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"Pilot" of Necessary Roughness fumbles

Necessary Roughness poster

Written by : published Friday 1st July 2011

"Pilot" of Necessary Roughness fumbles main image

Please click here to watch the latest episode of Necessary Roughness online.

     Necessary Roughness, which aired its "Pilot" this past Wednesday, is USA's newst drama. The show revolves around a therapist named Dr. Dani Santino (Callie Thorne, Rescue Me, The Wire). Dani kicks out her husband, Ray (Craig Bierko, Boston Legal, Damages), after discovering he's been cheating on her with many woman. Worrying about money, she is pleased to meet a stranger in a bar named Matthew (Marc Blucas, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), who soon introduces her to a football team who wants her to work with their star player. T.K. (Mehcad Brooks, True Blood, Desperate Housewives), the player, has been having some issues. But Dani is able to fix all of those after a few mere sessions, and earns herself more work.

     Necessary Roughness does, admittedly, break the formula that USA had become mired in, as many of their newer shows do. That is the best compliment it can be paid, because other than that, the "Pilot" does not impress. Thorne herself is grating, and less than likeable. That's not an excuse for her character's husband to cheat on her, of course, as she claims to have been the "perfect wife and mother," but that self-made claim rings hollow as her husband and kids lie to her. Did she ever really have a handle on what is going on in her household? She seems to have her own set of morals and codes, which are abstract and have a shifting morality line.

     Dani's quick "miracle" with TK is much less than realistic. Considering that is the biggest premise in the first episode, it should have been handled better. Sure, it takes Dani days, maybe even a couple of weeks, to get through to TK. But she does, and now all is right with the world. It's strange that TK is a main character, since previews show Dani working with a number of other patients, mostly athletes, many of them not part of the football team. It is unknown at this time what exactly the structure of the show will be, but other than Dani, the other main characters all connected to one football organization. This makes the trailer confusing.

     Besides Dani, TK, and Matthew, Nico (Scott Cohen, Law & Order: Trail By Jury, Gilmore Girls) is the other member of the main cast. He is a guy who "takes care of things" for the football team. His mystery, which, of course, has the violent underpinnings, is what makes him interesting. And while similar characters have been done numerous times before, they've seldom been as intriguing as Cohen, who radiates the necessary "it." If Necessary Roughness is to be interesting in the long term, the greatest chance lies with focus, but not too much detail, on Nico. Audiences should be kept guessing his motivations and his actual actions, but he needs to have a hand in everything.

     Brooks also handles his part with relative ease. He is, after all, a veteran of a number of fine television shows, and knows how to capture an essence by now. Even if his plot falls a little flat, it's not to be blamed on the actor. Blucas has grown a lot since Buffy, and also is an acceptable performer, though isn't given a lot to work with. Not sure why his character puts up with Dani's no sex rule, the reasoning behind it being weak, at best. Matthew needs to grow a little backbone to rise from flat, straight, supporting, mostly silent man. Otherwise, there's not much of a reason to keep him around.

     To see if Necessary Roughness progresses anywhere after its "Pilot," tune in on USA Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. ET.

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About the author JeromeWetzelTV

JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome Wetzel is a huge fan of stories, in both books and television. He writes TV reviews and fiction. He currently posts articles for TheTVKing, Seat42F, and BlogCritics, as well as his own personal blog, as well as writing fiction. His website is www.jeromewetzel.com Follow him on twitter @JeromeWetzelTV

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