‘The Defenders’ Series Premiere Review & Discussion

Published 5 years ago by

the defenders series premiere The Defenders Series Premiere Review & Discussion

CBS’s legal procedural The Defenders stepped up to the plate last night. In a television climate that’s already filled to the brim with legal dramas, The Defenders attempted to separate itself by mixing humor in with the drama. While Wednesday night is already full of hit television shows, what made it even harder for this new series to find an audience is that The Defenders was up against ABC’s new legal drama, The Whole Truth.

Saddling up as what will hopefully be our new favorite lawyers, Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell play Nick Morelli and Pete Kaczmarek, two of Las Vegas’ “best” defense attorneys. While this is Belushi’s first foray into the legal genre, this is actually O’Connell’s second legal pilot of the season.

Initially, O’Connell was cast as a defense attorney in David Tennant’s NBC pilot Rex Is Not Your Lawyer. Unfortunately, the series wasn’t picked up and O’Connell joined The Defenders. In the world of television, Jerry O’Connell hasn’t had the best track record. Every single series that he’s been apart of was quickly canceled after its premiere.

Will The Defender’s help O’Connelll break this unfortunate pattern?



While most of the new and returning legal dramas on television take a serious approach to implementing various twists to make them feel new and refreshing, The Defenders attempts to use humor as its unique element in order to stand out from the crowd. Fortunately, not only does The Defenders intent to produce a humorous drama completely deliver, but it’s easily one of my favorite new shows of the season.

the defenders series premiere oconnell The Defenders Series Premiere Review & Discussion

Centered around two defense lawyers in Las Vegas,  our “heroes” Nick Morelli (James Belushi) and Pete Kaczmarek (Jerry O’Connell) serve as a rag-tag duo who attempt to deliver justice, no matter the cost. For anyone whose watched television in the past ten years, this plot is not exactly something ground-breaking and will no doubt have viewers expecting to see the same low quality and quick cancellation that have burdened previous series that have attempted the same twist.

Thankfully, The Defenders does not rely solely on its comedic facets to deliver an entertaining series. While humor is most certainly a defining quality in this freshman drama, it’s not completely overt and subtle enough that any lover of the genre will thoroughly enough this series without feeling like they are receiving a lesser-quality television viewing experience.

As perfectly executed as the humor is, it still manages to deliver on the genre’s most important and required element – drama. The chosen story for a television pilot is important, as it has to engage the viewer enough to tune in while leaving room for the series to grow as it (hopefully) progresses.

the defenders series premiere cast The Defenders Series Premiere Review & Discussion

In The Defenders, a wrongfully accused plaintiff serves as the perfect platform to let both the humor and drama portions of the series thrive. With O’Connell and Belushi playing off of each other perfectly, we get to see them go to great lengths in order to prove their client’s innocence.

Of course, as the series continues, not all of their clients can be as clean-cut and innocent. With the notion that The Defenders are a “unique” Las Vegas law firm, at some point they’ll have to deal with the darker side of the job. While nothing like this is shown in the pilot, I’m interested to see how darker subject matter is handled and whether or not the humor will still work.

Final Thoughts

The Defenders brings an entertaining and comedic twist to the typical legal drama. Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell have the perfectly chemistry, and While The Defenders might hook viewers with its humor, this series is as suspenseful as some of television’s best dramas.


The Defenders airs Wednesday’s @10pm, on CBS.

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    • As did Crossing Jordan.

      • yessir :) that show never grabbed me though. his appearences on Las Vegas were really funny though. im not his biggest fan, usually he bugs, but sometimes he does make me laugh. thoughi wanted to reach through my TV last night and smack him for spending 200.00 dollars on a damn shirt hahaha

        • You know, I think those Las Vegas crossovers were the only time I saw the show too. He plays a good goofball.

          • yea he does, maybe if he did more stuff like that i’d like him more lol.

  1. Great new Show… The real life guys are not nearly as cool, ethical, or intelligent.

    • Unless you know them personally, keep your comments to yourself. The real guys are just that: “real guys”. If you don’t like them, look in the mirror and decide if you, yourself are real. Clearly you are not as you posted under Marc’s name. Cool? Two successful Vegas attorneys from Central NY have a show now…enough said. Don’t be a hater.

    • Clearly you have an issue with Marc/not even smart enough to spell the name right. The Defenders was well acted, well written, great creative oversight….

  2. I think you are right on. This show really did have all the elements and Vegas is the perfect setting!! LOVED IT!

  3. I really enjoyed the show. However Anthony, the client they were defending was not wrongfully accused.

    He actually DID kill the guy, but it was in defending his brother. He WOULD have been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter if the judge had allowed the charge. The note from the jury proved that.
    ***END SPOILER***

    As far as the actors, I have been a fan of Jerry O’Connell’s since Sliders. I hope this show can get an audience because it was alot of fun to watch and more interesting than most legal dramas on TV.

    As for “Rex is Not Your Lawyer”, let’s hope that now frees up David Tennant to play The Riddler. :D

  4. The previews looked promising and I was looking forward to a laugh.

    35 minutes into the pilot, I realized that I hadn’t laughed a single time and that the Defenders was a waste of my time.

    I like to read reviews after viewing a movie or television show. This is the only review I have read that found this show to be worthwhile.