I’m not a sports fan. It doesn’t matter what sport it is, it just isn’t for me. Any show that bears the USA name is one I’m willing to try and in fact, there isn’t one that has disappointed me yet. This is a new addition to their all-star 2011 line-up (couldn’t resist) and it could very possibly be their most fun. It doesn’t have the highest ratings but as per usual, it’s darn entertaining.
Necessary Roughness, Season One (2011) USA TV Review
Making a happy home has been a goal. Her family is perfect… or so she thinks. They have a lovely home in the suburbs, two kids and a comfortable life. But now Dani Santino (Callie Thorne) is kicking her husband of seventeen years out of the house. Instead of being faithful to his high school sweetheart, he cheats on Dani – more than once – and she isn’t going to put up with it any more. With divorce proceedings set in motion, Dani becomes a single mother to her two teenage kids Ray Jay and Lindsay (Patrick Johnson, Hannah Marks). As a physiotherapist, Dani’s in-home practice isn’t enough to keep up the family’s lifestyle as a work-from-home mother but she is determined to see her separation to an end.
Then she meets the New York Hawks personal trainer Matt Donnelley (Marc Blucas). The two meet at a bar after her twice-divorced friend Jeanette (Amanda Detmer) urges her to get out. What began as harmless flirting leads to Matt’s door. Dani’s background intrigues Matt and when her therapy helps him to quit smoking after one session, he suggests to the head coach (Gregory Alan Williams) that maybe Dr. Santino could help their players – or most specifically their troublesome wide receiver Terrance King (Mehcad Brooks).
The wealthy star receiver likes his women and to party but more important to the team than the bad press is his inability to catch the ball. He misses many key passes and his coach is hesitant to even put him in the game anymore. The team security, Nico (Scott Cohen) can only do so much to contain the press. This puts everyone is a testy mood. Dani has one week to turn TK’s game around or she misses out on a winning opportunity.
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This show mixes a little bit of everything. Like a great big dish of your favorite ice cream sundae, it actually works to its advantage; there is romance and sports, drama and comedy, all of which is balances flawlessly by its characters. If that is an expectation for a potential viewer this show meets and surpasses it. Unfortunately, that does not mean this is one that is above reproach. Indeed, it is not and is in fact more of an adult show than the majority of its neighbors – even if it is more implication than visual.
I’m surprised just how easy it is to like each of them, particularly TK. He’s a menace who doesn’t seem to care enough to respect the women he “dates,” or any woman. Similarly, he seems (outwardly) willing to throw away his promising career. Yet, as a viewer, I couldn’t help but love him; annoying self and all. He’s such a chip on his shoulder that for a while it seems Dani won’t get through to him. An attitude I’m not anticipating seeing return.
Taking place in New York, I don’t know where filming took place but the scenery was just gorgeous. The beautiful fall foliage and colors makes a warm, inviting backdrop. The cast all brings their a-game and is a decent bunch of actors who seem to invest in their roles; in particular I enjoy the chance to see Marc in something again. As usual, there’s complications in the character’s relations. Plus, the mysterious Nico adds a great “cloak and dagger” like component without coming across as trying to be more than it should in the capacity of this show.
Ironically, the love of football is not something I inherited from my mother. Season one has some terrific things to its credit. Tough love lessons are learned, there are some fabulous guest spots and the opening of the show is adorable to boot. The writing is clever, plus a great amount of sentiment that somehow doesn’t come across as sappy. Strictly speaking in going by the plot only, this is a definite winner.
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CONTENT: A woman goes home with a man she met at a bar and wakes the next morning in his bed [once she dreams about them being together again]. Throughout the season there are a few jokes that pertain to sex [allegedly a teenager carries around condoms] – about three other scenes show dating couples tangled in sheets and/or making out. TK is constantly bringing home one-night stands [there is a scene or two depicting that] and once we see him in bed with a woman and a joke is made that he cannot “perform.” Profanity come in the form of sh*t, a**, da*n and the like. Teenagers are disrespectful and sneak around by hosting parties or lie. Immodest dress is part of the fashion. The show is TV-14.