Monday, July 4, 2011

Necessary Roughness is the Best Show to Debut this Summer

Necessary Roughness on USA is another entry from this cable network that keeps coming up with winners.

Starring the show-stopping Callie Thorne from Rescue Me who ate up the screen with her completely psychotic behavior opposite Denis Leary, the program is a rare sports-centered show with a top-notch story and a refreshing, colorful backdrop.

Thorne, playing Dr. Dani Santino, is a stay-at-home therapist catering to her husband, kids and Long Island patients when she discovers that hubby (Craig Bierko) is cheating.  A woman who knows who she is, she throws him out on the spot with no equivocation.  His clothes are on the lawn before he can say “it was only that one time.”

What a joy to see a wife who is smart, determined and confident.  With her children, she is no nonsense, a wonderful departure from so many of today’s television (and real life) parents who tiptoe around their kids, longing to be their friends.

In a contrived piece of TV luck, Dani’s life changes in one night when she goes to a club with a friend and meets a great guy (Marc Blucas) who is the trainer for the New York Hawks (the Giants) football team.  He falls for her and gets her hired as the team therapist, first on a trial basis and then for real after she works wonders with a wide receiver who can’t hold onto the ball.

The plot on the pilot was great.  The supporting players are excellent, including Concetta Tomei as Dani’s gambling-addicted mother, as are the secondary stories.   There is true sadness in the destruction of the marriage; her ex-husband turns out to be a total jerk who completely demeans his partner of 18 years with his words and actions.

The lead character’s divorce, her challenges with her teenagers and the struggle to keep the team happy while being a single mother promise to be interesting.  It will also be fun to watch Dani’s introduction to the world of pro sports, wealth and celebrity.  Oh, and her Manhasset house is GORGEOUS.

This will not be a show about football, but the vibrant backdrop will provide interesting plots and a welcome contrast to so many programs about crime and murder.  It will also be good to witness a woman who leads others forward while attempting to do so herself.  My DVR is set to record the rest of the season and I’ll look forward to each episode on Wednesdays at 10.

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