Logline: After his involvement as a whistleblower in an international scandal, the former General Counsel for the NSA embarks on a new career at a stories law firm in Boston, facing the reality that while half the country thinks he’s our greatest patriot, the other half thinks he’s a traitor.
Cast: Noah Wyle, Kristin Chenoweth, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Lenny Platt, Shanley Caswell, Adrienne Warren, Stephenie Szostak
Creators: Craig Turk (W / EP), Paris Barclay (D / EP)
Studios: CBS TV Studios
A legal drama in the vein of The Good Wife, Perfect Citizen follows controversial lawyer Deck Parson’s return to the limelight after being accused of traitorous behavior during his time as General Counsel of the NSA.
Bolstered by a strong central relationship between Deck and his lawyer daughter (and soon-to-be-colleague) Vivian, the pilot is an engaging legal drama with perhaps the most distinctive lead role of all CBS pilots this year. Deck strongly reminded me of Steve Jobs, possibly because of his polarizing personality, and his driving need to salvage his relationship with his daughter, which influences his workplace decisions. It doesn’t hurt that he has a Girl Friday who’d give Joanna Hoffman a run for her money.
In addition, there’s a decent central conflict between Deck and his former ally, the Attorney General Fran Davids. After turning the establishment against him, Fran becomes Deck’s mortal enemy when he challenges her authority. There’s nothing quite like a betrayal to power a central conflict, and I felt as though this battle might have the potential to go the Billions way.
That said, the pilot is far from perfect. Main characters other than Deck feel underdeveloped, particularly Deck’s love interest Tess and his friend Paul. It’s possible that in paying such close attention to Deck and his needs, the others have been overlooked. This could have been solid with further development.