Michael Trucco has already made it clear that Fairly Legal is about to get a fun shake up when it returns for its second season. Helping the USA Network series change things up when it returns on Friday, March 16?
Ryan Johnson, who debuts on the premiere as lawyer Ben Grogan.
Anyone knows that being the new guy on the block, especially within an already established group, isn't the easiest task. Fans can be skeptical of a new actor being thrown into the mix. Having seen the season two premiere during my set visit last month, though, I can assure viewers that this is one likable new character.
Within minutes of making an appearance, Grogan is both flirting and verbally sparring with Sarah Shahi's Kate Reed.
The cordial Aussie actor took time from his day off to chat with me during my visit, checking in on what I thought of his addition to the cast and talking about what his cocky, wise talking lawyer brings to the new season.
"In the first episode, Ben turns up... I think he’s a little intrigued by [Kate], a little bit excited by her," Johnson told me. "He sees her as kind of a worthy adversary... When he meets Kate, she shuts him down immediately. And so I think he’s interested in her and she’s really smart and she’s a lawyer, and there’s just something about her that’s interesting and different."
It's that instant type of spark, along with their vastly different ideals on how to handle legal situations, that fuel their chemistry fire.
"Ben comes from the working class, and he’s kind of worked his way into being a self-made man, and this is the first time he’s had to, to work in a team. But she’s, she’s kind of like a poor little rich girl in many ways, and so she, you know, she’s always worried that the puppy hasn’t got water to drink" Johnson laughed.
It's the attorney's desire to make the cash money and her desire to be fair and concerned about the people, as well as Grogan and Kates's quippy banter, that gives a certain additional spice to Kate's life.
And of course that means that Grogan will have a little competition in Kate's on again/off again flame, Justin Patrick (Trucco). He grinned at these two powerhouse men crossing paths and doing a bit of "tail sniffing" and "chest puffing."
"You’ve got to keep it from getting too, schoolyard," Johnson said. "Trucco has this real calm, and he’s very relaxed and he’s very charismatic, and so even though his character is quite, um, rigid, he brings this kind of effortlessness to everything that he does. So, that’s also a real challenge because it’s harder to rattle."
But that doesn't mean the hot shot lawyers don't hold a certain respect for each other, even when getting into a fun episode story that involves a cougar judge who "takes a fancy to both of them."
It's this free reign attitude, along with plenty of humorous gags, that get Grogan into trouble with Lauren Reed, played by Virginia Williams.
"It’s like the kids are loose, and for her she’s constantly trying to rein them in. And she has established a lot of the relationship. She’s got a lot of the old clients, and Ben just keeps bringing in these weird and wonderful randoms that, you know, no one really knows what to do with."
With a smile that is sure to win over many female fans and a gung-ho attitude that makes you want to see just what crazy antics Grogan comes up with, Johnson is a fantastic and charismatic addition to the show. You won't be disappointed.
Fairly Legal returns for some good legal fun at 9/8c on USA Network Friday, March 16.
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.