Monday, December 29, 2008

Eli Stone - Season One

My friend Stevie RAVED about this new series and was kind enough to lend me her DVD set for Season One. I must say, I wasn't all that enthralled about the concept of a visionary lawyer cum prophet. I mean, don't we have enough quirky law dramedies on TV?

Turns out Ms. Stevie was right--as usual. Although it took me awhile to get hooked into series, I found it quite enjoyable with just the right amount of quirk and kitsch to balance out the serious drama.

Jonny Lee Miller plays the formerly ruthless attorney inspired to walk another path when a brain aneurysm causes him to see visions. Or is it hallucinations? Whether it's a tidal wave or kamikaze airplane or George Michael playing the guitar and singing on his coffee table, Eli's visions drive the drama. As does the music of George Michael, whose songs are not only featured prominently in many episodes but are also the function as title and theme of every episode.

In a meta turn, Michael also appears as himself--not just a hallucination--in one of the episodes. I must say, I prefer him as a singer than actor--and his teeth were kind of scary. But he acquitted himself fairly well and was a good sport throughout.

The musical numbers that make up Eli's visions are relevatory in that not only must the cast be competent actors, but they have to carry a tune as well. Well, Natasha Henstridge who plays Eli's ex-fiancee Taylor Wethersby and Julie Gonzalo who plays newbie lawyer Maggie Dekker not so much. But Loretta Devine who plays Eli's saucy assistant Patti definitely has a set of pipes on her.

The biggest surprise, however, was Victor Garber. Garber, who played Jennifer Garner's icy, stick-up-the-butt father on Alias plays another cold character with an even bigger stick up his @$$ on Eli Stone. But man, can he sing! I guess it's not so surprising since he's been a fixture on Broadway for two decades--but I had no idea. His voice is simply amazing. Almost as good as George Michael's...

The other surprise was Jonny Lee Miller. The only thing I knew about him before Eli Stone was that once upon a time he was married to Angelina Jolie. This is almost as amazing (but not quite) as the fact that Fisher Stevens was once married to Michelle Pfeiffer. What I didn't realize is that he's a Brit. (What is it about the Brits like Hugh Laurie and Jonny Lee Miller that they can do such impeccable American accents that you don't even know they're British--but Gwyneth and Renee sound so fake?)

And, as Eli Stone, he's far less annoying than that other quirky hallucinatory lawyer played by Calista Flockhart.

Unfortunately after being hooked by season one, ABC in its infinite wisdom has canceled the show after 13 episodes of season two.


Hopefully Victor Garber will get a recording deal or something so we'll still get to hear his beautiful voice...


  1. My Mom is sooooo bummed that this show is cancelled. She got me into it and I really liked it. Too bad it didn't take off.

  2. I've been too furious about the autism ep to watch. I would have been glad to see Eli sue the school district for appropriate instruction. That's the real battle we parents face. I've been having the vaccine convo for NINE YEARS, ever since my son was diagnosed. I worked in Africa for eight years and saw the fresh hell that the diseases wreak upon the brain.

    But maybe I'll watch another episode. I've heard it's good.

  3. I have a friend with two autistic teenagers. She's done an AMAZING job with them--as I'm sure you've also done with your son.

    It's not the vaccine per se, but a preservative that many believe is the cause. I don't know much about autism, but I do know it's becoming an epidemic and there's got to be a reason.

  4. Fascinating new autism study from UCDavis. Seems quite balanced: