Picks and Pans Review: Canterbury's Law

updated 03/17/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 03/17/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

FOX, March 10, 8 p.m. ET |

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DRAMA

Elizabeth Canterbury is a defense attorney with a ferocious temperament, a disregard for the rules and a serious portfolio of personal crises. She likes to drink, and she and her law-professor husband can barely keep their marriage together as they recover from an unsolved tragedy, the disappearance of their young son. This is a meaty role, and Julianna Margulies is an unapologetic carnivore as an actress. She tears into the part with her bare hands and wolfs it down in lusty gobbles. You almost want to suggest she slow down and use her napkin. She's not being terribly subtle—she makes Helen Mirren as Prime Suspect's Jane Tennison look mincingly discreet—but she's fun to watch.

Denis Leary is one of the show's executive producers, and Law has some of Rescue Me's messy emotional drive. What's unclear is how compelling the actual court scenes will be: The plot, which hinges on getting an abusive father onto the witness stand, involves a legal maneuver that's neither ethical nor remotely believable.

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