Modern-day Prophet

What’s it about? While making love to his girlfriend Taylor Wethersby,Eli Stone is startled to find George Michael crooning his chartbuster pop number Faith.

Written by Dipti Nagpaul D'souza | Published: October 12, 2012 2:18 am

Eli Stone

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What’s it about? While making love to his girlfriend Taylor Wethersby,Eli Stone is startled to find George Michael crooning his chartbuster pop number Faith.

It snaps him out of the action,but Stone realises soon enough that only he can see the pop star.

This,and a series of similar hallucinations,make the successful corporate lawyer consult his neurologist brother,Nathan,who diagnoses it as a potentially fatal ailment,brain aneurysm. His acupuncturist,on the other hand,insists that the visions are evidence that he has been chosen,like Moses,as a prophet. Taking heed,Stone turns from a button-down shark lawyer into a do-gooder,using these visions as signs that point him to those in need. For instance,taking on the case of his ex-girlfriend whose son’s autism might have been caused by one of his firm’s clients,seems to be the only way to stop the music.

Who’s in it? British actor Jonny Lee Miller — also Angelina Jolie’s ex-husband,who was a strong contender to Daniel Craig as James Bond — plays the title role. The actor lends an affable charm to his character,with a balance of perplexity and comic timing,making Eli Stone more believable and engaging. Miller is supported by a talented cast,which includes Victor Garber as his sharp boss Jordan Wethersby,Natasha Henstridge as Wethersby’s daughter and Stone’s girlfriend Taylor,American series Everwood’s witty Tom Amandes as a law firm bigwig,and Loretta Devine as Stone’s bossy-but-supportive assistant and possible love interest after his breakup with Taylor.

What’s hot? The premise of the show is engaging and the characters avoid stereotyping. Taylor may be rich and blonde,but is shown as a sensible lawyer as opposed to a predictable brat or plain stupid. Stone’s change of heart does not make him philosophical and much of his charm lies in his witty lines.

For instance,he refers to ‘Armani,accessories and ambition’ as his Holy Trinity. The visions are sometimes hilarious and often musical — especially partial to George Michael’s music — and Stone’s reaction is entertaining. The pop star,in fact,makes several special appearances through the show. The drama,lent by the courtroom scenes,adds to the show’s engagement.

What’s not? The courtroom drama,unfortunately,is as much a drawback. Since one of the producers,Marc Guggenheim,has prior experience in shows dealing with law — Law & Order,The Practice and In

Justice — Eli Stone seems to tend towards the genre as opposed to focusing on what could be the lead character’s identity crisis. The episodes,thus,become repetitive,with a new case being fought in each. Also,it seems like a bad idea to connect with the youth using a yesteryear pop star. In the ’90s,this ploy would have been excellent,but in the current context,Michael and his music are passé.

Should you be watching it? It does entertain with a mix of elements — courtroom drama,comedy,emotion — but it is uncertain if the show will sustain its pace and evolve.

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