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Featured TV on DVD Review: The Guardian: Season Two

September 5th, 2010

The Guardian: Season Two - Buy from Amazon

The Guardian ran for only three seasons starting in 2001 and never really found an audience. The show suffered from a number of changes in the cast, which were likely there to help save the show, but nothing helped set the show apart from the multitude of other courtroom dramas that populated the TV landscape of the day. Now several years after it ended, has it aged well?

The Show

First a brief recap of Season One, which I previously reviewed. Simon Baker stars as Nick Fallin, a high power corporate attorney whose family has been in law for a long time. In fact, he works for his father, who is a well-respected lawyer and a potential judge. At the beginning of the series, Nick had been arrested for drug possession and sentenced to 1500 hours of community service, specifically as a child advocate for the overworked Children's Legal Services department. He has difficulty balancing his job and his legal obligations, but works to redeem himself from his past mistakes and repair his relationship with his dad.

Things are starting to look up in both areas when he's involved in an incident with an unstable drug addict, Mandy Gressler, and a gun. He's in a lot of trouble, unless he can convince her to be a witness and back up her story. However, in the season one finale, that plan goes awry and she ends up in a drug induced coma and he ends up arrested, again. And this time the prosecutor is looking to pin a felony charge on him, which would mean he would have to serve both terms. He has one chance at avoiding a long jail term, prove she was high on drugs before she arrived at his place. There is a witness to this fact, her daughter Shannon (Amanda Michalka) but Shannon's Grandmother, Farrah Fawcett in an Emmy nominated guest role, is running interference. This sets up the major change for the seasons, as Shannon becomes a recurring character.

Additional plot threads that move throughout the season includes Nick Fallin first setting up a law firm of his own, and then becoming partners with his Dad, and of course he's still working off those community service hours. Meanwhile, his relationship with Lulu (Wendy Moniz) remains complicated, more so after she married at the end of season one.

That said, while there are plot threads, most episodes deal with cases that are one-shots: finding a lost sister who might be a bone marrow donor, ending parental rights of a neglectful father after one of his kids is killed, helping a former child star, etc. The cases in this season vary in how compelling they are with some highly interesting ones, but also a lot that just seem to blend together. I found that after finishing one disc and moving onto the other, by the time I've finished the second disc, I've forgotten most of the cases on the first disc. That's not a good sign. Also, the ongoing relationship driven plots between Nick and his Dad, and Nick and Lulu move far too slowly to be the driving force the show needed. I think Burton and Shannon are probably the best part of season two. There was a real chance Shannon would have been a "Cousin Oliver", but that wasn't the case.

The Extras

There are no extras on the six-disc set, nor are there play all buttons. But there are subtitles and proper chapter placements.

The Verdict

After two seasons, The Guardian remains just mediocre. It's not good enough to recommend picking up, nor is it bad enough to get worked up in complaining about it. And with a DVD release for Season Two that is devoid of extras, there is no reason for people who are not already fans of the show to check it out.

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