Presumably, he's also a brilliant lawyer, although there's little proof of that in the pilot. Mostly in the first outing, he's quick on his feet, if only to avoid the many punches deservedly coming his way.
Despite an obvious conflict of interest, he's buds with Roy (Omar J. Dorsey), the bookie's collector who keeps rearranging Keegan's face.
The show borrows the title and the creator (Peter Duncan) of the original Australian series, which starred Richard Roxburgh. It also maintains several central plot points and relationships.
Keegan's closest attachment, for instance, is to a prostitute (Bojana Novakovic), and he uses his psychologist ex (Miranda Otto) as his therapist to help him sort out his picturesque psyche.
Others in the cast include Tara Summers, John Ortiz, Necar Zadegan, David Harbour, and Ian Colletti.
Kinnear is extremely likable in the lead, which may prove to be a problem. You don't want the character too dark, like Paul Newman's boozy barrister in The Verdict. But he has to seem driven by his appetites in a way too self-destructive to be amusing, always dancing on the edge of the abyss.
In the early going, Kinnear is simply too stain-proof. His fizzy, boyish air makes Keegan's vices seem merely prankish and easily overlooked.
But if Kinnear can settle into this role and find a way to execute the acrobatic act of being both funny and deeply flawed, then Rake has the potential to be a modern equivalent of The Rockford Files. Wouldn't that be spectacular?
9 p.m. Thursday on Fox29