Tag Archives: Made in Jersey

2012 Review: Made in Jersey

15 Oct

You’ve been waiting for it, I’ve been waiting for it, we’ve all been waiting for it.  Sure, it’s been cancelled already by the time you read this, but you weren’t going to watch it anyway, and don’t tell me you’re not the least bit curious.

Here’s the thing; Made in Jersey is bad, just like everybody could have easily anticipated, and that’s clear and pretty obvious from the get go.  Unlike 2 Broke Girls, though, it doesn’t make me angry or sad, it’s just hilariously bad and destined to fail, everyone kind of knows it, and this makes watching and reviewing it surprisingly enjoyable.  It’s lame duck television.

Let’s start out with what you have to know.  Martina Geretti is a lawyer who used to work for the Trenton DA’s office but now recently started working for a large prestigious white shoe Manhattan firm.  She gets into a mini-scuffle with a rude biker in the first two minutes of the show, letting you know that she’s got an accent, she’s got attitude to spare, and she’s a lawyer so she can threaten you when you piss her off.

Here’s what you also need to know.  She showcases her Jersey Smarts ™ several times in the episodes, which I will catalog, but basically, she gets promoted quickly into a high profile position.  Her head boss in Kyle McLaughlin, who doesn’t really do a lot.  Her next boss is some other guy who is literally constructed out of cardboard (yes, obviously not literally).  Her immediate co-worker who is slightly senior to her however, is played by Law & Order: SVU’s Stephanie March and has apparently made it her mission to be a total bitch to Martina because she’s a stupid Jersey know-nothing.  When I saw what the show was about, I thought everybody would be out to get Martina, and mock her for her Jersey ways, but it’s really just Stephanie March, although she does it often enough to count for everyone.  Basically, the rest of this review will be me listing examples of Martina using her Jersey Smarts ™ and me listing how Stephanie March is crazy mean to her.

Jersey Smarts ™ #1:  In one of the first scenes, before Martina heads to an important meeting she accidentally stains her blouse.  She quickly refashions her outfit to make herself presentable.

Jersey Smarts ™ #2:  Kyle McLaughlin brings up an important murder case in a huge meeting, noting that the police think that pliers were the murder weapon.  Martina explains that the pliers weren’t a weapon, but rather a fashion accessory for helping the girl put on tight jeans.  She’s immediately promoted for her pluck and gumption.

Her next client then, hearing her accent, thinks she must work for the lawyer, and March castigates her that Trenton isn’t New York.  Take that!

Jersey Smarts ™ #3:  When her client comes in for court with ratty hair that will make her look guilty, Martina uses her salon skills to fix it up on the fly.

March comments that Martina would be excellent at talking to some small time witnesses, because she “speaks townie.”  Burn!

Jersey Smarts ™ #4:  Martina, as a Jersey lawyer out of water at a big New York firm, understands not to judge people at first sight; the same mistake many are making about her client.

March makes a Real Housewives of New Jersey reference, in regards to Martina.  Come on, you knew it was coming at some point.

Jersey Smarts ™ #5:  Martina recognizes that possible blood on a doorknob may instead be bleach from when the defendant was changing the color of her hair, something that dawned upon her on a trip to the salon.

March shows off how out of touch she is; When talking about beauty supplies and highlights, Martina mentions how expensive and difficult to afford they can be, and March mentions that hers cost $300.

Jersey Smarts ™ #6:  Martina figures out that the defendant, a poor college scholarship girl, used the bleach to imitate “resort hair,” to pretend she had been on vacation, like a rich kid.

Oh, Martina eventually is picked by the boring lawyer to do the important cross examination and wins the admiration of the judge for her spunk and passion.  She also talks a tattoo parlor into giving a refund to her niece because, lawyer, but then gets a tattoo herself!  She’s a woman of contradictions.  Yay, New Jersey.

Will I watch it again?  No, because even if I wanted to, it’s not on anymore.  And no, it’s a bad show.  Still, I had a surprising amount of fun with this, I’m tempted to watch the second to do another write up.

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Fall 2012 Previews and Predictions: CBS

21 Sep

(In order to meld the spirit of futile sports predictions with the high stakes world of the who-will-be-cancelled-first fall television season, I’ve set up a very simple system of predictions for how long new shows will last.  Each day, I’ll (I’m aware I switched between we and I) lay out a network’s new shows scheduled to debut in the fall (reality shows not included – I’m already going to fail miserably on scripted shows, I don’t need to tackle a whole other animal) with my prediction of which of three categories it will fall into.

These categories are:

1.  Renewal – show gets renewed

2.  13+ – the show gets thirteen or more episodes, but not renewed

3.  12- – the show is cancelled before 13)

So CBS has two shows that look out and out terrible and two shows that will probably be bad, but have at least the possibility of not being terrible.  Let’s check ‘em out.

Made in Jersey – 9/28

If I had a contest where I picked the worst sounding show of the new season, it would have to be Made in Jersey.  I hate to be judgmental (I don’t actually hate it, but I admit I shouldn’t do it), but sometimes all you really need to hear is a premise, and you know all you need to know.  Made in Jersey is about a New Jersey lawyer from a stereotypical Italian family making her way at a presumably WASP-y white shoe New York law firm.  If I had to guess what would happen, it would be that her clients and coworkers are initially skeptically of her Jersey accent and unorthodox tactics, but she wins them over by showing them tricks they didn’t learn growing up in Connecticut and going to Yale.  Worse, the actress playing the main character is English, which at least led me to hope that the premise would be based on a lawyer from actually Jersey, the English island near France.  Alas, it was not to be.

Verdict:  13-  I know, I know, it’s CBS.   It’s on Friday, which is a blessing in that ratings are expected to be lower, but a curse in that people don’t really watch TV on Friday.  So people will watch it, and CBS didn’t cancel much very fast last year.  But their standards are also higher, and it really does look terrible.

Partners – 9/24

Two close friends and coworkers must deal with the strains of each other’s relationships; that’s about all we’ve got for a premise.  Well, also that they work as architects and one of them is gay.  Numb3rs star David Krumholtz plays the straight friend, who is engaged to One Tree Hill’s Sophia Bush.  Ugly Betty’s Michael Urie plays the gay friend, and Superman himself, Brandan Routh is Urie’s significant other.  It really shouldn’t be obvious from this limited amount of information that the show is going to be terrible, but in this case it is.

Verdict:  14+ Honestly, I shouldn’t let my verdict on one show necessarily impact my verdict on another, but I figured at least one of Partners or Made in Jersey, the two terrible looking shows would get cancelled quicker than the other.  I’m torn.  Made in Jersey is on Friday nights, which means most people won’t watch, but a mediocre A Gifted Man hung around almost a full year there.  Partners will have the security blankets of How I Met Your Mother and 2 Broke Girls (shivers) around it on Mondays.

Vegas – 9/25

The first of the CBS shows that may not actually be terrible necessarily.  It’s the 1960s, and Vegas is in its wild west days, before Steve Wynn and the like.  The show is portrayed as a battle of wills between the sheriff of Clark county, where Vegas is located, Ralph Lamb, played by Dennis Quaid, and a Chicago mobster who follows Horace Greeley’s advice and goes west to set up his own base of operations, Vincent Savino, played by The Shield star Michael Chiklis, looking to rebound from the extraordinary failure of No Ordinary Family.

Verdict:  Renewal – This is the show I feel like I have the worst grasp of on this channel.  How procedural vs. how serial it is, I don’t know, and even if I did know, I don’t know how much that would matter anyway.  I don’t think it will be very good and I don’t think it will be terrible, but I have no idea where in the range of kind of bad to kind of good it will be.  This is a wild shot in the dark.

Elementary – 9/27

Like modern-day adaptations of Sherlock Holmes, but unsatisfied by the mere 3 episodes a year produced of the British Sherlock and prefer it set in New York City?  You’re in luck.  Trainspotting’s Johnny Lee Miller is Holmes in this adaptation, and Lucy Liu is his (shock!) female Watson.  As a fan of Sherlock, I was naturally inclined to believe that a CBS take would be inferior, but initial reports are that the show is actually not so bad.  One difference may be in the involvement of Watson, who seems, in Elementary to be less involved in the cases and more irritated at Holmes.  I’m still skeptical but I’ll try to give it an honest chance.

Verdict:  Renewal – I think it’s a good fit for CBS.  It’s a procedural which means it’s right up CBS’s general alley, but if early reports are accurate it’s maybe a little bit better than most.  It should appeal to core CBS audience; Holmes is a hundred-year old character, but the show attempts to make Holmes new again with a twist.  I’m not crazy confident in this prediction but I do definitely think it’s the most likely renewal on the network.