Jonny Lee Miller plays legal hotshot Eli Stone – a lawyer in a San Francisco firm who, following the development of a brain aneurysm, has an epiphany and decides he’ll now take the side of the underdog rather than the huge firms he’d been representing. This was a hugely likeable opener for a series, with funny, interesting characters albeit dealing with a fairly bog-standard storyline. There was a fair slice of schmaltz served up though, so there is a small warning bell sounding…
What was good about it?
• Jonny Lee Miller was great as Eli. The Scottish actor has nailed the accent and plays the bewildered schmo who’s suffering from hallucinations very convincingly.
• Loretta Devine as Eli’s sassy PA Patti was a bit of a stereotype but no less entertaining for all that. Her vocal disapproval of Eli’s engagement to Taylor was a highlight. As was her means of securing some vital legal evidence in the drugs case from her counterpart at the drugs company, “I leant her my tampons when she ran out.” As Eli says, “First of all, Eeeyoow. Secondly, I can’t use this…!”
• Natasha Henstridge as Eli’s fiancée, Taylor. Despite piling on a few pounds since her Species days. she’s still very easy on the eye… And having her father be the boss of Eli’s firm offers up lots of comic potential.
• We loved it when Eli turned up at his old college girlfriend’s house and, on seeing her autistic son, asked “Am I? I’m not (the father)?” “Yeah. I was pregnant for 8 years…” she deadpans.
What was bad about it?
• There was a lot of pre-publicity about this show focusing on George Michael’s role in Eli’s hallucinations. After George’s successful cameo in the Extras Christmas special, we were interested to see what he’d do with a larger role. Sadly, his role was limited to him singing Faith on Eli’s coffee table and the foyer of his offices. Very disappointing. Hopefully his role will expand in later episodes.
• We were hoping that there were be a nice little twist at the end of the autism case, but sadly it followed the pattern of umpteen ‘Movies of the Week’, with Eli winning the day after getting the drug company’s CEO to admit he’d not given their drugs to his own child. They even had the previously uncommunicative little boy waving to Eli as they left the courthouse.