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Raising the Bar: Season 1
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Bonus Features Include: Roundtable with cast, bloopers, deleted scenes
It’s familiar stuff, which is both a strength and a weakness. For fans of producer Stephen Bochco (creator of Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, NYPD Blue, and much more), Raising the Bar will work like comfort food. Each case unfolds capably, with thorny moral conflicts and compromising private interests, complicated by human weakness and bureaucratic callousness. Maybe too capably; the gears spin so smoothly it’s hard to get emotional traction with the characters, whose personalities seem secondhand from other legal shows. Entertaining histrionic cross-examinations abound, as do wild case-saving coincidences and compassionate looks between lawyers and defendants. The 10-episode collection of Raising the Bar: The Complete First Season also has an engaging featurette focused on the show’s other co-creator, David Feige, a real-life public defender whose experiences are the series’ inspiration. Feige's genuine enthusiasm and engagement may inspire viewers to give the show a chance. --Bret Fetzer
Stills from Raising the Bar: The Complete First Season (Click for larger image)
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Top Customer Reviews
So why did I stop after the first DVD? Part of the reason has to do with the fact that there is only one judge 99% of the time, and this show is not set in some small town where that would actually happen. Raising The Bar is supposed to take place in Manhattan where an actual public defender would have cases in front of dozens of judges.
But more importantly, the break from reality is too complete for me. All the defendants are sympathetic. Every single last one. They are either outright innocent or they had such a good reason for doing what they did that you can't help but root for their side. It's an insult to the watcher's intelligence. Part of the allure of law shows for me is the nuance - this show has no shades of grey. To make matters worse, the prosecutors pull ridiculous stunts to cheat their way to putting innocent people in prison, and the police officers are portrayed as snarling monsters who could have easily been cast for the Sopranos. Watching this show became painful.
If you want to watch a show that's a lot like this one - except that it's actually done right, watch Conviction created by Dick Wolf. The lawyers are just as attractive (one is even the same as in Raising The Bar!) but it's a lot more interesting, nuanced and believable.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"Raising the Bar" continues to raise the bar with its quality of characters and story lines with each episode. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Karen Brook
Another good courtroom and interpersonal relations story telling series.Published 5 months ago by A Nony Mous
Engaging stories about criminal defendants and the lawyers defending them. The series presents attorneys on both sides of the case with the defense receiving more sympathetic view. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Sherry Bell
Very likeable set of characters. Good legal action, very entertaining side action, great actors, interesting romance. What's not to like?Published 7 months ago by Elias Aractingi
This is a well written series with excellent acting. It is a shame there are only two seasons.Published 9 months ago by Dr. O.