the defenders 320 'The Defenders' is pleasantly surprisingWe’ll be honest — we had written “The Defenders” off as a silly show that would be one of the first to be canceled. But two episodes in, we’re pleasantly surprised at how entertaining it is.

While Jerry O’Connell as Pete Kaczmarek is solid, but we are really digging Jurnee Smollett as fresh-out-of-law-school, former stripper Lisa Tyler and we especially like Jim Belushi as Nick Morelli. Belushi is amusing, but also brings some nice heart as the show’s center.

His antics in the pilot episode were a neat bit of courtroom trickeration. His taking care of the 9-year-old daughter of a woman he is defending pro bono was very sweet. We can see why this show was so popular in its premiere and have no doubt the ratings will stay up there.

Interestingly, the show was originally supposed to be a reality program about real-life Las Vegas lawyers Michael Cristalli and Marc Saggese. It evolved in to a scripted drama, but Cristalli and Saggese are on the phone with producers and writers each week, consulting on every script, while series stars Belushi and O’Connell study their every nuance to ensure their depiction of the duo is accurate.

What do you think of “The Defenders” so far?

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Photo credit: CBS

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."