I thought I would absolutely hate Notorious. It’s not high-art by any means, but it’s entertaining in a trashy sort of way.
Of course that doesn’t mean I’ll be sticking with the show in this age of golden television, but you could do a whole lot worse if you’re looking for your Scandal-fix until that show’s return in January. Notorious very clearly wants to adopt the Shonda Rhimes mold; it’s basically a less clever version of Scandal set in the TV world. There’s no creativity here or groundbreaking narrative – just the story of one broken women (that seems to be what networks are looking for these days, she can’t possibly be “fine”) juggling her cutthroat professional life and her complicated personal dalliances.
Apparently Notorious is inspired by the real-life relationship between “Larry King Live” producer Wendy Walker and celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos. That creates for an intriguing enough dynamic between the show’s two protagonists, and they manage to keep the whole thing somewhat afloat through a stereotypical case of the week (yup, this is another procedural, God help us!).
Sadly, Piper Perabo isn’t the most compelling of leads – in fact she might be the weakest link in the cast (Daniel Sunjata and Kate Grant are better). I remember loving the actress in Coyote Ugly long ago, but she really doesn’t make a formidable impression here. Quite obviously, she seems somewhat at a loss in certain scenes, unsure of how to position her performance. It might be the weaknesses in the script, but I found Perabo majorly distracting and unable to elevate the material. Unfortunate!
Ultimately, the show tries to lay the seeds for a larger, more serialized arc in its final moments, but it’s too little too late, and definitely not enough to ensure my investment in the long term.
Move With You by Jacob Banks
Lessons by SOHN
There’s some potential here, but a miscast lead and a lack of originality means Notorious doesn’t make much of a memorable impression.