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Made in Jersey: Not a Whiff of the Jersey Shore


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#1

FrogsRule

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Posted Sep 29, 2012 @ 4:50 AM

Centers on a working-class woman who uses her street smarts to compete with her more polished colleagues at a top New York law firm.


I watched only because it was Friday night, and I was bored. Honestly did not expect to like the show even a little bit. I generally hate lawyer shows, or even lawyers in procedurals. So had very low expectations for this one.

I was pleasantly surprised. I thought MIJ deserved the Tuesday night spot. Put Vegas here, and let Jersey shine.

I hadn't seen any of Janet Montgomery's previous work, so to me she was fresh and new. I liked that they said they are going for the Working Girl vibe (love that movie!). If they can hew to that line, I feel like this show will do just fine.

Interestingly, Montgomery isn't even listed in the cast and crew of the show on imdb.com. She needs to get a new agent!

#2

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Posted Sep 29, 2012 @ 4:56 AM

I liked it to and wasn't bored at all. Of course her deductive skills resemble some super powers, but hey it's fiction. :)

#3

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Posted Sep 29, 2012 @ 4:58 AM

I meant to post this link - a pretty good article about Montgomery and the show.

#4

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Posted Sep 29, 2012 @ 5:34 AM

I was pleasantly surprised. I thought MIJ deserved the Tuesday night spot. Put Vegas here, and let Jersey shine.


I'll confess to missing the last 15-20 minutes last night, but coming in with zero expectations, I liked this quite a bit. While I was watching, I was thinking, "this is better than Vegas, why has it gotten zero advance hype?". It's in a bad time slot for me, so I wish it were on another night. Not a bad show at all.

#5

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Posted Sep 29, 2012 @ 12:59 PM

I thought the commercials looked OK so I watched it on demand this morning. I was also pleasantly surprised. Compared to a lot of what's on, this one is good. Let's see how it holds up over the next few episodes. If she's always perfect and every episode is a rehash of the pilot, it will get old quickly. But the pilot was a lot better than what the critics would have you believe.

I am also unfamiliar with Janet Montgomery, so the article linked by FrogsRule was interesting. There is a link to an interview where she uses her real accent. Wow, she really can hide it! I had heard that she was British before I saw the show and I didn't pick up a hint of British accent.

#6

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Posted Sep 29, 2012 @ 4:25 PM

Ouch, those ratings weren't very good at all: 7.744 million and only 1.1. in the 18-49 demo. Some are already predicting it might be the first new show to go. I blame the presence of Pablo Schreiber, who was also in A Gifted Man last season. Pablo + CBS show on Friday = failure. Just kidding, I actually really like him.

I decided to watch it on demand today as well and I actually liked it as well. There are a few things I'm not wild about: I did roll my eyes at how Martina managed to save the case the end thanks to some random observations and flat-out luck that always happens on these shows (lucky that her niece was there to hear the high-pitch sounds on the phone, just happening to stop by the hair salon to see the bottle, etc.) I couldn't tell you the names of any of her family and they all seem like walking cliches right now. And, wow, was Stephanie March's character such an over-the-top, antagonistic mean girl. I get that goes with the territory, but it was just so clumsy. And, even as a straight guy, I was amused at how they found a way to get Janet Montgomery in her bra in the first five minutes.

But I thought Janet was real good; especially surprising, since I know she's British in real life, but I thought her accent was pretty good and not too over-the-top. And she made me care for Martina, even though the story has been done before. The supporting cast was solid too; besides Pablo and March, it was fun seeing other familiar faces like Kyle MacLachlan as the boss and Erin Cummings as one of the sisters (and since I saw her first as Sura on Spartacus, it always takes me a second to recognize her, being fully-dressed and all, heh.)

So, I'll stick with it, but it will probably remain On Demand viewing since it's up against Grimm. Of course, after those ratings, who knows how long it will be kicking around.

Edited by thuganomics85, Sep 29, 2012 @ 10:25 PM.


#7

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Posted Sep 29, 2012 @ 5:06 PM

I really liked it. I suspect that means its doomed!

I didnt know what to expect, as I had visions of Jersey Shore type characters. And I really dislike those reality tv nonsense shows.
Janet Montgomery has something special. And a beautiful smile.
I liked the fact that Martina was strong enough to say what was on her mind, but was still insecure enough to think she had spoken out of turn.
And I love that she seems to have a nice relationship with her family. No dysfunctional messes to be seen.

other familiar faces like Dermot Mulroney as the boss

That was actually Kyle MacLachlan! (Desperate Housewives and Twin Peaks to name a couple)

#8

thuganomics85

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Posted Sep 29, 2012 @ 5:20 PM

That was actually Kyle MacLachlan


Oh, my bad! I don't know why I got those two confused.

Janet Montgomery has something special. And a beautiful smile.


Yeah, she really does have a great smile. I've seen her in small roles on Merlin and Black Swan, so I'm glad to see her get a big role like this. It's just too bad that the ratings weren't so hot. I easily prefer this to Blue Bloods, which has really become a pale shell of it's former self and yet gets bigger ratings.

Edited by thuganomics85, Sep 29, 2012 @ 5:21 PM.


#9

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Posted Sep 29, 2012 @ 8:54 PM

Agree with the above. It was pretty good.

#10

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Posted Sep 29, 2012 @ 9:08 PM

And, wow, was Stephanie March's character such an over-the-top, antagonistic mean girl. I get that goes with the territory, but it was just so clumsy.

She was mean, but unlike a lot of shows, the character didn't let it get in the way of common sense, or sabotaging her performance in court. She struck me as fiercely competitive and snobby, but still human. When Martina's ideas got the defendant acquitted, she congratulated her, but the character didn't fall into the opposite cliché of becoming her new best friend.

I enjoyed it more than I thought, too. It's a fun procedural to watch on a Friday night, when I'm interested in light entertainment rather than a show I have to devote my full attention to. It's also a treat to see Donna Murphy, so I'm happy with that and with the family's attitudes toward Martina. I think she got a lot more latitude from the judge than she would in real life, but that's a short cut a lot of procedurals take, so it's not a big negative for me.

The scene near the end, with Kyle MacLachlan's anecdote about looking at his current closet, full of designer suits, and comparing it to his bare-bones start, was just touching enough for me to connect to the character without crossing over into treacle.

#11

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Posted Sep 30, 2012 @ 1:15 AM

I really hated it from beginning to end. It struck me as something that belongs on Lifetime. The lead reminded me of Jami Gertz in Jersey Girl.

Maybe I am just crime/law/investigation showed out.

#12

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Posted Sep 30, 2012 @ 2:08 AM

My Cousin Vinny is one of my favorite movies, so I was expecting more when I heard how this show was part Working Girl and part My Cousin Vinny but all I ended seeing was another CBS procedural, CSI New Jersey.

And, I was a bit confused bout how experienced in court she was supposed to be- was she a newbie straight out of law school or was she supposed to be a grizzled, wily veteran who had made a name for herself in court before joining this law firm? If its the latter, I don't see why it'd be so shocking that she'd be given third chair or why everybody would underestimate her so much even though the concept of the show is that WASPy lawyers will look down on people from Jersey.

I liked Janet Montgomery, but is she really pulling off a New Jersey accent?

#13

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Posted Sep 30, 2012 @ 7:07 AM

was she a newbie straight out of law school or was she supposed to be a grizzled, wily veteran who had made a name for herself in court before joining this law firm?

There was more than one mention that she had worked in Trenton before coming to NYC, but I don't remember if she was with the State's Attorney's office or a public defender or what. She's not completely inexperienced but she's new to the big time.

Of course the ratings were terrible. All the advance publicity was completely negative for whatever reason. I will watch however many episodes they air or place on demand, but this is really disappointing. If I like a show, it's sure to be cancelled, sooner rather than later.

#14

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Posted Sep 30, 2012 @ 9:46 AM

I really hated it from beginning to end. It struck me as something that belongs on Lifetime. The lead reminded me of Jami Gertz in Jersey Girl.


Oh, me too. I absolutely hated everything about it. So clichéd and unrealistic and over the top. I didn't expect anything like The Good Wife (which, at times, is also unrealistic and over the top, but at least it has great actors and good acting) but this was just painful to watch.

#15

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Posted Sep 30, 2012 @ 4:34 PM

I really liked it. Much more than Vegas or Elementary. Hope it sticks around.

#16

FrogsRule

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Posted Sep 30, 2012 @ 6:06 PM

And I liked it because it wasn't Good Wife, which takes itself way too seriously. It felt like Working Girl meets Ugly Betty (except of course that Janet Montgomery is anything but ugly).

It must also be refreshing for Italian-Americans to see a role like this where she has zero connections to the mob. That stereotype is so appalling, that I like the change of pace. (And I am not even Italian-American!)

I really wish that CBS had given it a better time slot. If CBS is foolish enough not to renew, maybe USA Network will pick it up. It would be a good fit there.

Also: I was HAPPY to see that the showrunner is herself a Jersey girl. Because the writers should be guided away from Fran Drescher territory. Too often non-East-Coast writers cannot tell the difference between Brooklyn and Jersey. And they are miles apart.

#17

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Posted Oct 1, 2012 @ 10:04 AM

Also: I was HAPPY to see that the showrunner is herself a Jersey girl. Because the writers should be guided away from Fran Drescher territory. Too often non-East-Coast writers cannot tell the difference between Brooklyn and Jersey. And they are miles apart.

Fran Drescher is actually from Queens but point taken. :)

Hopefully the show will be more than just a bunch of silly stereotypes and cliches.

ETA: I went to a promotional event on Thursday for the show. (A local salon was doing free manicures while clips from the show and interviews with the cast and staff played in the background.) I was amazed at how different Jane Montgomery sounds and looks when she is in character than when she appears as herself in interviews; it's a total transformation.

I'm also baffled at the Friday night slot. Nothing available on a Monday or Tuesday night?

Edited by discoprincess, Oct 1, 2012 @ 10:08 AM.


#18

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Posted Oct 1, 2012 @ 11:43 AM

Of course the ratings were terrible. All the advance publicity was completely negative for whatever reason.


Maybe because the basic premise that a girl from New Jersey is making waves in NYC is the dumbest. idea. ever. Not only does it reveal a completely lack of understanding of New York, but of basic geography. Literally millions of NJ residents work in Manhattan. Making a show where that's the hook is like making a show where the hook is about woman working. It's the furthest thing from either unique or notable. It would have made more sense if they set her in LA or something, where a tough Italian Jersey girl might be seen as unique. The way it is now it's the dumbest premise ever.

That said, it's basically like a "Good Wife" prequel all the way down to giving her her an top-notch investigator to help. The only good thing I can say about the show is that at least she's not treated like a moron. Even the WASPy blonde respects her intelligence even if she doesn't like her.

Oh, and the accent she's doing is Brooklyn, not Jersey.

#19

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Posted Oct 2, 2012 @ 12:53 AM

I think I would have liked it more if this show was a USA network type of show instead of a CBS procedural.

There was more than one mention that she had worked in Trenton before coming to NYC, but I don't remember if she was with the State's Attorney's office or a public defender or what. She's not completely inexperienced but she's new to the big time.


I remember them mentioning that, but I also recall her being called a first year associate which is what you generally call lawyers who've just graduated from law school. When they mentioned Trenton, it could have also meant that she had worked at the State's Attorney's office as a summer associate while still attending law school, a lawyer's equivalent of an internship.

#20

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Posted Oct 2, 2012 @ 7:40 AM

Fairly Legal 2.0 is what this reminds me of.

#21

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Posted Oct 2, 2012 @ 2:55 PM

I remember them mentioning that, but I also recall her being called a first year associate which is what you generally call lawyers who've just graduated from law school.


Right, but in this case it could be that a high powered firm would have put her on the same footing as a first year associate, maybe figuring her experience made up for graduating from a less than top notch law school?

Maybe because the basic premise that a girl from New Jersey is making waves in NYC is the dumbest. idea. ever. Not only does it reveal a completely lack of understanding of New York, but of basic geography. Literally millions of NJ residents work in Manhattan. Making a show where that's the hook is like making a show where the hook is about woman working


Well yeah, after all the former chairman of Goldman Sachs lived in New Jersey as well as a ton of other Wall St people. But I think this show is more about class differences than geography, and unfortunately for New Jersyans, its residents have a image in the media, promoted by The Sopranos and Jersey Shore, that making a character from "Jersey" works as a shorthand with all sorts of class and social connations to the average viewer.

#22

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Posted Oct 3, 2012 @ 8:45 AM

There was a line in the pilot that she used to work in the Trenton D.A.'s office.

So I'm not sure if she's first year because she's a new hire or what.

#23

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Posted Oct 3, 2012 @ 9:40 AM

Well yeah, after all the former chairman of Goldman Sachs lived in New Jersey as well as a ton of other Wall St people. But I think this show is more about class differences than geography, and unfortunately for New Jersyans, its residents have a image in the media, promoted by The Sopranos and Jersey Shore, that making a character from "Jersey" works as a shorthand with all sorts of class and social connotations to the average viewer.



The white collar professions of NYC are filled with children of the working class made good. There's absolutely no way in the world she stand out in NYC. When she hit that firm she should have found at least half-a-dozen people just like her from New Jersey, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island. This concept simply does not work in NYC. This show is for people who think NYC is Sex & The City and Gossip Girl. And given the casting of Kyle McLachlan, the producers probably do.

Edited by KalEl, Oct 3, 2012 @ 10:58 AM.


#24

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Posted Oct 3, 2012 @ 9:58 AM

Wanted to like it, I really did, but it was just too cliched and derivative for my liking. Could not stand yet another loud-but-lovable ethnic family, especially in contrast to Stephanie March's ice-cold blonde. And the whole solving the crime through fashion/beauty knowledge, wasn't that right out of Legally Blonde?

As others have mentioned, I am also a bit confused as to her referring to herself as a 'first year,' what with her experience in Trenton.

That courtroom was the most spit-and-polished gleaming court I have ever seen. Did the courtroom spectators really have their own individual chairs?

Having said all this, I might stick around for awhile as I have a mad crush on Donna Murphy.

#25

corvus13

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Posted Oct 5, 2012 @ 11:04 PM

So was Stephanie March just in the pilot, or will she be appearing in more episodes?

#26

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Posted Oct 6, 2012 @ 9:22 AM

It would have made more sense if they set her in LA or something, where a tough Italian Jersey girl might be seen as unique. The way it is now it's the dumbest premise ever.


And even that's not that unique because there are lots of people from the east coast now living and working in LA, like myself (NY) and many of the people I now work with (actually practically everyone in one of my old firms as well--NJ).

What KalEl described is only one of the reasons why I can't muster any interest in the show. The other is because I'm just tired of this Jersey stuff. Real Howives of NJ, Jersey Shore (and related shows)...

She's was probably just a first year because she was a new hire. In my firm, it's about the years you put in, not so much the years you've been working. And after 5 years, if you don't make partner, you're probably [definitely] going to have to go somewhere else to start over.

#27

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Posted Oct 7, 2012 @ 2:34 PM

I'm kind of enjoying the show and I find the lead very charming. Judging by the lack of interest here, I will not hold my breath for a full season pickup though.

#28

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Posted Oct 7, 2012 @ 3:27 PM

I always assume any show I like is doomed, so I don't hold out high hopes for Made In Jersey. I like it better than lots of show I've seen in the last couple of years that did a lot better in the ratings.

I guess it's good that I'm not a network programmer. I don't seem to like what the general public does and they don't like the shows that I like.

#29

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Posted Oct 7, 2012 @ 4:24 PM

In fairness to the general viewing audience, the name of the show is half of what is probably killing it. I hadn't seen a single promo, but I naturally assumed it was yet another reality show about Jersey which would totally not be something I'd watch. I happened upon this quite by accident.

#30

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Posted Oct 7, 2012 @ 6:25 PM

I'm aware of the show.. and I think that part of the reason it isnt doing well is because it is yet another procedural. CBS is too saturated with them.. and thankfully, if enough shows start to fail, that eventually CBS might expand their canvas to include other types of shows.

I'd rather this would have been a family drama as opposed to another Good Wife/Fairly Legal clone. It has been ages since a family drama has been on the air. I noticed that the 70's and 80's had family drama shows on the schedule... nowadays, it is either all procedural or over the top reality shows :(