On the recently deceased website JumptheShark.com,* it was decided that adding Ted McGinley to a TV show was the death knell, the very moment that the show would take a downturn, never to recover.(examples include Happy Days, Dynasty, and The Love Boat).
In the case of the routine Burt Reynolds vehicle, Physical Evidence, he is the only saving grace. Playing the snobby, fratboy, stock broker fiancée of defense lawyer Theresa Russell (whose character’s name is Jennifer Hudson), McGinley, whines, pouts, threatens lawsuits, ignores her, demeans her, and is threatened by her power so much that as she becomes more and more confident in her job he tells her that the success is making her “mannish.” Even his pet names for her are fantastically embarrassing, reducing her to a cheerleader by calling her “Jenzer.”
In fact, McGinley is so amusing in his role that you almost root for this boorish lout, thinking he can do better than Russell’s stiff, lifeless lawyer. When she [predictably] dumps him (supposedly for Reynolds, but their chemistry is so non-existent, that director Michael Crichton didn’t have the stomach to provide them with even a kissing scene, but we do get romantic music to go with the sitcomy end credit freeze frame), you wish that the movie would follow “Kyle” onto more coked out late 80’s adventures. Russell is clearly lost anyway, half the time she’s supposed to be an inexperienced, girly barrister, the other half, she poses like a Nazi, not aided by her monochromatic wardrobe. The story is the last thing on anyone’s mind, and all the actors, tired of the old “did the alcoholic, righteous cop (Reynolds) kill the sleazy gangster, and if so will his lawyer find out before he hurts her?” That this was a proposed sequel to Jagged Edge is not a surprise (the only surprise, other than McGinley, is the opening scene involving, attempted suicide, bungee jumping, and a corpse), you can see the blueprint, in fact there’s no fresh details at all, only the blueprint for what goes into one of these forgettable thrillers. Even Burt’s wig looks disinterested.
*JumptheShark.com was purchased by TV Guide, and along with it, deleting all 10 years of its back catalog of [negative] comments, so they could pretend that no show has ever jumped the shark, or even approached being sub-par.
Buy Physical Evidence on DVD