17 March, 2007
Five bought Shark for its digital channel as it apparently wasn’t considered good enough for the main channel but with its other buy Vanished going belly up, leaving major cliffhangers that won’t ever be resolved, this legal drama gets a promotion with, cleverly, its inspiration House as a lead-in.
This House re-version got a full season order, which was a bit of a surprise. For some reason I thought its obvious origins would have viewers ignoring it as they did 3lbs. But while 3lbs was a bit more obvious in its homage, Shark has distanced itself much further. So while it keeps the basic structure, it has different characters and relationships - which is why it has held on to audiences.
At one point in the pilot Stark, nick-named Shark for his ruthlessness, states the character descriptions for his assistants which was shockingly on-the-nose but on reflection, it was just about justified and practically it means they can go straight into the story of the week and not waste time.
I wouldn’t call Shark a must-see as it’s a bit too simplistic and obvious but it is well-written and good enough entertainment. Soon the House comparisons will stop and it will find its own identity.
Five, Thursday, 10:00pm (and Five US, Friday 10:00pm)