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Rake US - S01E01

Comedy . Action . Drama

In the series premiere, as payment for a late night poker win, Keegan agrees to enter a guilty plea for confessed serial killer Jack Tarrant, expecting to garner a quick burst of publicity for himself off of the case. When Tarrant accuses Los Angeles Chief of Police Bernie Michaels of writing all of his confessional testimonies for him, it is up to Keegan to figure out which party is telling the truth, pitting Keegan against the Mayor of Los Angeles, a situation with serious repercussions, personally and professionally. Meanwhile, Keegan receives payment from a client in the form of a Pacific Bluefin tuna worth 15 thousand dollars. All he has to do is get the fish to a local sushi restaurant and have them pay him so he can then pay his bookie a portion of his gambling debt.

Episode Title: Serial Killer
Airs: 2014-01-23 at 09:00 pm
  • Verne Gay

    Kinnear is solid, but his Keegan is a work in progress--both as human being and TV character.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Hank Stuever

    “House” comparisons will surely abound, but Rake is easily one of the more confident network dramas to come our way of late.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Mary McNamara

    That nonjudgmental, easygoing charm is precisely why the people in Key's life put up with him, and why viewers will be drawn to him. Rake may be the story of yet another anti-hero, but it's difficult to remember one this likable.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Alessandra Stanley

    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.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Jeff Korbelik

    Outside the courtroom is where the drama finds its feet.

    The Lincoln Journal Star Full Review
  • Vicki Hyman

    The pilot is carried on Kinnear's rascally charm and is heavy on quirk.

    Newark Star-Ledger Full Review
  • Todd VanDerWerff

    The new first episode is good enough to suggest Tolan and creator Peter Duncan will be able to get at least a season out of the world punishing Keegan. There might not be enough here to go beyond that initial episode order, but just watching Kinnear play the sad asshole—wandering around L.A. without a car or getting beaten up due to gambling debts—keeps things rolling smoothly for now.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Lori Rackl

    It’s a fun, entertaining spin on the legal procedural and an ideal showcase for Kinnear’s rakish charm.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Tom Gliatto

    The first few episodes of Rake are, if anything, even fluffier than White Collar. All the better for Kinnear to gently cut through the whimsy with his sharp delivery. [27 Jan 2014, p.39]

    People Weekly Full Review
  • David Wiegand

    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.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Jeff Jensen

    An hour feels a little long for the tonally eclectic dramedy, but Kinnear is pitch-perfect, and with sharp stories, Rake can progress. [24 Jan 2014, p.64]

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Lily Moayeri

    Rake has enough varied story elements to not fall into the procedural courtroom drama. Kinnear is a natural in the starring role, effortlessly making the shambles of his character's life seem not only plausible, but also sympathetic.

    Under The Radar Full Review
  • Sarah Rodman

    The degree to which viewers will enjoy the new Fox series Rake, based on an Australian series of the same name, will depend on how high their threshold is for watching a charismatic, talented person repeatedly sabotage himself while trying the patience of those around him. Going a long way toward making that trope palatable, and quite charming, is Greg Kinnear as lawyer Keegan Deane.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    Thanks to Kinnear, most of this works, although there are touches that feel a tad too precious.

    Variety Full Review
  • Tom Long

    Kinnear, as always, is a likable presence, and he and Summers seem like they’ll have good chemistry if the show ever calms down.

    The Detroit News Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    The first pilot was already emblematic of the struggle to do cable-style weirdness and moral ambiguity in a broadcast network context; the new pilot sands off several of the edges that survived the first time.... It is, essentially, "House, JD," and Kinnear has the impish charm to play this kind of character.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    Kinnear carries himself ably, and his character’s amiable rogue presence wears fairly well for starters. The long haul may be problematic, though.

    Uncle Barky Full Review
  • Chuck Bowen

    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. He gives this fun but smug series a little bite.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • David Hinckley

    It could still be a hit, largely because of Kinnear. But it needs to pick up its game.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Joanne Ostrow

    The likability of a lying, cheating, essentially egomaniacal criminal defense lawyer is a stretch in the first place. It takes a lot of grinning and tousling from Kinnear to make it work.

    Denver Post Full Review
  • Mark A. Perigard

    There might be a good drama in Rake, but right now the jury is still out.

    Boston Herald Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    If you can’t love the rake in Keegan, then you sure can’t love the lawyer in him either (since it’s barely developed in the pilot). That leaves Rake as an overly familiar character study and an under-developed law procedural.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Ellen Gray

    I'm not entirely sure where Tolan, Kinnear and company are going with this, but I'm only interested if they're willing to go all in. Because a toothless rake is of no use at all.

    Philadelphia Daily News Full Review
  • David Hiltbrand

    In the early going, Kinnear is simply too stain-proof. His fizzy, boyish air makes Keegan's vices seem merely prankish and easily overlooked.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • James Poniewozik

    While tonight’s first episode of Rake (the only one given critics, besides an earlier version of the pilot that was remade since last spring) is--well, rakishly--amusing, it’s not really enough to give a sense of what kind of show this will be, and whether it’s worth sticking with.

    Time Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    Mr. Kinnear certainly has the charm to play this rakish character, and the overstuffed pilot introduces a lot of characters who might help propel the series' stories in the future. But if "House" is the model, Rake is a somewhat stale successor.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Gail Pennington

    Fox originally provided a different pilot for Rake, one that wasn't so lighthearted. (Really.) That episode will air later, after, the network hopes, we've come to love this bad boy despite his foibles.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    "He's a lawyer--but with a twist!" is not a formula that the big networks will ever stop trying to perfect. But the execution of that idea isn't quite up to par in the first episode of Rake.

    The Huffington Post Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    Rake's uneven tone (which makes Ally McBeal seem grounded in reality) left me numb.

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    Kinnear is a fine and immensely likable actor, and his wry smile and way with a line keep Keegan at least minimally sympathetic. They are not, however, enough to make him either interesting or believable.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Brian Tallerico

    [Greg Kinnear's] charming enough and funny enough to make it work. If only the writing can rise to his abilities. Full Review
  • Matt Zoller Seitz

    Rake seems to believe he's fascinating, but the evidence does not persuade.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Willa Paskin

    Rake is a little bit like the bad Sundance movie version of a procedural, a sturdy genre project tricked out with twee and antic detailing, in the hopes you will find all the appended doohickeys sharp and adorable and not notice how predictably the story is chugging along.

    Slate Full Review