Written by Senora Bicho
I watch way too much television, and with every new fall season I am determined that I will not add any new shows to the line-up unless I remove something first. ABC managed to grab me with two of their new shows last season and Eli Stone is one of them. My curiosity was peaked when I heard that the premise of the show was based on George Michael songs and I was hooked after the first episode.
Eli Stone (Jonny Lee Miller) is a high-profile lawyer on the fast track to being a partner and is engaged to the managing partner’s (Victor Garber) beautiful daughter Taylor (Natasha Henstridge). His life is perfect when suddenly he starts hearing George Michael’s “Faith” and even sees George singing in his living room. He goes to an acupuncturist to try and stop his visions. The acupuncturist (James Saito), who believes that Eli is a prophet, helps him to flashback on important moments from his past to find the significance of the song he is hearing. It guides him in taking on cases and in doing the right thing.
The visions also help Eli learn more about his dead father whom he believed to be a drunk. He discovers that he has a brain aneurysm that could be the cause of his visions and that his father suffered from the same thing. As the visions become more frequent and his behavior more erratic, his law firm gets anxious to fire him. However, after his first post-vision win, his client makes the law firm sign an agreement that they will never fire him. So instead they try to make his life as uncomfortable and as difficult as possible in the hope that he will quit. Eli’s life continues to plummet after he calls off his engagement. He decides that he doesn’t want to subject Taylor to the life his mother had to endure with his father. Throughout the season, Eli struggles to find answers and seems to only find more questions.
For me, the key to this show is the George Michael music; it is fun and uplifting. It reminded me of how much I enjoy it and even got me to see him in concert. (One of the best concerts I have ever been to by the way. If you like his music and get the chance to see him, do it.) Each episode is titled after one of his songs, but it is not always included in it. There are fun musical numbers in just about every episode, which provide the opportunity for cast members to showcase their musical talents or lack there of. George even guest stars as himself in one particularly profound episode and it was my favorite of the season.
Eli Stone is not the best legal drama on television, the cases are weak at times but that is not the heart of the show. This is Eli’s story and what lessons he learns as a man struggling to do the right thing. The show provides life lessons for all of us and tries to teach us what is important. Jonny Lee Miller is wonderful in the title role; he is instantly likable and is able to garner the care and concern of the audience. The supporting cast is also worth watching and it is especially great to have Victor Garber back on TV. The show is original and you never know what direction it will take.
Some great bonus features are included in the DVD collection. There are audio commentaries for three episodes featuring the creators, some of the executive producers, cast members, and writers. The deleted scenes are actually worth watching and there is a blooper reel. The four featurettes provide everything a fan would want to know about the show and more: “Acting on Faith: Eli Stone and George Michael,” “Turning a Prophet: The Creation of Eli Stone,” “Creating Visions: The Effects of Eli Stone,” and “Inside the Firm: The Natasha Henstridge Tour.”
If you want something heartwarming, funny, and charming, give Eli Stone a try. In-between the laughs you might even learn something.