The Deep End Review: "To Have and to Hold"

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The problem with The Deep End can almost be summarized by its title: Who names a TV show after a cliche?

Through three episodes, that's all we've seen so far from every situation. Last night's episode, "To Have and to Hold" was a prime example of how the series is failing to flesh out any character in a meaningful way.

Take Dylan. What do we know about him right now? He's an idealistic, good guy. That's pretty much it. Sure, it was nice to see him assist a woman whose new husband died in battle and who was in danger of being deported as a result... but the case didn't reveal anything new about this first-year associate.

So far, The Deep End seems content to just thrust these attorneys into unusual cases and let the audience be satisfied when they come out on top. But we've seen a billion court cases on television through the years. It's far more important to establish interesting characters.

Remember when Rowdy referred to Beth as a "complex" individual in his mentoring chat with Liam? Our first thought at the time: she is? How so? We're yet to see anything from Beth aside from interactions with her one-dimensional father. The burgeoning relationship between her and Liam has potential, but isn't helped by the fact that we know so little about each.

The same goes for Rowdy. He's a quirky guy that says and does quirky things. Okay, fine. Great. He also has potential. But we need to know him a lot better to actually be entertained by his actions.

Addy and Malcom

The Addy/Malcom relationship has been built up the best so far.

Compare it to Liam and Beth, who the show is trying to shove down our throats as the main couple. Those two were already having sex on the first episode, making it difficult to root for them. Viewers need to watch a two characters get to know each other - sometimes awkwardly, other times cutely, other times in a sexual manner - in order to get behind them.

It was nice to actually get some background information on Malcom and his family, too.

The Susan situation has the same problem as everything else: we barely know this woman. Are we really supposed to get upset that she may leave the firm, especially when we know she will not?

Our other problem with The Deep End so far: everyone gets along way too well. It's impossible not to compare the show to Grey's Anatomy because it airs prior to it and is clearly trying to emulate its tone. But Grey's Anatomy slowly introduced each character, along with their friendships. We got to watch Meredith and Cristina bond over how dark and twisty they are.

This show could learn from that evolution. The first-years all recently met, yet all act like BFFs out of nowhere. Give us a look into their personal lives and give us a reason to believe why they are so tight all of a sudden. Until then, scenes such as this week's opening feel utterly contrived.

What do you think? Are we being too harsh on the show? What rating would you give this week's episode?

To Have and to Hold Review

Editor Rating: 2.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (20 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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