Did Greg Kinnear's Fox Dramedy Rake You In?

greg-kinnear-rake325In the new Fox dramedy Rake, which bowed Thursday night (9/8c), Greg Kinnear plays Keegan Deane, a brilliant but manipulative criminal defense attorney who can’t seem to stop drinking, gambling or hiring prostitutes. But were Deane’s antics enough to warrant a retrial from you?

Before you vote in the poll below, a brief recap. When we first meet Deane, he’s getting his face bashed into a bathroom wall. It turns out, the conniving attorney owes $15,000 in gambling debt and his fellow player wants him to pay up. After getting his face nice and bloody, Deane’s assailant asks him, “Where is your dignity?” Surely it’s in the courtroom, right?

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Perhaps.  In the show’s first case, we meet Jack Tarrant (guest star Peter Stormare, Phineas and Ferb) a serial killer said to have killed nine people. The case seems all but closed until Tarrant accuses Los Angeles Chief of Police Bernie Michaels (guest star Bill Smitrovich, The Event) of writing his confessionals. Deane looks into it and it turns out – thanks to the police chief’s terrible grammar — the convicted killer is right! Moral of the story? Terrible grammar will get you nowhere in life.

Outside of the courtroom, we discover Deane’s life is kind of a mess. When assistant Leanne (Tara Summers, Ringer) isn’t fixing everything for him, Deane’s crashing on his best friend Ben’s (Luck‘s John Ortiz) couch or getting therapy from his seemingly seductive ex-wife Maddy (Miranda Otto, War of the Worlds). To complicate things further, Deane has googly eyes for a prostitute (Bojana Novakovic, Edge of Darkness). And his teenage son (Ian Colletti, Phoebe in Wonderland) may be following his father’s lead. Rut-roh.

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While he is no Walter White, Kinnear makes for a compelling antihero who knows how to deliver a zingy one-liner. But what will set him a part from all the other, better antiheroes we’ve seen grace the small screen? As Rake continues, we’ll be interested to see how the show balances its wacky humor with its darker storylines.

But enough about what we thought; let’s hear what you have to say. (We promise we won’t hold you under oath.) Grade the new series via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice.

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55 Comments
  1. Tran 2.0 says:

    I give my grade of RAKE a C. Don’t know how the rest of this Greg Kinnear led series is going to fare.

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    • mike dibi says:

      This could be a great series but it dosent really show hes a good lawyer,who wants to see him get beat up every series ,and he owes a booky and a loan shark ? come on all your doing is paying loan shark and a collector whos a friend and knocks him around series after series, corny, corny,corny you mean to tell writers cant do a better job than that ,I wish I had there job ! You could have some great court cases that no one else could win and still having him pay his debts to wacky characters and then a relationship with a stripper ,a good looking attorney who probably has a hard time getting a date,yea rite BE REAL WILL YOU people deserve much better.

    • Bo says:

      My comments are for series in general.
      First let me say, I do not blame Greg,( I think his acting is first rate) but the writers and creators of this show. His character is so shallow and it seems one dimensional. Definitely a great lawyer, and probably somewhat of a genius. But as a person, he is despicable. There is not one thing good about him! Even when you have him thank someone, he turns around and acts like a complete ass. I have been watching, because I think it is a great premise for a show, and hoping to see him act somewhat human at times. But so far that is not the case. And it does not seem the folks producing this show, want it to succeed.
      But give the guy some character! No one is that bad. Unless he is a complete sociopath. He has not one redeeming quality, that I can see so far.
      I won’t be watching anymore. Its too disheartening to see. What was funny at first glance has become boring, and predictable.
      Sorry Greg. I hope your next project is better. You play this amoral, despicable, self serving ass guy perfectly. But if thats all the guy is…….who wants to keep watching. Get some different writers!

  2. Jake says:

    I found it incredibly annoying because it’s too much bad luck or rather situational problems that are created because of his character. I love kinnear

    • Sara says:

      OT…I haven’t seen it but your description is exactly how I feel about Curb Your Enthusiasm. I love it in small doses & it’s one of my favourite comedies, but can’t bear to watch more than 2 episodes at a time…weird. I could marathon Frasier or Seinfeld all day

      • Britta Unfiltered says:

        I love Curb Your Enthusiasm, but I’m still not caught up on the whole thing yet because I can only take it small doses too…spaced out very far apart.

  3. Lily says:

    If it bowed Thursday..that’s today. It’s not time for it on the west coast yet.

  4. JSG5 says:

    It wasn’t very good as I expected. The trailer didn’t do it any favors and unfortunately for the show, the pilot was just as bad as it was shown to be. Better luck next time, Fox.

  5. Zach says:

    I loved it, as do most critics. Kin near was great. I’m a sucker for Peter Tolan’s brand of humor.

    • Babygate says:

      The thing about critics is that they are often out of step with the mainstream public. The may think that those that do not embrace this kind of humor are just the unsophisticated hoi polloi, but honestly, most people watching tv shows are not looking for interpretive art, which is subjective, they just want feel-good entertainment and, sad to say, Rake is everything but…

      • Jason says:

        “they just want feel-good entertainment”

        which is usually total garbage thanks for playing

        • catelyn says:

          I love when people post pretentious response like this. Somehow, I had forgotten feel-good entertaiment must be garbage and if you don’t like shows like Mad men, clearly something must be wrong with you. lol please….

      • Britta Unfiltered says:

        I know the common belief is that critics are snobs who think they are better than the general public, but I don’t think that’s true. I think critics, and maybe people who think like critics, just want to be challenged by the things they watch. They spend so much time watching TV shows that it gets boring and predictable when you can see all the jokes and plot points coming from a mile away. Things that are mainstream usually have pretty lazy writing because most people don’t want to think or be challenged with a character study or complex issues of morality. So the writers take the easy way out. Even Chuck Lorre has come out and admitted very recently that 2 1/2 Men, a show with very high ratings, is total crap. You hit it on the nose when you said most people just want feel-good entertainment. And networks are only too happy to provide that.

    • JC says:

      Which critics loved it? I’m just curious. Matt Roush at TVGuide trashed it, and Maureen Ryan at Huffington Post wasn’t enthusiastic about it either. In fact, when I did a google search for reviews, none of the reviews I found could be described as “loving it.”

  6. kirads09 says:

    I enjoyed it. I think with strong enough storylines, Kinnear’s charm will win over. Help me out please people – who played the Mayor (of LA?) at the end? The one who told him to expect reciprocity?

  7. JulieAnn says:

    Poor man’s House, but without House’s brilliant intellect.

    • And without the brilliant writing of DShore and staff. I watched one half of one episode. Within a three minute period three people told Rake how he is afraid of commitment and so has no relationships. That is anvil writing. Don’t take the time to SHOW what a character is all about, just keep hitting the audience over the head with it. Or maybe the writers just don’t have the talent to do it any other way. Sad, Reilly is really making Fox into a dumping ground. Not sure even the return of Jack Bauer can help.

  8. Rake says:

    PILOTS tend to have typical pilot problems.

    So I’ll make my judgements on Episode 2!

    However Not bad, it’s definitely a Legal Dramedy! But not bad.

  9. Babygate says:

    This was a disaster. There have been plenty of shows that I have found disappointing but I don’t recall ever grading one an F. At the end I felt like I was actually smelling that doggone fish, it stunk that much. And that’s a shame because I adore Greg Kinnear from his early days on television. But wow… I think that the producers missed the part where people watch a show to escape reality for a bit. Sure you expect drama and bad luck but the expectation is that at the end of the hour you will have a resolution. And he’s an unrepentant jerk to boot. He’s an overgrown adolescent who still thinks his antics are cute. And, this man is a walking magnet for all kinds of misfortunes and mishaps. Not one thing worked out for this guy, which in hindsight may be an unintended prophecy for this ill-conceived show. Too bad, I was hoping it would he good.

    • This is your second post trashing the pilot. What’s your agenda?

    • luxlamf says:

      I agree, this was a horrible show from start to finish (well when I finished watching it anyways which was 35 minutes in I think) The fish plot was so predictable that I turned it off after the 2nd attempt at humor with it with him dragging the cooler down the steps. From your comment I see it went the way I assumed it would (as anyone would so why bother writing it in the 1st place and putting it on TV I wonder?) Too bad I like this Kinnear fella and cannot see this one going much longer.

  10. Et al. says:

    Just curious, is this show comedy, drama, or dramedy? The headline calls it a comedy and the recap calls it a drama.

  11. prish says:

    My husband and I were put off by its futility. The producers need to study why Rockford Files worked.

    • Rowan77 says:

      ooh. Apples and Oranges. Rockford wasn’t a rake (look up the word. It doesn’t fit him at all.) Jim Rockford was poor and smart, but he wasn’t abrasive (nor was he an attorney). He was completely likable, worked hard, when he was working, was never into get rich quick schemes and certainly wasn’t addicted to gambling or anything else. He was close to his dad, loved fishing and did the right thing because it was the right thing to do. Yes he was put upon and had some bad luck each episode, but the similarity ends there,

    • Fox was advertising this show with the line “from the network that brought you House” so I guess that was the comparison they wanted. And if that’s the case…. well as House would say “YOU IDIOTS”

  12. Ally Oop says:

    I didn’t bother tuning in. Nothing about this show interested me and the premise seemed so cliched and boring. My guess is, many people agreed with me and the ratings tomorrow will be subpar. My guess is 1.3 in the demo.

  13. Liz says:

    The pilot they released made it out to be one of the least appealing shows I’ve ever had to watch a trailer for. And I LIKE Kinnear quite a bit.

  14. WylieCoyote says:

    Watched it for GK and waited for his “rake” to show up. Have seen more womanizing on cable, which is where this show belongs. I give it one season. Will take a long time to shed its dead fish smell.

    • Isobel says:

      In the original Australian version he’s much more or a loser, also this version seems to be filmed very brightly. I guess it might be because it’s a network show but it doesn’t really work with the idea that he destroys everyone’s life he touches and his own life is in a hole

      • Les says:

        U nailed it. The original Ausdie version seemed to have been written for the lead who absolutely owned the part.

        The dripping sarcasm was much more bitter in the orig than we have seen in this trailer.

        I like Gk and can only hope he pushes the character harder than we saw tonight.

  15. ABC1FAN says:

    I don’t have cable so I couldn’t catch the premiere, but The Australian version is really good!!! It’s some of the wittiest and edgy writing I’ve seen. I would imagine that the vocabulary would need to be adjusted for American audiences, which may hinder the show’s eloquent appeal.

  16. Isobel says:

    The Australian version is great, I’d agree with ABC1FAN that the changes for the American market made it really boring.

    • Jane says:

      I love the Australian version but I am in agreement that the version was a little boring. Greg Kinners “Keegan” was just a little bland compared to Richard Roxburgh “Cleaver Greene”, I think like a lot of Australian shows changed for the US it has been a little bit lost in translation. It will be interesting to see how episode 2 goes.

  17. J.Norman says:

    Well, this character certainly has some abilities that rival imagination. And who knew ukntil watching this episode that so much can be done in one day – especially with our court system.

    Let’s see, in one day he managed to have enough time to (in approximate order)

    1) Somehow get hauled off to the police station with a carload of kids (who he couldn’t document were his).

    2) Somehow get to his office to pick up a fish and have to deliver it what – 30 miles away.

    3) Go to his ex wife’s house for a therapy session.

    4) Take his son out for a driving lesson and have the car rear ended.

    5) Have to walk back from the accident while hauling a good size cooler with a 80 lbs fish inside it.

    6) Have his assistant take him to the first potential buyer of the fish and haggle there for a while.

    7) Go to the courthouse and represent the client.

    8) Spend some amount of time in Judges chambers over clients last minute change of plea.

    9) Go back to the jailhouse and interview the client again

    10) Somehow – magically, I might add – having a Police captain hauled off the witness stand in disgrace based upon a claim that his client made.

    11) Going outside the courthouse while hauling the fish away.

    12) Somehow get over to the Police impound yard to attempt to pick up his car.

    12) Somehow gaining access to and being able to read and carefully analyze 9 confessions against court records to determine that the documents were indeed dictated

    11) Finding the means again to get over to his hooker girlfriends apartment (in his defense
    he was late)

    13) Back to the city hall to hear the Major denounce the the formerly decorated Captain

    Who ever knew that the court system can work this fast.

    14) Get back over to his office (still with the fish)

    15) Get back to his buddys house (How? )

    16) Cut up and prepare the (still partially frozen) fish for a barbeque

    17) Convince an enforcer not to hurt him because he had some tuna fillets.

    Again, the order is not exact, but the idea is the same. How many hours are we supposed to beleive that there are in a day??

  18. tardis repairman says:

    The problem, as I see it, is evidenced by the headline and then the first line of the article. You call the show a comedy in your headline then ask if we liked the drama. Hello? That was the same disconnect I had.

  19. bobbie says:

    I’m a sucker for legal shows. This one is crap.

  20. jj says:

    No. I couldn’t even sit through the promo clip.

  21. There is a reason some pilots don’t make it to air. This seems like a good example. I mean some of the best shows ever usually take a season or two to get really good, and mega hits out of the gate seem rather rare. That said wasn’t feeling this one. I mean I wanna like everything Greg Kinnear does but that’s an uphill battle already and I’d rather that steep slope even out a bit.

  22. Dave B says:

    This show confirms that, despite certain advantages, lawyers can be stupid pieces of trash. Even from the shallow American guy halfwit perspective, ignoring the incredibly hot airhead that he picked up in a bar, while paying $500 to only almost have sex with a hooker, makes this guy a complete loser. American women will crawl on their bellies for this type of trash but audiences also need to see some kind of redemption at the end of episodes. Even football fans will get tired of this character’s stupidity and casual criminality.

  23. Diane Smith says:

    Love Kinnear but dislike his character on this show. Probably will not watch again.

  24. Will says:

    I read online somewhere that the episodes are airing out of order, and that the pilot was thought to be too dark so they aired a different episode instead. Can anyone confirm if this is accurate or not?

    That being said, I wanted to like it a lot but felt it was just “ok.” I’m willing to tune in again to see if it gets better simply because Greg Kinnear is great to watch. (Unlike HBO’s Looking where the pilot was so mundane I have no need to watch again). But with scoring a 1.7 in the demo I’m wondering if I should even bother investing my time at all…

  25. ChuckMeForever says:

    What a horrible show…

  26. Sue S. says:

    The commercial starts out, “From the network that brought you House…” and in a review says, “TV’s next bad boy.” I love Greg Kinnear, and went into this show with an open mind. But this show is definitely not House. It started out by jamming down your throat that his character has vices, a lot of them, to the point that he was very unsympathetic before I ever saw him do anything remotely lawyerly. Don’t try to imitate House by giving us this. Here’s an idea…forget Rake and bring back House instead!

  27. Ellie says:

    No, this show isn’t House. I’ve seen most of the episodes of the Australian version and I think this is following pretty close to the original. I didn’t care much for the first episode of that series either but by the third episode I was absolutely hooked. Stick with it and if they continue to follow the Australian episodes, things will happen in Keegan’s life as well as in the lives of his family and friends that will make this much more interesting. Also, his cases get kind of ‘strange’ and his tactics to get his clients off should make you laugh out loud.

  28. georgia says:

    This show is based on an Australian TV show of the same name, and its Australian counterpart is o so much better. Yes, Rake is in your face and over the top but in the Australian version, his character is loveable and nuanced. I do not rate the US version at all, even with Greg.

  29. Vicki Spatz says:

    Love the show and gregg Kinnear!! I know they said from makers of “house” they didn’t say it would be just like it. Please give show a try. My husband and I bought all of the episodes already. We absolutely love it!!comment by vicki spatz

  30. Teddy Lee Szabo says:

    I loved this series. Rake is misunderstood.He is a loveable character and what a character.It was entertaining and made me laugh. I hope this show stays on. Greg Kinear is so believable.What a great actor.I just love him.

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