It's good to have another gal squarely at the center of a TV show (like Julianna Marguiles of "The Good Wife"), and it's good that the gal is Callie Thorne.
Thorne has an appealing authenticity and weary wisdom, and in "Necessary Roughness" (USA, 10 tonight), she gets to showcase both qualities to great effect with a good cast. It's a delightful show.
Thorne plays Dr. Dani Santino, a married psychotherapist and mother of two, who discovers her husband has been cheating. She tosses him out, but can't afford to divorce him until a one-night stand (Marc Blucas) turns out to be a trainer for the local pro football team. When she uses hypnotherapy to help him stop smoking, he recommends her to his boss to help get an expensive and hot-headed football star (Mehcad Brooks) to start catching the ball again. Scott Cohen plays the team's security who stays in Dr. Dani's face and life.
This new world comes with challenges; her divorce gets more contentious, her teen-age daughter starts acting out, her Gamblers-Anonymous-candidate mother is around more, and the football star doesn't make it easy.
That Dr. Dani has so much to juggle helps tremendously; not only does it give a full set of characters made of solid actors a chance to shine, it adds realism to this kind of life change, and gives Thorne's character a richness. She gets to be sexy, motherly, crazed, professional, tough -- all the things women often are, except on TV.
It was easy to root for Dr. Dani; same goes for "Necessary Roughness."