Wednesday, September 24, 2014

TV on DVD Review: Necessary Roughness - Season 3

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Change of setting really helps the show
Cons: Case of the week still contrived
The Bottom Line:
Therapy improves
As Dani joins company
Strong final season

Ironically, this Show Really Improved in Its Final Season

Necessary Roughness was always a hit or miss show for me.  I enjoyed it when it was focusing on the clients, but the instant we went to the main character’s personal life, I lost interest.  I must not have been alone because it always struggled in the ratings on the USA Network.  With season 3, they tried to change things up.  While it didn’t help with the ratings, it certainly made it more enjoyable for me.

If you are new to the show (and you really could jump in here), the show centers around Dr. Dani Santino (Callie Thorne), who, after one high profile client success, became a therapist to the stars.  For the first two seasons, she was also the team therapist for the fiction New York Hawks football team, but a new owner this season fires her.  Also written out as a result is head coach/love interest Matt Donnal (Marc Blucas who guest stars in the first episode this season).

Dani lands on her feet, however, when she is hired by V3, the premier sports and entertainment management company in the country, with clients that include singers, authors, and sports figures in every sport.  Now, Dani is exclusive to them, treating all their clients and only their clients.  And who did they just sign?  TK (Mehcad Brooks), her biggest client from the last two seasons, and a wide receiver for the Hawks.  Also working for V3 is Nico (Scott Cohen), the mystery man who has recently sparked Dani’s interest romantically.  Over the course of the season, Dani helps a self-help author who doesn’t believe in therapy, a struggling singer, an accountant with a secret, and of course TK.

However, things aren’t quite as good as they would appear at V3.  Dani hasn’t been there too long before the company gets into a war with their biggest rival.  Meanwhile, Nico is there investigating suspicious activity for the FCC.  Is Connor (John Stamos), the owner, behind it?  Or is someone else to blame?

As you can see, there is plenty happening in each episode to keep your interest.  The only real change is that the work place drama and ongoing story replaced any and all drama from her personal life.  This was a great change.  I’m sure the point of the personal drama was to show a human side of Dani and prove she didn’t have it all together, but it just never worked for me.

Another positive change came in TK.  Yes, he still messes stuff up and blows it.  However, he seems to have grown quite a bit since we first met him, and I liked him as a result.  At times in the past he was that car wreck you couldn’t stop watching.  This season, he was still far from perfect, but he was definitely learning and growing into a better person.

Of course, my complaint about the formula to the case of the week and the contrived way Dani figured out that client’s issues remains.  The show never did quite overcome that, but it is hard to cure someone in 42 minutes and get to the rest of the plot lines.

The story revolving around V3 was very intriguing.  I wasn’t sure who was doing what to whom most of the time, including Connor and his CFO Troy, as played by recurring guest star David Angers.  If nothing else, I wanted to keep watching just to see what would happen there.

Obviously, the returning actors knew their characters and were able to step into them again with no issues at all.  The new cast blended in just as easily and I never had an issue with the acting.

Fortunately, the producers wrapped up most of the storylines this season.  There were obviously some directions they would have explored had the show been renewed, but there is no cliffhanger and the final episode really works as a series finale.

Season three only consisted of 10 episodes, but there are all here in wide screen and full surround.  Extras include a couple of deleted scenes and a gag reel.

Each of the first two years, I really didn’t care if the show was coming back or not and I debated about watching the new season.  After the third season of Necessary Roughness aired, I was actually hoping for a fourth.  Unfortunately, that never came to be.  But if you watched the first two seasons, definitely give this one a shot.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how they improved the show.

Season 3 Episodes:
1. Ch-Ch-Changes
2. Gimme Some Lovin’
3. Swimming with Sharks
4. Snap Out of It
5. V3 for Vendetta
6. Good Will Haunting
7. Bringing the Heat
8. The Game’s Afoot
9. Sucker Punch
10. Sympathy for the Devil

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