I am rewatching this series now. While my frustrations remain, I can sit back and marvel at what an amazing, masterful job Baker has done acting in this. I just saw that eipsode with the scene where he first tells Lulu she doesn't know him (they are babysitting the two boys with the drug addicted mom) That whole scene is - there are no words. He is so freaking good.
I got my BluRay Discs of Season 1 now, I'm going to watch them in the next time. I love this show!
Hayseed, the episode is fantastic! I love that scene with Nick and Lulu, even though I don't understand why she first says he's Teflon Man, and then she tells Nick that Brian never looks at her like Nick does and kisses him. Lulu is just strange to me!
Date: Wednesday, 20-Apr-16, 3:42 AM | Message # 199
Lulu is always strange. LOL I finished up the other day. Season 3 is really all over the place, but at least they got rid of Shannon. Never liked that story line. Anyway, I was glad they ended with Nick taking over the service. At least he developed a conscience - that arc was the only one completed though.
The writers wrote a decent end for the show. But a season 4 would have been great. There was many interesting things they could have explore with Nick and his father's characters. The conflictual relation with Lulu could've been intersting too (though irritating )
From CBSHomeEntertainment - @CBSHE on Twitter https://twitter.com/CBSHE/status/951606689299607552 When creating the role of Nick Fallin in #TheGuardian, Simon Baker looked to his favorite anti-heroes as inspiration, including William Holden, Gary Cooper, Steve McQueen and Clint Eastwood.
Date: Saturday, 10-Feb-18, 11:27 AM | Message # 208
• When creating the role of Nick Fallin in #TheGuardian, Simon Baker looked to his favorite anti-heroes as inspiration, including William Holden, Gary Cooper, Steve McQueen and Clint Eastwood. . • Michael Pressman, the director of #TheGuardian, used hand-held cameras to give portions of the show a documentary look. This was very unusual for legal shows at the time. . • The show #TheGuardian was inspired by creator David Hollander's brother, who is a child advocate lawyer. . • From hotshot lawyer to part-time child advocate… Nick Fallin's life has changed, even if he hasn't! Pre-order #TheGuardian: The Complete Series today. Source: CBS Home Entertainment - thanks to Connie (@tunneybaker)
No one ever said making a difference would be easy! Watch #SimonBaker before he was #TheMentalist.
Back around the start of the 21st century crime dramas were the biggest thing ever. There were multiple variations of the decades old series Law & Order, The Practice and soon to be Boston Legal. The genre had reached saturation point, with gritty and grimy being the name of the game. However, in 2001 a new series came out starring a baby faced Simon Baker before he became known as Patrick Jane in The Mentalist (probably his biggest claim to fame in the TV world). The three season series never really defied genre concepts, or even stood out from the pack, but it was a highly enjoyable court room drama that really felt “lighter” and more refreshing than its competitors of the day. Simon Baker and Dabney Coleman contrast against each other well, and the use of dual law worlds that Simon must undergo makes for a series that never failed to entertain.
Simon Baker is Nick Fallin, working for his father Burton (Dabney Coleman) in his Pittsburgh law firm. After being nailed for drug use and possession, Nick is forced to give up 1500 hours of community service to pay for his indiscretion. The judge decides to do something a bit different and assigns nick to the Pittsburgh Children’s Legal Services as a child advocate. A job that forces him to look outside of his own selfish designs and machinations, and delve into a world that is completely foreign to him. All while staying at his father’s firm and trying to balance a busy lawyers life at the same time.
The series acted almost like an episode of Leverage at times. And by that I mean that there are two “jobs” within each episode, rain or shine. One job is always related to his work as a high priced corporate attorney (whether that be dealing with his rocky relationship with his father, or dealing with a romantic love interest in the firm, or just another case), while the other is him having to work as a child advocate in Alvin Masterson’s beaten down little public services firm as a child advocate. Honestly, both sides of the coin are equally interesting and push the character of Nick forward evenly. The child services advocate position allows Nick to feel and open up to a softer side of his nature that wasn’t prevalent (even though he wants to think of himself as completely devoid of emotion and caring for the plebeians), and the corporate side of the equation furthers the sub plot of gaining an ACTUAL relationship with his workaholic father.
The series is naturally episodic at hear, with small serialized elements (such as him and his father’s relationship), but those episodic elements of the show make it so much easier to watch as a night time watch. There’s only loose threads that tie each episode together, and like Bones or countless other dramas, you can watch an episode without worried about being sucked into a 9 part arc that requires you to see every single 44 minute chunk consecutively to understand what is going on. As such, it’s a bit of a lighter affair than many, and the sweet nature of child advocate cases keep the series from becoming as depressing or dark as, say, Law & Order.
Season one has Nick just starting out on his adventures withing the Children’s Legal Services run, but it snowballs from there. He develops a love interest named Lulu (Wend Moniz) part way through the season, and things get a little tense when Nick and Burton’s relationship is strained even further with Nick’s desire to move up the corporate ladder faster than his father thinks is wise. The 2nd season changes things up a bit with Nick and Burton going in together to create their own firm of Fallin and Fallin, but still, things largely remain the same. The same goes for the third season, which continues the simple concept of dual case loads, but really doesn’t introduce anything new to the idea. A move which may not seem enormously risky, but it kept the light and enjoyable nature of the series all the way up until the final episode.
DVD Extras: • CBS Series Launch Promos
Final Score: 3.5 stars
The Guardian is a show that is both soft and sweet, yet intriguing and brutal at the same time. Simon Baker does a wonderful job at playing the cold hearted lawyer with a heart, and the show’s episodic nature makes for a very laid back viewing experience. The show started out strongly, and manages to keep that same momentum up for all three seasons. Paramount’s re-release of the series uses the exact same discs as the individual seasons released some six or seven years ago, but just housed in the typical giant “clamshell” case that Paramount has been using for all of their TV show re-releases the last couple of years. For fans who already have the previous set (or individual seasons) there is no need to “upgrade” (unless you want the space savings), but for those who haven’t purchased the series, the entire box set is only $34 right now, which makes it a very painless way to introduce yourself to a very solid court room drama.
Plot: Nick Fallin (Simon Baker) is a legal legacy, the son of high powered attorney Burton Fallin (Dabney Coleman), so he seemed destined for success and as expected, he would rise through the ranks in the field. Nick had the world in his hands, but a drug charge would force him to watch as much of what he had built would slide right through his fingers. Although he was given a lenient sentence, he does have to perform over a thousand hours of community service and his legal skills will be put to use as a child advocate. His old world of big money, fast paced legal work was quite different from the trenches he serves in now, representing clients for an advocacy firm run by Alvin (Alan Rosenberg), but Nick settles in to make a difference. Will this new role help guide Nick to a lifestyle of more substance and helping those in need, or will he return to his hotshot ways once his hours have elapsed?
Entertainment Value: The premise here is a familiar one, as a rich, powerful person is forced to see how the other half lives and in the process, hopefully learn to be a better person. But The Guardian never feels like a retread and in truth, is one of the better legal dramas from its broadcast cycle. The show has Nick in the middle of two legal worlds, the cutthroat corporate law firm run by his father and the hard hitting child advocacy firm he is sentenced to assist at. If you think legal shows with one case have a brisk pace, imagine Nick darting between cases and investigations for two different firms, it can be a little much at times. I think The Guardian balances those elements well however, as in most episodes, it results in a quicker pace and less filler, but still ample time to explore the cases involved. The show does lean on having children’s cases a lot, as this elicits more of an emotional reaction than typical cases seen on similar shows, but that is to be expected. After all, if we want Nick to have his heartstrings tugged a little, we have to expect the same to happen with us.
The lead here is Simon Baker and he is more than capable, though he handles the hotshot side better than the sensitive advocate side. But that makes sense with this role, as he has focused on himself on success more than anything else, so he likely won’t do a full turnaround that fast. His past is explored a little, but you can tell from his time around his father how he was brought up, so yes he is on the cold side, but it is easy to see why that is. He has all the charm and presence to pull off the slick, high powered lawyer role and it is interesting to see how Nick develops over the series, so solid work from Baker here. Dabney Coleman is a lot of fun as well, in an abrasive, but humorous role as Nick’s father, another bottom line driven lawyer. He is a consistent presence on the show as well, appearing in all the episodes, so that father/son relationship is given some focus at times. The cast also includes Raphael Sbarg, Wendy Moniz, and Alan Rosenberg in prominent roles, with other supporting players rotating in and out over the course of the series. I think The Guardian is a terrific legal drama and for fans of the genre, is more than binge-worthy stuff.