TV Review - Notorious (2016)

This series is filling the time-slot of Scandal on ABC. Because its star Kerry Washington is on maternity leave, Scandal was pushed from fall 2016 to the winter of 2017 or possibly the spring. This series is supposed to keep the time-slot warm until Scandal returns. This series is very much in the vein of Scandal, or in the format of Scandal. Boil down Scandal and you have a woman and a man in powerful positions who perhaps have a romantic connection but who mainly use each other to advance their goals. Instead of a crisis manager and the President of the United States, here we have a TV producer and a celebrity lawyer.

Piper Perabo (Coyote Ugly and Covert Affairs) stars as Julia George, the show-runner on Louise Herrick Live on World Cable News, or WCN. It's hosted by Louise Herrick, a hybrid of Megyn Kelly and Nancy Grace, but way more of a diva. Julia seems to indulge in tabloid journalism and gotcha journalism. She's fueled by the fact that her boyfriend who is a federal judge got caught hiring prostitutes.

Daniel Sunjata (Rescue Me and Graceland) co-stars as Jake Gregorian, a defense attorney who seems to run his own practice, a very successful practice, along with his brother Bradley, played by J. August Richards (Angel and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). Jake and Bradley look nothing alike, but we just accept that they are related. Jake is the king of spin and media manipulation. In fact, manipulation is his key tactic to winning or settling his cases.

He's not above doing illegal things like blackmail. In that regard, he's not unlike Viola Davis' character in How To Get Away With Murder, which airs after this series. If you're keeping with the Scandal comparison though, Jake Gregorian isn't like Jake Ballard in Scandal. Jake Gregorian is more like Fitz Grant, as played by Tony Goldwyn.

Julia George by default would be Kerry Washington's Olivia Pope, but not really. Julia is more a watered-down version of Olivia Pope. It's almost as if Olivia Pope were divided in half. Half of her went into Julia George and the other half went into Jake Gregorian, which is probably why the romantic connection is toned down here. Julia and Jake seem like friends, and both twist the media and legal system until they bend to their needs.

The first case, which becomes a case continued in subsequent episodes, involves Jake's friend Oscar Heaton, played by Kevin Zegers (Gossip Girl and Gracepoint). Oscar is under suspicion of murder. What Oscar doesn't know is that Jake had sex with Oscar's wife, Sarah, played by Dilshad Vadsaria (Greek and Revenge). Sarah then ends up dead. The mystery is then who killed her. As such, it will test the relationships of everyone, particularly Jake and Julia.

In the meantime, the series will have some sexy, soap opera fun. Louise Herrick, played by Kate Jennings Grant, is not only a diva. She's also a cougar. She's horny as Hell and always has a hot, young guy in her office or dressing room, or on her arm at one point or another. Ryan Mills, played by Ryan Guzman (Pretty Little Liars and Heroes Reborn), is the son of the head of the network. He's a hot, young guy for whom Louise has designs, yet he's gung-ho about studying under Julia and becoming as cutthroat a producer, if not more so. As far as Gladiators go, Ryan is like a male version of Quinn or Abby.

Five Stars out of Five.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Thursdays at 9PM on ABC.


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