Necessary Roughness, Season Two (2012)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Combining an interesting behind-the-scenes look at various major leagues of sports – centering the majority of its time on football, the second season of Necessary Roughness revealed new enemies and new alliances, all done in a lighthearted, breezy sort of way that makes the viewer smile.  

The New York Hawks are used to dealing with dramatics from their star running back, TK (Mechad Brooks) but this latest brush with the press is a headline maker that nearly cost him his life after being shot twice in a nightclub. Now weeks after his surgery, TK is still MIA and the team hasn’t a clue if he will be starting this season. The team therapist Dr. Dani Santini (Callie Thorne) is concerned that TK may be repressing post-traumatic stress and she warns against the coach or TK’s agent letting him attend the upcoming player’s reception.

Matt Donnally (Marc Blucas), the team’s physical therapist and trainer – and recently Dani’s boyfriend, backs her decision but it turns out that the Hawks have bigger problems at hand when the owners announce they are getting a divorce which reveals that while the Pitman’s are rich in assets, the team is nearly broke. This leads Nico (Scott Cohen), head of security for the Pittman’s, to seek out their teenage daughter, Juliette (Danielle Panabaker) who has disappeared.

Meanwhile, Dani is dealing with personal issues of her own. Her ex-husband and she are being audited by the IRS forcing her to gather receipts from three years ago, and if that were not enough, Dani’s teenage children begin to insert their independence which in turn begins to make Dani think about what is best for her family’s future.  

There is nothing quite like this on television and today that is a rare commodity. The formula of the series is unique and beyond that each forty-some span of sixteen episodes also keeps things interesting. Already a successful practice on her own, instead of each episode being only about Dani trying to keep TK sane (and by virtue us!), various other sporting clients (tennis, roller derby, baseball) make it into her office though each one does center around the world of pro football in some form. Part of the summer line up on the USA slate of programs, it’s been interesting to watch how this show expanded during season two; some of that turmoil is very (very!) good, others – like foisting teenager characters into adulthood by dealing with very adult things – terribly disappointing.

The greatest, most glaring flaw in this season is all the tumult that seems to be spinning out its wheels, testing our patience, becoming perpetually “stuck” in one place. Conflict is what stories thrive on (to keep all the elements in play and to continue pulling in the spectator), however, about as soon as one is resolved, another crops up, again disrupting the character’s lives. For the first half of the season, things carry on in a normal fashion and relies on dealing with the aftermath of TK’s shooting and by virtue season one’s finale. Immediately after that, already viewers are catapulted into the middle of something even more threatening and on the tradition marches. Even for a “soapy” television show, I think it was “too much,” we should have been given more of a breather and time to take in and process all that was happening – because it is all interesting, especially the shake-up in the hierarchy. Better suited to the structure would have been the pacing – had it not all come in that short a timeframe, things would have gone smoother. Perhaps the best sparks that fly on the screen are of the romantic kind – my friends, the tension here is brimming with promise and interesting subtleties; it’s been something smoldering since the pilot building on various events and finally comes to a head in the season two finale – than, as usual ends in another cliffhanger. 

Balancing this out is the generally “happy” mood and the great transition of TK. Once he admits to his problem, I was quite proud of how he genuinely tries to alter public opinion without losing the good of who he is underneath that conceited playboy exterior. Playing all their characters exceedingly well is the veteran cast including Marc Blucas, Callie Thorne and the fabulous Scott Cohen – whose alter ego is perhaps the most interesting. Guest spots include the return of Amanda Detmer in a fun turn. Many arguments could be made that too much is bantered about during these sixteen episodes but the show retains a heart its peers skim over. Dani is a typical single mom dealing with familiar pangs of watching her children grow independent and the dilemma over how she should begin to live in this new season of life; the writing tackles important and poignant things that are realistic while balancing some nice moments of comedy. On or off the “playing field” of life, she has a lot to figure out – and if things continue to spiral upward, I’m anxious to see what comes from Necessary Roughness 

(The show rates TV14, parental review: in the first half of the show, a teenager argues for the points of having sex in his mother’s home – she catches them in his bedroom once. Later she gives him a bag full of "protection" while insisting he talk with his father about the “details.” At various points, similar minor innuendoes are present – Dani is seen waking up or lying in bed several times with Matt [a dream sequence also includes suggestive scenes]; there is one or two other scenes of different couples lying in bed together. By the end, there’s an out-of-wedlock pregnancy. TK is a womanizer and is constantly surrounded by women. He becomes addicted to painkillers after his injuries and one person overdoses. Most unfortunately are the two arcs involving a homosexual character – nothing becomes graphic but there is conversations regarding it, and clients who are married but are active in the “swing” culture.)


  1. AAHHH!!! I love this show so much! :) Can't wait for season three!

    1. Oh, me too, Ruth! Anxious to find out what happens next with all the crazy-ness that came about in that final hour. Plus *sniff* I don't want to see Nico leave. I like him.


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