Could Greg Kinnear's Drama 'Rake' Be The New 'House'?

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Greg Kinnear plays a brilliant but flawed professional in Fox's new legal drama Rake, which is clearly the bones for any decent show ever made, ever. Brilliant but flawed works. It worked perfectly with Hugh Laurie and House, and that's what Fox appear to looking to replace with their latest effort.

Greg Kinnear RakeGreg Kinnear [L] in Fox's 'Rake'

Based on Peter Duncan's Australian show of the same name, Rake premiered in the U.S. on Thursday. It stars Kinnear as Keegan Deane, a brilliant attorney who can't keep his personal life on track. He's a gambling addict, a womanizer, an alcoholic.

"I felt like in terms of my interest in this particular role that it would be fun to play, something that could evolve and something that could be a good starting point on an onward journey," Kinnear told TheWrap, "I wanted to do it because of what I saw on the page."

So far, the critical reception has been positive, if a little reserved.

"The writing is smart and the episodes well structured, but much of the credit goes to Mr. Kinnear, who maintains a veneer of charm without stinting on his character's underlay of seedy desperation," said Alessandra Stanley of the New York Times.

Rake Greg KinnearIs 'Rake' The New 'House'?

David Wiegand of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote, "Kinnear is great in the role because he doesn't look like a loser--quite the opposite--and that's important.... Perhaps because this is the pilot, most of the episode is devoted to showing Keegan screwing up and only a few afterthought scenes focus on Torrant's case. In order to succeed from week to week, the series needs more than just a lot of figurative pratfalls."

"Kinnear's particularly comfortable, perhaps too comfortable.... Roy could've been a cartoon thug, but instead he's allowed to gratifyingly embody the demons that truly threaten to carry an addict away into a realm of chaos," said Chuck Bowen of Slant magazine.

Speaking with about the similarities of himself and Roy, Kinnear explained, "We're both horrible gamblers.  The most obvious connection is that I have no skills in that department and he seems to be tortured by his own lack of ability as well."

Rake returns next Thursday on Fox, at 8pm.

Greg Kinnear Rake


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