Is This the Golden Age of Legal Dramas?


By our count, there are now five law-related shows on TV: Franklin & Bash, Fairly Legal, Suits, Drop Dead Diva, and Harry’s Law. All five shows have been renewed for at least another season and all show lots of promise. Though all of them are very distinct, they seem to have one common thread, they are deviating from the strict procedural in favor of character-based appeal. We at Bitter Lawyer salute these shows for having characters that seem to enjoy their careers, as opposed to most of our faithful readers. We’d love to know which of these legal shows you like the best.

Drop Dead Diva

Premise: the one-hour, comedic drama tells the story of a shallow wannabe model who dies in a sudden accident only to find her soul resurfacing in the body of a brilliant, plus-size and recently deceased attorney, Jane.

Why we like it: because the main character, Jane, rocks. We’re rooting hard for Jane to find love this year.  The cameos, including Paula Abdul, Wanda Sykes, Kathy Griffin are an added bonus. Also, it was created by lawyer and BL interviewee, Josh Berman.

Fairly Legal

Premise: an energetically delightful dramedy about a San Francisco mediator, a former attorney, who uses her considerable capacity for empathetic diplomacy to help people solve their own problems outside the stuffy and legally hamstrung court system.

Why we like it: two words: Sara Shahi. She’s basically a hotter, smarter Anne Hathaway. Nuff said.

Franklin & Bash

Premise: two young, fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants street lawyers cause a seismic culture clash when they join a legendary, button-down law firm.

Why we like it: because it’s really a buddy comedy in a legal setting. We too were dubious when we spoke with the shows creator about putting Zach Morris and the kid from Clueless in a courtroom together. But we were pleasantly surprised with their chemistry and the standout work of some of the other cast members. The agoraphobic Pindar, played by Kumail Nanjiani especially has been putting us in stitches.  Also created by BL interviewee, Bill Chais.

Suits

Premise: guy takes New York Bar exam on a dare and crushes it, pretends to be Harvard graduate and gets shown the ropes by womanizing hotshot partner.

Why we like it: the world loves the Will Hunting underdog character. Also, the two leads’ banter and the interactions between all of the characters keep it nice and fluffy, just the way we like our summer shows.  We at BL are predicting superstardom for the young male lead, played by Patrick Adams.

Harry’s Law

Premise: a group of misfit lawyers form an unconventional firm.  (We have to admit, these premises are starting to sound awfully familiar.)

Why we like it: because Harry is actually Harriet, played by the most underrated actor in Hollywood, Kathy Bates.

Which legal drama do you like best?

(photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/videocrab/116136642/)

Bitter Staff is a collection of current and former editors, contributors, and various other lawyers who have written for Bitter Lawyer over the years. Posts include interviews, contests, and other general lawyerly and bitter content.

4 Comments

  1. Ellen

    August 10, 2011 at 7:24 am

    I look alot like Sara Shahi but a little more fair-skinned. Originaly, I was NOT even going to go to Law School, but my FATHER said I needed a carrer to fall back on in case I ever got divorced.

    So it was either MEDICAL school or Law school, and b/c I did not like disecting a frog, I went to Law school.

    Now I am a lawyer who is admited to the NY Bar, and am very happy I folowed what my FATHER said. I have a carrer and do NOT have to depend on a man to suport me.

  2. Maya

    August 10, 2011 at 9:38 am

    It is so interesting that you post this today! Look at what I had to say about the last three shows yesterday.

    I’m a big fan of Suits & Franklin and Bash!
    Keep up the great work! :)

  3. Dr. Juris

    August 10, 2011 at 10:28 am

    I hate to be snarky, but I hope you depend on a paralegal to support you (or at the very least, to correct your grammar), Ellen.

    I can’t decide whether I like Harry’s Law or Drop Dead Diva more. Harry’s Law had a great show on jury nullification, while I actually learned about the Chinese Wall from DDD.

  4. 3[hel]L

    September 12, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    You forgot The Good Wife, which is amazeballs.

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