TV Review - Made in Jersey

Janet Montgomery stars as Martina Garratti, a young lawyer from the Trenton District Attorney's office who is now a first year associate at a big Manhattan law firm called Stark & Rowan. Basically, it's the same setup as The Good Wife, but without the interesting back story. Martina is made third-chair on a murder case where a college student is accused of killing her professor. I don't remember what the first case was on The Good Wife, but the premise and inherent drama of it made that first episode way more compelling than this. Made in Jersey isn't compelling. It thinks it's cute because Martina has a Jersey accent and other characters make jokes about Bravo reality shows, but it's just a Law & Order episode with better lighting. Stephanie March's appearance on the show hammers that point home.

I had flashes of Marissa Tomei from My Cousin Vinny (1992) while watching this. Montgomery's character has guff and spunk, but still doesn't stand against Tomei. Whereas The Good Wife lent itself to great supporting characters, the surrounding persons in Made in Jersey are bland and one-note. They might stand out in later episodes but no one in the pilot grabbed me. This is surprising because Pablo Schrieber and Kyle MacLachlan are both present here. Schrieber stood out on his very first appearance on last year's TV series A Gifted Man, which was essentially replaced with this one. Schrieber was distant and unique in A Gifted Man and you lock onto him instantly. Here, Schrieber is so forgettable.

It's probably a given though that Schrieber will be a love-interest for Montgomery. It's only a shame that writer Dana Calvo made her protagonist so uninteresting. At one point, Martina gets a tattoo and if that's the best that Calvo can concoct, I won't be watching much more.

Two Stars out of Five.
Rated TV-PG-D.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Airs Fridays at 9PM on CBS.


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