‘Necessary Roughness’ 1.02 Recap: “Ask Him About the Rage”

Episode 2 of ‘Necessary Roughness’ confirms most of my impressions from the previous week’s pilot episode. I like the characters and think that the show has potential, but the writing is just a little too simplistic for its own good.

The episode is called ‘Anchor Management’ because (har har) Dani has to treat a TV news anchor who’s been cracking up under pressure and breaking into inappropriate fits of laughter while reporting serious news. The network has yanked him off the air for a few weeks to get his act together. The man is a former war correspondent used to reporting under fire, but it appears that he just can’t handle the transition to sitting behind a desk. He thinks that quitting the anchor job and going back to the field will solve all of his problems, but Dani wants to get to the root of the problem, especially after his wife confides to her that he’s been drinking, suffering insomnia, and is prone to fits of rage – none of which he bothered to mention.

Eventually, Dani realizes that it isn’t the job at all that’s been freaking him out. The couple has a new baby boy, and daddy is terrified of fatherhood. With that diagnosed, he has a breakthrough and can get back to work.

As with the previous episode, the resolution to this problem is far too pat and convenient. I don’t expect this series to have the depth or complexity of ‘In Treatment’, but these quick fixes are kind of ridiculous. Also, the actor playing the news anchor isn’t very good at selling the laughing fits. I don’t buy him for a second.

At the very least, TK continues to be a pain in the ass. From the looks of things, it appears that he’ll be Dani’s only regular client. In this episode, he injures his knee. When Matt (Marc Blucas) pulls him from an upcoming big game, TK thinks that it’s a ploy by the team to prevent him from getting an expected performance bonus. Once again, he makes an ass of himself in the media, and Tweets that the team ought to just trade him. Per Dani’s suggestion, the coach calls his bluff and Tweets back with a rumor that TK will be traded to Minnesota. Once he hears that, TK straightens up and starts acting nice again… for the time being.

(Incidentally, the show’s insistence on making a big deal of referencing Twitter all the time is a little annoying. It’s as if the writers are trying to say, “Hey, we’re hip. We know what the kids are into these days.” But at least they can use the real name, and haven’t resorted to making up a “FacePlace” or “MyFace.”)

Finally, Dani’s daughter tries to trick her into letting her date a boy named Trent. She brings in a friendly nerd as a ringer, but the real Trent has a lip piercing and purple hair. Dani of course blows a gasket about this, until discovering that punk Trent is actually a very nice boy. And thus a valuable lesson about not judging a book by its cover is learned by all. Never mind that her daughter’s a lying little bitch, however. That part pretty much gets forgotten.

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