Fairly Legal's Sarah Shahi on Rumored Season 2 Fixes: There Are Things We Could Do Better

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Sarah Shahi was positively radiating good vibes when TVLine spoke with her mere moments after the news was officially handed down that USA Network had renewed Fairly Legal for a second season. Yet she, like some of the show’s fans, found herself at a loss to process a report that with the pick-up came a dictate for “creative changes” moving forward.

“I read about that just like everyone else, and I’m very curious to see what that means,” Shahi told me during the USA upfront presentation’s after-party. “I’m trying to pick my moments with [network co-president] Jeff Wachtel to bring that one up.”

I invited Shahi to reassure anxious the Fairly Legal fans who, in the comments on our renewal story, expressed concern over the rumored tinkering. “What I can say is that I am coming back — though I don’t know if your readers are going to be happy about that or not!” she joked.

Turning serious, she acknowledged that “there were some things in the first season we could have done better,” and with that in mind she anticipates a sophomore run that is “even more dynamic.”

“My hope is that all the good stuff will be heightened –- that the comedic stuff is even funnier, the dramatic stuff is deeper, and the storylines are stronger,” she offered. “That’s if I have anything to do with it -– and I hope I do a little bit, at least!”

One thing the actress doesn’t want to see change, though, is Kate’s delightfully quirky self.

“She is kind of a perfect mess, and I would love to see her get messier,” Shahi offered with a megawatt smile. “Season 1 ended with her getting fired, so I would love to see her swim in her own s— for a bit, then dig herself out.”

Comments (46)

  • I like the dynamic between Kate and her stepmother, and between Kate and her ex. I wouldn’t miss Leonardo or kate’s brother.

    Comment by Anna – May 4, 2011 10:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I love Leonardo, lol. I would be diappointed if he and her ex are gone.

      Comment by MDEP – May 4, 2011 11:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I love Leonardo. Agree about Kate’s brother. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind seeing Kate’s relationship with her stepmother evolve a little bit, and become slightly less adversarial, albeit grudgingly so.

      Comment by DL – May 4, 2011 12:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Leonardo is a one trick pony. He’s written without any depth and played purely for laughs. Give the actor something more to work with – and give Ethan Embry something to do. He’s so talented and yet he’s hardly in this at all. That’s a waste.

        Comment by Rowan – May 4, 2011 01:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think Leo is one of the best parts of the show… definitely want him sticking around.

      Comment by XK – May 4, 2011 01:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I thought they put way too much into the finale. It was a mess. Until then, I was really enjoying the show. I am not sure how they get back to the strong dynamic they had going post-miscarriage and firing.

    Comment by MAS – May 4, 2011 10:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Post miscarriage? She just wasn’t pregnant. She didn’t lose the baby. The test she bought at the store gave her a false positive.

      I love Leo and Justin and don’t want to see them cut. I would like to see more of the brother (obviously that is needed considering I can’t even think of his name). I like the dynamic between Lauren and Kate, although I am still disgusted that Lauren fired Kate. I took that personally. LOL Does Kate have any girlfriends? That’d be nice to see. I do agree with Sarah Shahi though, Kate is a perfect mess, and I’d hate to see the new season come back and her character being what was “tinkered” with. She’s a crazy mess and her path might be bumpy, curvy, and all up hill, but she reaches the destination she is meant to.

      Comment by Kristen – May 4, 2011 11:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I totally agree with your post… Coulden’t of said it better myself. When lauren fired kate it just made lauren more of a villen that she already is… And it made me hate her. But it definitly makes it introsting. And I do like leo , although his character needs work I would like to see them develope his character and would not see him go. I do like the love/hate(?) relationship between kate and Justin… But I think there love me , love me not relationship should continue and adventually I’d like to see them together. And I also took it personal when lauren fired Kate… Lol… And I love her personality , mess and all. Im looking forward to season 2 and what they will do with it.

        Comment by madeline – May 9, 2011 02:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree that too much was happening at once in the finale. It felt like they knew where they wanted to end up, but were surprised that they only had one more episode to get there, so they had to get through it all in the finale. As a result, I felt like some people behaved out-of-character, and a number of the developments did not make a lot of sense.

      Comment by XK – May 4, 2011 01:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Loved this show. Two things I would change: have Kate finally accept that her stepmom really loved her dad and is a very good lawyer (they shouldn’t become friends, but a grudging acceptance of those things would help) and have Kate be less rude and insensitive. I agree with Sarah, I love that Kate is such a mess — but I would prefer to see her be scatterbrained and disorganized rather than just blithely taking advantage of people who care about her and/or work with her. I like her being wildly nutty, but these facets of her character seem really childish – which don’t make any sense in someone who can also be very perceptive.

    Comment by KMG – May 4, 2011 10:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • the one thing that confuses me about the show is Leonardo. I thought he was gay, but now he’s into the sandwich girl? It really makes no sense to me.

    Comment by halley – May 4, 2011 11:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • He’s not gay, he’s just portrayed as a ‘non-macho’ comic book loving geek, (and does a great job at that). :)

      Comment by XK – May 4, 2011 01:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I agree, the show is great like it is!!!

        Comment by warpdlam – May 9, 2011 02:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I like everything about this show and am so glad it is renewed. It is my favorite show and I never missed an episode. Hope they don’t make any changes!!!!

          Comment by eb – May 9, 2011 04:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think they should get rid of the stepmother. It’s weird from them to coexist, being that they are roughly the same age and she’s her stepmother. Lauren is cold and opportunistic and not in a fun “Characters Approved” USA type of way. They could get rid of her and have another boss come in and buy the law firm. It’s not like they will ever be friends or even a type of family closeness. Unless the main character of the show is the boss, they should be seldom seen and/or heard of like PSYCH.

    Comment by bmospr04 – May 4, 2011 11:08 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m so glad Fairly Legal is coming back! This show has so much heart. I, for one, thought the season finale was fantastic and so well acted.

    I hope they don’t play with Kate and Justin’s relationship too much. They have so much chemistry, it’s ridiculous. I would love to see more of the “will they or won’t they” dynamic.

    As far as Kate and Lauren – meh. The angst would be more understandable if we knew why they hated each other. We don’t even know if Kate’s mother is dead or just out of the picture. That needs to be explored more.

    Oh, and can we have more of Ethan Embry, Gerald McRaney and Richard Dean Anderson, please?

    Comment by vjw – May 4, 2011 11:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My wife and I both thought it would be interesting if Kate were to get a job as a television mediator (ala Judge Judy).

    Comment by absherlock – May 4, 2011 11:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I love the show! This is one of the few shows I seek out to watch on TV. It would be great to see Lauren go through more rookie struggles to keep the law firm alive, only to go down the same shady road as Teddy. How about Kate joining another law firm for a while that is completely money hungry and shady, but involving Justin in some of their “skirting the law” tricks he does and Kate stumbles on this info. How about some dude coming on the scene who has it all together and appears to be getting the interest of the sandwich girl and Leo losing his nut over it and being forced to react. How about the brother of Kate becoming more relevant. What is his role at the law firm anyway? How about RDA keeping everybody out of trouble and ultimately taking the fall, again, for R&R?

      Comment by laroice – May 9, 2011 04:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I agree with KMG…would like to see Kate and Lauren, her stepmom, call a truce. They don’t have to become BFF’s but at least learn to co-exist without all the anger. I’m so happy it was renewed and can’t wait to see what happens in S2!!

    Comment by Kat – May 4, 2011 12:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I liked this show but agree with KMG that Kate often seemed more spoiled? childish than a quirky mess. Would prefer the latter. Liked all the characters, but would actually like to see MORE of Gerald McRaney (judge..?) and Richard Dean Anderson (mysterious Mr. Smith) as potential father-figures/work relationships–maybe Lauren and Smith or the judge get together…?

    Comment by 765 – May 4, 2011 12:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I liked the show well enough, but it seemed to be all over the place. She’s getting divorced but her soon-to-be-ex is basically her boyfriend. Her brother, who is also a non-practicing lawyer, is in the pilot but barely seen again. As a lawyer, I found the cases realistic enough–real life Peoples Court or Judge Judy disputes with stubborn parties–but there were throwaway lines to straighten legal issues that sounded as though they were taken directly from the legal consultant’s notes and stood out from the rest of the dialogue. In hindsight, it would have been nice to have the pilot show the family and firm dynamic before Kate gave up representing clients to be a mediator and before the senior Reed died, even if it had just been the first 15 minutes. We sort of were thrown into things, which would have worked fine dramatically for the Kate-Lauren relationship, if that had been the only secondary focus of the show beyond Kate’s life and work, but they also had the stagnant relationship with Justin and the investigation in Teddy Reed’s relationship with David Smith. Look at the way The Good Wife balanced the ongoing stories of Alicia relationship with Peter and Will and Peter’s legal troubles and political comeback with the weekly cases. There, the show’s balance and tone seem perfect, while they ongoing stories are just too clumsy on Fairly Legal. They can do much better without changing the characters and relationships by telling the ongoing stories in a better way.

    Comment by Marc – May 4, 2011 01:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I totally agree with the way you summed things up Marc. They could have scenes that go retro to show how those relationships evolved or came to be in order to give the viewer a better point of reference. Otherwise the A/B/C stories are great, the characters are great, the actors are on, everything else lines up great.

      Comment by laroice – May 9, 2011 04:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • USA probably doesn’t want to be able to time what will happen in each episode. When I could tell what was about to happen just by looking at the clock, I quit watching. Totally predictable stories each week.

    The chemistry with Kate and Lauren, Leo and Justin was great, I just want to be kept guessing as to how and when she’ll be able to resolve the issues with her clients in each episode.

    Comment by Nancy – May 4, 2011 01:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • WOW i maybe the only person who doens’t like the stepmother. No one thought she coldhearted, opportunistic and just mean? i just i’m alone with that observation

    Comment by bmospr04 – May 4, 2011 02:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree. I would rather her not be on the show, or knocked down 5 or 6 pegs. This is not how real life would work. I would think that between Kate and her brother, that they could prevent Kate from getting fired. But, if her being fired means less step mom, then I am all for it.

      Comment by Linda – May 5, 2011 06:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • You are not alone in that opinion, I have seen others who have said the same thing. The thing I would like to see is scenes that reveal more instances of why she is that way. It is not enough to have one or two scenes that show someone saying that Lauren is a rookie, but showing her in whole episodes dealing head on with the battles she has to go through, something that is ongoing.

      Also, I think Lauren is less cold-hearted than she is scared, inexperienced in running a law firm and not knowing how to get a better relationship with Kate and others without blow back because this is how people in real life react under these circumstances.

      Comment by laroice – May 9, 2011 04:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It can definitely get better. Sometimes, I just watched it because Sarah was in it.
    I’m glad some things are gonna change.

    Comment by Mayra – May 4, 2011 07:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I agree with her, I would love for Kate to maintain her usual delightfully quirky self. The first season finale opened up many possibilities to how she’d fix the huge mess she’d dug. Hope to see more excitement and dynamic, hopefully the change is for the better.

    Comment by Aiden – May 4, 2011 10:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love this show, but a lot of the time it seemed like Kate was too busy running around the city to actually do anything. It also felt like Kate got her way too often, she got in trouble but when she did it felt like she was more in time out than anything else.

    Comment by Jessie – May 5, 2011 03:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Fairly Legal is a great show. But the writers better not drop Michael Trucco. There is so much chemistry between Sarah and him. Id hate to se her with another guy!

    Comment by kar – May 6, 2011 06:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Dump the soon to be ex, and tone down Kate’s hostility towards her stopmother.

    Comment by Cyn – May 9, 2011 01:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • sarha im looking forward dear to see your seadon 3

    Comment by anthony michael palozzi – May 9, 2011 02:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My two cents…
    Firing Kate was odd and made me dislike the step-mom after you worked all season to come to some kind of terms with their relationship.
    I LOVE the tension between Kate and her Ex. They DO have great chemistry on the show and it works. Don’t “tinker” with what works. I would like to see them get together at some point but don’t rush it.
    Leonardo is fun and I like him so far. Create some depth to his character and allow him to go out with the sandwich girl or something.
    Step mom is still too stiff, proper, and mean. I liked the episode where she iced the sink and screamed in it! FINALLY, she has a heart!

    Does Kate have a brother? And what is up with the Smith guy and her dad? Do something with it or end that thread…
    Does Kate have ANY friends?

    SO GLAD IT WILL BE BACK… Fun to watch!!!

    Comment by DRay – May 9, 2011 02:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love this show and all the characters, except Lauren, but her being on the show gives it something. I was so upset when she fired Kate, but if she wasn’t on the show we would have no one to hate and we need someone to hate. lol. I hope she and her ex get back together soon!

    Comment by eva – May 9, 2011 02:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love that the show has been picked up and I’m more excited that Michael Trucco gets to stay with “this” Kate. (He was the love interest of “Kate” Beckett, on Castle) I love him, right where he’s at.

    Comment by Christine – May 9, 2011 02:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I absolutely HATED the Season Finale!!! I think it was too early in the story line to let that happen. I don’t know if I will watch this next season:(

    Comment by Barbara – May 9, 2011 02:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ditch the ex! Please! He’s a drag on Kate and serves no purpose whatsoever.

    Comment by Michael – May 9, 2011 04:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

    Comment by Nancy – May 9, 2011 09:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I hope they have more sexy scenes. Sarah is stunning.

    Comment by Rick – May 10, 2011 07:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It would be better if she was with a woman, and not that cheesy lawyer dude who don’t get her, and just tries to control her.

    Comment by Nicol Landry – May 10, 2011 07:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I would like to see them work more of the quiet little theme in the show of the wizard of oz and try to work leo,the sandwich girl,the brother,and bring back mr smith

    Comment by Karl myers – May 25, 2011 11:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Fairly Legal is Great just the way it is dont change it. One of the best shows on TV
    Law and Order being the Worst

    Comment by George – May 29, 2011 08:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Great news that show is back-when will it start?

    Comment by tut – June 2, 2011 05:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’d like to see the fast forward “around the city” segments removed so that we can have more time devoted to the storylines. We know that Kate moves around a lot – we just don’t need to be reminded at every scene change! Oh, and either tone down the stepmom or ditch her. Kate’s a mediator; surely the animosity should have been resolved by now?

    Comment by Stuart – September 4, 2011 09:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love Fairly Legal and I am looking forward to the new season. I love Kate and her on again off again relationship with Justin – serious, funny, loving, angry, understanding, best friends that havent learned how to live together yet. Fairly Legal would not be the same with a different cast. Cant wait for the new season.

    Comment by Dawn Kelly – October 26, 2011 09:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I would like to see the step mother go.

    Comment by Pat – October 28, 2011 01:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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