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.
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.
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.
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.