Founder / Editor


Associate Editor


Assistant Editor











9 Out of 10 Critics Agree: Don't Watch NBC's "Outlaw"
September 15, 2010  | By David Bianculli

In what amounts to the first nearly unanimous vote of the 2010 fall season, nine critics here at TV WORTH WATCHING have delivered the same verdict regarding Outlaw, Jimmy Smits' new legal drama on NBC. Pending appeal, the verdict is: Don't bother. But there is ONE dissenting opinion...

As more of our resident critics keep adding their two cents (or, in some verbose cases, four), the overall picture of the 2010 fall TV season comes clearer into focus. [Another reason to check in often at the regularly updated FALL TV PREVIEW page.] The picture seems to be cloudy, with a chance of meatball TV. Not miuch is out there, this season, about which to be excited, though we opinionated folk have our share of minority opinions and stark disagreements.

But not about Outlaw, which NBC presents as a sneak preview tonight at 10 ET, and stars Smits as a rebel U.S. Supreme Court Justice who steps down to pursue justice in his own way. Here's just a taste of what our TVWW Scoobies have written about it for our fall TV wrap-up:

outlaw jimmy smits vertical.jpg

Diane Werts: "If Supreme Court justice resigning to fight crime makes the next great Jimmy Smits series, I'm thinking Manimal revival for Kiefer Sutherland."

Bill Brioux: "Always watchable Smits slums through legal lite as flawed folk hero."

Me: "Jimmy Smits has had some great TV roles, but this sure isn't one of them. Could be, in fact, his career worst. But not for long."

Eric Gould: "The question is, who finds the preposterous entertaining? Apparently, all the executives at NBC."

Diane Holloway: "Jimmy Smits and sitting Supreme Court Justices deserve so much better... and so do we."

Theresa Corgliano: "I dearly want to see Smits succeed in something in primetime; there has to be TV life after Victor Sifuentes and Bobby Simone."

Ed Martin: "Smits is obviously a man of good taste, so maybe he sees something in it that the rest of us don't. Whatever that is had better show itself fast."

Alan Pergament: "Conservatives and liberals will agree -- this is one stupid show."

Sharp-eyed readers (and at TVWW, you ALL meet that description) probably have noticed that those judgments add up to eight, not nine. So where's the missing voice of disapproval?

It's that of Tom Brinkmoeller, who wrote an entire column about how ridiculous the premise of Outlaw was -- not only in his opinion,but in the opinion of those who practice or teach the law. His report was published here Aug. 22 -- but, because Outlaw premieres today, you can read it again HERE.

Don't say you haven't been warned.

But also, don't say you haven't also been presented with a minority opinion. As I was writing this column, another of our TVWW contributors, Ed Bark, was chiming in with HIS opinion, which varies from the rest in benefiting from previewing not just one episode, but two.

So to read the opinion of the lone holdout on this jury, read Ed's latest review HERE.

Then deliver your OWN verdict. Is NBC''s Outlaw as bad as it first appears -- or, for now, is there an element of reasonable doubt?




Mark N said:

Thank you...thank you...thank you...Besides the headline making me laugh out loud, I am now settled on what I'll need to record at 10
(my dearest but seriously deluded wife has control for her Big Brother Finale)
...I am glad to have recorder free for my fave BBCAm show...The Choir.
THIS is why you guys rule, David!
[You're welcome. And thanks right back, for enjoying and trusting us. -- David B.]

Comment posted on September 15, 2010 2:38 PM

Mac said:

I was hoping 11 out of 10 critics would blast this show. The premise is so stupid, I just can't even watch. I am loving Tom Brinkmoeller's writing here. Only wish I knew about his stuff years ago.

[What a great compliment. But don't pass it on, or I'll have to double his celery. (Around here, we pay biannually... in biennials.) -- David B.]

Comment posted on September 15, 2010 4:40 PM
Leave a Comment: (No HTML, 1000 chars max)
 Name (required)
 Email (required) (will not be published)
Type in the verification word shown on the image.