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Bitter Lawyer Talks to the Creator of ABC's 'The Deep End'


"The Deep End," ABC's new legal drama about first-year lawyers at a BigLaw firm, makes its debut tonight. The show has received some early swipes from critics, who have complained that it is "not realistic," that the "cast is too pretty" and that the show is "too out of touch with the current state of BigLaw."

Undeterred, and recognizing that "the purpose of the show is to entertain and not bore audiences to death with deep, prolific story lines about average-looking people doing doc review," the Bitter Lawyer blog sought out the show's writer/producer, David Hemingson, to learn more about his own former legal career and how the show came to be. Here are some of the highlights of the interview, which is available here:

Hemingson practiced law as an entertainment associate at Loeb & Loeb in Century City for several years ("three years, three months and two days -- but who’s counting?"). He recalls that his “I’ve got to get the f**k out of here” moment was when he learned that his best friend -- a lawyer with whom Hemingson regularly commiserated about law practice and discussed their mutual hopes to leave the law -- had fallen during a rock-climbing trip in Joshua Tree and died instantly. He realized at that moment, he says, that all of the talking he and his friend had done about moving on "meant nothing. Life doesn’t wait for you to sack up. Right then and there, I decided I was done."

Hemingson quit his law practice and began writing furiously. Within about a year, he says, he landed a job on Nickelodeon writing for a show called "The Adventures of Pete and Pete." That led to a gig at Disney writing animation, and helped him get an agent. He later went on to write for shows like "Family Guy," "How I Met Your Mother" and "Just Shoot Me."

Hemingson says his years practicing law were essential to his creation of "The Deep End" because they helped him frame the attitudes and the attributes of the characters, and inspired numerous plot-lines and anecdotes. As for some of the criticisms of the show, e.g., that all of the characters are "too good looking," Hemingson says that when he created them, his focus was on their personalities. The fact that they "are all good looking ... that’s TV. Look at Greys. The doctors are all smoking hot. How many smoking hot doctors do you know?"

Posted by Bruce Carton on January 21, 2010 at 04:09 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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