And every week, he finds himself torn between doing what’s easy and doing what’s good. This formula doesn’t work if the protagonist isn’t competent at his job, and Keegan shows flashes of true brilliance in the courtroom. He’s not as much of a genius as Dr. House, but he doesn’t need to be, because so much of Rake is sustained by its tone.
It’s the rest of the program that needs rejiggering. As the center of the show, Keegan spends most episodes bouncing between various locations and characters, and there’s no sense of how the series will pull these various spheres together. Keegan goes to therapy with a character played by Miranda Otto. He goes to work (in a rotating series of offices, “donated” to him by lawyer pals) and bounces dialogue off his secretary. He goes to visit his brother (John Ortiz) and his sister-in-law (Necar Zadegan), to get a taste of the domestic life he’s eschewed. He spends time with a prostitute he mostly pays to be his friend, whom he’s clearly fallen in love with. (She’s played by Bojana Novakovic, and though both she and Kinnear are good in their scenes together, the story never shakes off the feeling of shady desperation permeating it.) If there’s supposed to be something cohesive here beyond Kinnear, it’s presently missing.
Rake appeared to be in trouble for a while: Its series premiere isn’t the original pilot, which was directed by Sam Raimi and is quite good. (That episode will air later, out of the original order.) But this isn’t the kind of show that needs its story told in absolute order to make sense, and the new first episode is good enough to suggest Tolan and creator Peter Duncan will be able to get at least a season out of the world punishing Keegan. There might not be enough here to go beyond that initial episode order, but just watching Kinnear play the sad asshole—wandering around L.A. without a car or getting beaten up due to gambling debts—keeps things rolling smoothly for now.
Created by: Peter Duncan
Starring: Greg Kinnear, Miranda Otto, John Ortiz, Necar Zadegan
Debuts: Thursday at 9 p.m. Eastern on Fox.
Format: Hour-long legal drama
Two episodes watched for review.January 23, 2014 at 8:38 am #310167
Fox’s “Rake” walks line between antihero, annoyance
Robert Bianco, USA TODAY 4:35 p.m. EST January 22, 2014
The likable Greg Kinnear plays a not-so-likable lawyer.
We may have reached the breaking point on damaged heroes.
Ever since “House” set the template for the professionally proficient but personally deficient broadcast-series lead, TV has been flooded by maturity-challenged heroes. Now into that flood steps Keegan Deane—the lawyer whose rakish irresponsibility gives the show its name—and he’s promptly swept away by it.
That isn’t the result you’d expect, given the people involved. Based on an Australian hit, “Rake” (Fox, Thursday, 9 p.m. ET/PT * * stars out of four stars) stars one of our more charming actors, Greg Kinnear, and was adapted by one of our best writers, “Rescue Me”’s Peter Tolan. But somewhere in the cultural translation, whatever made this character work in Australia has been lost. Shifted to a new hemisphere, he feels less like a person than a grab-bag collection of problems and quirks, with his flaws and skills equally exaggerated beyond tolerance.
A criminal attorney with a failing practice, Keegan is sleeping on the couch of his best friend (John Ortiz) while trying to avoid an enforcer (Omar J. Dorsey) who routinely beats him up for his failure to pay his betting debts. His girlfriend is a prostitute (Bojana Novakovic), which gives him something to talk about with his therapist (Miranda Otto), who’s also his ex-wife. And because he spends what little money he makes on gambling and prostitutes, he has none left to pay his assistant (Tara Summers, who provides some of the few moments of humor that aren’t painful).
In the premiere, he agrees to represent a convicted serial killer, assuming the trial will last two minutes and bring him a ton of free publicity, only to discover both assumptions are false. Meanwhile he’s trying to pay off his bookie by selling a sushi-grade tuna, an attempt that goes terribly and predictably wrong.
And there you have the network-series problem: With each plot complication, Keegan moves closer to that thin line that divides “damaged hero” from “annoying loser.” However willing people may be to devote their weekly time to the former, the latter remains a hard sell.
As with many such shows, “Rake” hopes to counter the drag of Keegan’s personal failures by making him supremely good at his job. But in what world would that be true? Keegan stumbles into his case, pushes it along by making a rash and irresponsible accusation, and wins it with one of those “Ah-ha!” moments that’s ludicrously random even by the standards of courtroom TV.
Kinnear is a fine and immensely likable actor, and his wry smile and way with a line keep Keegan at least minimally sympathetic. They are not, however, enough to make him either interesting or believable. And to the extent that you do believe him, you are unlikely to want to watch him be abused every week, as in an upcoming, heavily promoted bit that finds him struggling to get a tooth pulled without going to a dentist. It’s not an inappropriate dramatic choice: Watching the episode is, indeed, like pulling teeth.
Maybe things are different in Australia, but in America, that’s not a compliment.January 23, 2014 at 8:47 am #310168
Rake: Season One
by Chuck Bowen ON January 17, 2014
2½ stars (out of four stars)
At its loosest and most inventive, the generally diverting Rake often recalls the one-damn-thing-after-another eccentricity of Carl Hiaasen’s comic crime novels. The hero, Keegan Joy (Greg Kinnear), is that Hollywood specialty: the unthreateningly disheveled rascal, constantly causing trouble of no true consequence, who can always be counted on to inspire forgiveness with just a flash or two of his well-practiced smile. Keegan’s a defense attorney who desperately and cynically takes on only the most hopeless of clients because they plead guilty quickly, allowing him to move on to the next theoretically instant paycheck. And instant, we soon learn, is the only route of payment that Keegan can afford to accept, as he’s a boozer and a gambling addict who owes a dangerous amount of money to a pack of unseen gangsters who employ Roy (Omar J. Dorsey) to occasionally swing by and beat the shit out of him in an unsuccessful effort to keep Keegan on a personal payment plan.
Rake goes down easily: The pace is sprightly, the dialogue amusing, and the cast, which includes Miranda Otto and Tara Summers as Keegan’s respective ex-wife and assistant/probable Girl Friday, has a confident grasp of the intended low-key, seemingly tossed-off comic tone. Kinnear’s particularly comfortable, perhaps too comfortable, as one can’t help but associate Keegan with the parody the actor once did of such a role in Honey and the Beez, a fake television series that figured prominently in Stuck on You. That Honey and the Beez, a 15-year-old reference to a variety of outlandishly gimmicky television shows produced 20 years before it, can be so readily applied to Rake gives you an idea of its contrivance and ultimate meaninglessness. The series is timeless in the sense that it proves that certain TV clichés are so far incapable of dying.
Rake‘s toothlessness is an eventual rub, as this is a series about a man with a variety of the usual addictions who frequently commits the usual accompanying indiscretions (destroyed cars, black outs, endlessly crashing at friends’ homes), which are always shrugged off by both the law and the reliably beautiful women who simply can’t get enough of Keegan’s carefree disregard of protocol. In other words, Keegan isn’t meant to realistically reflect an addict, not really, but the fantasy that the true addict entertains as he or she tumbles further and further down the abyss: that, sure, they’re blowing their lives to holy hell, but out of a rebellion against the shackles of the Man, rather than from a pursuit of a buzz that enables them to check out from reality just a little bit longer.
Of course, Rake is a high-concept legal comedy, not a drama about addiction rehabilitation, but the point is that the laughs could occasionally stand to come from a place of actual danger, or maybe even from a less sexist sensibility that’s capable of envisioning the possibility that the women in Keegan’s life might legitimately tire of his antics. So far, Dorsey is the only cast member in sync with the darker, more interesting comedy inherent in the source material (the Australian series of the same name), as he imbues Roy with a palpable sense of submerged violence that’s rendered all the scarier for the character’s apparently authentic affection for his potential victim. Roy could’ve been a cartoon thug, but instead he’s allowed to gratifyingly embody the demons that truly threaten to carry an addict away into a realm of chaos. He gives this fun but smug series a little bite.
Cast: Greg Kinnear, Tara Summers, Omar J. Dorsey, Miranda Otta, John Ortiz, Kim Hawthorne, Jama Williamson. Airtime: Fox, Thursdays @ 9 p.m.January 23, 2014 at 8:49 am #310169
Episode Title: “Serial Killer” (Pilot)
Synopsis: When Keegan Deane agrees to enter a plea of guilty for a confessed serial killer, he gets involved in a battle between the accused and the mayor of Los Angeles; Keegan receives $15,000 of fish as payment from a client.
Guest Star: Peter Stormare
Discuss.January 23, 2014 at 10:09 am #310170
So while the show itself isn’t getting rave reviews, Greg Kinnear seems to be getting great reiews for his performance.
So is this submitting in Comedy or Drama at the Emmy’s?January 24, 2014 at 6:49 am #310171
I thought this was an okay pilot episode. I can see places where the content could have been edgier (the only time the stakes felt raised was with the black enforcer guy), and it does seem like someone at some point hedged his bets into making this series more “broadcast friendly,” and in the process diminishing the impact of what the show should have been. That’s somewhat surprising coming from the guy who co-created “Rescue Me,” but what can you do really with network intervention? Greg Kinnear was strong here. He gets the tone of the show right off the bat, which is more on USA brand than anything else. He could pretty much headline any show over there with his usual charm and wit and make a killing. I don’t know how this show is going to fare for him. He isn’t even “House”-lite to me. That goes to another level of antihero that I didn’t really get from Keegan here. This feels more “Monk”/”Suits”/”Burn Notice” in tone and execution, from the put-upon scenarios he finds himself in (the recurring bit with the tuna, being pulled over by the cops in a car that wasn’t his, the scenes with his best friend and convenient DA wife) to the ways in which he interacts with the many women in his life (the ex-wife therapist, his secretary, his prostitute girlfrlend, etc.). Peter Stormare was good as the maybe serial killer, and I can’t wait for Denis O’Hare next episode. It’s all kind of a mess really, but maybe things will streamline better in the future. Just like with most of those aforementioned USA shows, I doubt the Emmys will bite with “Rake,” even with Greg Kinnear’s Oscar pedigree, unless the writers start making Keegan more cable/premium antihero flawed stat. I’ll continue to see where they take things in the coming weeks.
Grade for “Serial Killer” (Pilot): B-