The television landscape needs its steady supply of the big three shows: cop show, legal show, and hospital show. The cop show is in a curious place. Where not too long ago it was defined by Homicide: Life on the Streets and NYPD Blue, one now has to go to cable to get their fix (The Closer, The Wire, The Shield, even the network show, Southland, is now on cable) or else sift through endless Law & Order and C.S.I. iterations. The hospital show, in the wake of ER has had its void filled with everything from Grey’s Anatomy to recent entries Mercy and Trauma. For a dose of navigating the quagmire of legal morality, we have Raising the Bar (on cable), The Good Wife, and now The Deep End.

Obviously The Deep End has taken its cue from Grey’s Anatomy, focusing as much on the sexual hijinks of the cast as their cases, without the heart or insight or sharp writing. The show moves quickly from interview, to office politics, to plunging the new arrivals into cases, the proverbial deep end. These first year associates—grunts or newbies—are quite analogous to medical interns in that they do the scut work of their superiors as a part of their learning process. So they are finding themselves even as they are learning, overworked and underappreciated, too caught up in the race to realize that such pursuit of career over everything can lead to an empty way of doing life.

“Stop looking for a Savior. They don’t exist.” – Beth Branford (Leah Pipes)

As they live, eat, and sleep with cases, the new associates seek out mentors to help them figure out the life and path. For most of them, they have Rowdy Kaiser (Norbert Leo Butz), who the writers still aren’t sure how to write, in the role of nurturer and guide. Instead of a McDreamy, we have a Prince of Darkness (Cliff Huddle played by Billy Zane) with his mercenary, all business approach, and we have the partner with a heart—and let this be an indication of the level of writing we’re talking about, the partner’s name is Hart (Clancy Brown).

“Every man has a come to Jesus moment when he asked not what’s gonna get him paid or laid but what he knows to be true.” –Rowdy

As such, the show is about discipleship, about trying to find the best way to live out their mission’s call. What we can’t escape is the power of learning in community. We’ve lost the idea of journeying with our teachers, that teaching and knowing have a relational component. The master-student relationship is an important one when it comes to the idea of “making disciples”. In a lot of ways, people have gotten away from what the picture of making a disciple looked like. It called for a teacher to walk alongside their disciples, live life with them. The master/teacher embodies, incarnates if you will, the teachings and faith is lived out in the context of a community.

“It’s what we do in the worst of times that tells the world who we really are.” –Hart
Right now, there’s little to differentiate the cast of interns as they are straight out of central casting when it comes to clichés. Just like it’s hard to care about their endless goo-goo eyes and bed hopping when 1) a few have already declared themselves in love within a couple of episodes of learning each other’s names and 2) Grey’s Anatomy has already illustrated that you can quickly exhaust the possibilities of partner swapping pretty quickly, to the point of ridiculousness. This is a law show for the ADD and easily titillated set.