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New Character Goodness: John Stamos as Connor McClane, Necessary Roughness 

Photo Credit: James White/USA Network
Photo Credit: James White/USA Network
Let me just start by saying that every time a show gets rid of regulars and replaces them with new characters to “breathe new life in to the show,” it makes me nervous. Sometimes shows do it right (Juliet and Ben on Lost, the East Dillion Lions on Friday Night Lights) and sometimes shows do it very very wrong (Nikki and Paolo on Lost, the interns on Grey’s Anatomy). Don’t get me wrong, like every girl of my generation, I’m a John Stamos fan (Uncle Jesse forever!) and was excited to see that he joined the cast of Necessary Roughness, but I also entered this season with reservations. However, John Stamos has absolutely knocked it out of the park. And considering that he has a pretty major role in the show, that’s no small feat. Granted, David Anders has not delivered on the same level for me, but fortunately his role is smaller so I’m going to focus on Stamos. 
I’m not saying that I thought the show was suffering or lacking last season, because I was definitely a fan and enjoyed watching all the TK/addiction drama unfold. But the addition of Connor McClane has definitely given the show a serious adrenaline boost. When it comes down to it, I barely even notice Matt is missing. But it’s not only Connor’s charm and charisma that make each of his scenes compelling, it’s also how his presence affects the other actors. I find TK more intriguing (which I would’ve previously thought downright impossible!) when he goes toe-to-toe with Connor and I love to see Connor play it straight with TK without either coddling him or being out-and-out demanding, which is the way most people have dealt with TK in the past. This week especially, he forces TK to truly think about the reality of his future and not just the endorsements and monetary aspects, but the relationships and loyalty that will get him there. 
Photo Credit: Richard DuCree/USA Network
Photo Credit: Richard DuCree/USA Network
Connor has also had an intoxicating affect on Dani so far this season. Now, I’m not saying I expect or want a relationship to blossom (at least not yet) but again, I feel like Connor challenges her in a way that adds a much needed, but also positive, jolt to her life. I was truly worried when this season started…the idea of Dr. D going corporate had me questioning whether this show would stay the same…and I was right, it hasn’t….it’s gotten better! I can genuinely say that I have thoroughly connected to and enjoyed both of Dr. D’s cases these past two weeks. They have been hit or miss for me in the past, but once I started to think about that, I realized that it was less about the cases and more about how they distracted from the other storylines. In past seasons, we’ve always seen two sides of Dani’s life – her relationship with the Hawks/TK/Nico/Matt and her personal clients. The two rarely intersected and it made it feel like Dani always had one foot in the Hawks and the other out the door. Now that all of Dani’s storylines (her cases, her work, her friendships, her relationships) all revolve around V3 and relate to each other, I feel that the show has become much more cohesive. And we have Connor McClane to thank for that. Not to mention that he has presented Dr. D with some pretty riveting clients — the actress with the love addiction was fascinating and I won’t lie, this week’s basketball player definitely wormed his way in to my heart. 
But back to Connor. “Swimming with Sharks” finally gave us a glimpse of Connor-the-shrewd-businessman, which not only helped us understand how he has risen to the top, but also made him that much more interesting. Poaching clients, agents and hackers from another firm? This man takes no prisoners! But on the flipside, to then hear his admission to Dani of a broken heart and the importance of loyalty gave him such a vulnerability that it’s hard not to root for him. All in all, John Stamos has not only brought a swoon-worthy smile and ridiculously good head of hair to the show, he’s also brought a complexity and intrigue that we didn’t even realize we were missing. As far as hits and misses go, this addition is a definite hit.
Necessary Roughness airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on USA Network.

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