When nothing seems to go right in Keegan Deane's life, it might seem like a burden to watch, but Emmy winner Greg Kinnear's performance makes FOX's new series Rake
Keegan is a criminal lawyer with a complicated life that seems to all come undone in the pilot.
There's his professional life: He has kind of a dump of an office with an assistant who he'd be lost without. He takes on a case of a serial killer who may/may not be a serial killer. This case is the weak point of the episode, and if this is what they come up with for the series premiere, it doesn't exactly bode well for the rest of the series.
The case sometimes has to take a backseat to his personal life, filled with people demanding his attention -- or money -- directly related to his many vices. His efforts to make things right are in vain, and you feel sorry for the guy.
For example, his bookie is after him for his overdue gambling debts, so he plays poker with his lawyer buddies. When he wins, he rightly believes he'll have the money to cough up. But if only he actually got his winnings.
The wife of his best friend is also on Keegan's case for passing out drunk -- and bringing a woman -- to her house. Later in the episode, you'll find out why the wife is important to Keegan's life.
There are many strong women in Keegan's life like the aforementioned assistant and his friend's wife. Throw in a woman he seems to have feelings for whose side job you'll have to watch to find out and his therapist who also has a past relationship with Keegan (also watch to find out) and you've got many women wanting different things from him.
Oh, and his car? Totaled by the LAPD for retribution regarding the serial killer case.
Feeling sorry for him yet?
A lot of plot and backstory is thrown in the premiere FOX's Rake, which is based on an Australian series.
It demands a lot from Kinnear in his role, but he plays it quite well and it's -- well, he is -- entertaining. He straddles the line of feeling sorry for Keegan but not getting annoyed by it because he truly wants to do the right thing. You feel as though his fortune will turn around soon but know deep down that he'll probably find a way to screw it up again.
The challenge for the series will be to incorporate an interesting case every week and finding somewhat of a balance between telling Keegan's professional life to his personal life. The writers will need to incorporate the supporting characters rather than making it feel like Keegan has a bunch people to see and deal with on top of doing his job.
For now, Kinnear's eccentric character will carry this series. But for how long?
Rake airs Thursdays at 9pm on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)