BY Brandon Voss
June 05 2009 12:00 AM ET
Led by Saved by the Bell alum Mark-Paul Gosselaar as defense attorney Jerry Kellerman, Steven Bochco's legal drama Raising the Bar is back in session with its sophomore season starting June 8 on TNT. Handsome star Jonathan Scarfe steals his share of courtroom scenes as conflicted law clerk Charlie Sagansky, who came out of the closet at the end of season 1 after a complicated affair with his female boss ( Malcolm in the Middle 's Jane Kaczmarek). A Toronto-born "Canadian Emmy" winner (best known in America for the miniseries Into the West and as Carter's heroin-abusing cousin on ER ), Scarfe defends the still-closeted close friend who continues to inspire his role.
Advocate.com:For the benefit of those who missed season 1, why did Charlie stay in the closet for so long?Jonathan Scarfe: Charlie's career aspirations are to become a judge, and he was concerned that being out would slow down the process of getting on the bench. He got some encouragement from Mark-Paul's character, who basically helped him see that he was lying to his friends and that he had to be true to himself. And he told him that there are gay judges out there, so being gay is not going to make it impossible for him to go down that path. When Charlie did come out, his peers were completely fine with it.
What's new for Charlie in season 2 now that he's out? A gay relationship?I would love that, but where we've gone with the scripts so far -- I've only seen up to episode 8 -- we haven't seen that. That's something I keep fighting for. But they have introduced another character, an older gay judge [Judge Albert Farnsworth, played by John Michael Higgins]. He's sworn off romantic relationships, but he's become a sort of mentor for Charlie professionally.
Eight episodes and no action?No action, man, and I gotta say that I'm kind of disappointed. At the end of the day, it's a big ensemble cast with a lot of characters to write for, so you have to be patient. But I hope that's down the road.
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