Thursday, February 22, 2018

TMP Television Edition: Legal Dramas


Another Thursday has rolled around, and that means another Thursday Movie Picks. Of course, this is the last Thursday of the month, so that means we're not actually talking movies. We're talking television. And the topic chosen by our illustrious leader, Wanderer at Wandering Through the Shelves is legal dramas. Makes sense. Next to cops and doctors, shows about lawyers are probably the most plentiful on TV. This should be an interesting week for our TMP group. Me? I'm taking the easy way out. I'm going with three of Mrs. Dell's favorite shows. Can't say I'm a huge fan of any, but I've seen plenty of them while watching with her. You object? Overruled.


The Good Wife
(2009-16)
The eponymous good wife is Alicia, the wife of a politician who has gone back to her career in law after her hubby got caught up in a scandal. We watched her juggle those along with her crumbling marriage. Of course, we spend as much time in bedrooms as in court, but hey, it's solid fun.


How to Get Away With Murder
(2014-???)
Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) is a big-time defense attorney who also teaches and takes on a team of interns. The first season concerns itself with two rather interesting murders. The victims were Annalise's husband and her mistress. Hmmm. From there, the show has gone through all sorts of corridors. Of course, we spend as much time in bedrooms as in court, but hey, it's solid fun.


Bull
(2016-???)
This one is a bit of an oddball for a legal drama in that the main character isn't a lawyer. Dr. Jason Bull is a psychologist and "trial science" expert. Basically, he is a master at picking juries for his clients. And yes, that's what the show is built on. In case you think this is completely far-fetched, the show is "based" on the early days in the career of the one and only Dr. Phil. He was once a trial consultant and is, in fact, one of the show's creators. Hmmm, we actually don't spend that much time in bedrooms and quite a bit in court, and hey, it's solid fun.


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17 comments:

  1. I loved How to Get Away With Murder, but stopped watching after season 3 (because they killed off Wes and he was one of my favorite characters). It's a great show to binge watch because waiting for the next episode is agonizing; it's like reading a thriller and you're told you can't read the next chapter just when things get a lot more interesting.

    I wonder how long Bull can keep up its format. I don't mind the whole 'new case' thing every week (though it does get repetitive), but there's zero character development for any of them, and the other characters keep on getting random arcs that don't really contribute to who they are as characters. It's a background show for me, at best.

    I haven't seen The Good Wife, but heard good things about it.

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    1. HTGAWM is the one I've seen the most of and it is a blast, no doubt. Great observation on Bull. Since I only watch it occasionally, that stuff doesn't bother me too much.

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  2. I always wanted to watch HTGAWM mostly for Viola Davis. The Good Wife was okay but knowing about Margulies off screen diva behavior made it hard for me to care about her bland character

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    1. Ya got me there. Until now I knew absolutely nothing about Margulies. Viola's show is a good time, though.

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  3. I've had HTGAWM in my Netflix queue for years. I really do want to watch it.

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  4. I picked The Good Wife too! Such a great show with truly complex characters and GREAT performances, even the one-episode guest stars in tiny parts!

    UGH How To Get Away With Murder... I love this show but it is now basically just "Ass-Kicking Viola Davis and the Idiots Surrounding Her" - and yes, she's worth it, but dear lord the idiots are ANNOYING. But those first two seasons or so were really something special. Dark and twisty and soapy.

    Haven't watched Bull because there's just too much TV to watch everything, but I suspect it will become like Suits for me - eventually I'll stream it while I'm folding my laundry.

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    1. The performances in The Good Wife are indeed top notch. Great minds think alike.

      Sigh. I agree, the show does suffer when Viola isn't the focus

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  5. I've heard The Good Wife praised but I never picked up the habit though I loved Julianna Margulies on ER. It's been disappointing though to read that she's apparently become incredibly difficult to work with.

    I watched the first season of How to Get Away with Murder because I love Viola Davis but aside from her I didn't think much of the show and didn't return when I it came back.

    I've never heard of Bull but I find Dr. Phil beyond resistible so I don't know about something based on him.

    Since the number of shows about lawyers is nearly limitless I did a small theme within the theme. We’re L.A. bound!

    Perry Mason (1957-1966)-Criminal attorney Perry Mason (Raymond Burr-in the role that took him from villain to hero) aided by his loyal, intuitive secretary Della Street (Barbara Hale) and investigator Paul Drake (William Hopper-son of famous gossip columnist Hedda) manages to save his client week after week with a last minute moment of revelation. Loaded with familiar faces including future stars like Robert Redford, Dick Clark, and in a guest shot when Burr was ill-Bette Davis. Based on the Erle Stanley Gardner series of novels.

    The Bold Ones: The Lawyers (1969-1972)-Venerated Los Angeles attorney Walter Nichols (Burl Ives) takes brother lawyers Brian & Neil Darrell (Joseph Campanella and James Farentino) into his firm and mentors them through their cases and lives. Part of an alternating series of dramas all under the umbrella title (The New Doctors, The Protectors, The Senator were the others) shown on rotating weeks. Again loaded with rising stars, Ellen Burstyn (just before The Exorcist), Martin Sheen, Richard Dreyfuss and Jack Klugman among others as guests.

    L.A. Law (1986-1994)-The trials and tribulations of the members of Los Angeles-based law firm McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney and Kuzak was a monster hit in its day. While it was highly glamourized rather than using the trials as a sort of mystery to be solved the series approach was more of one focusing on the nuts and bolts of the legal profession (torts, ethics, briefs etc.) at least in its initial seasons. It did however spend a great deal of time in the bedroom and actually created a huge buzz with a supposed sexual position called The Venus Butterfly that never failed to satisfy.

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    1. You're the second person to tell me Margulies is a diva. Honestly, I don't pay attention to the personal lives of most celebs unless someone purposely brings it to my attention, or it's just such big news I can't avoid it.

      To be completely open, I had no idea that Dr. Phil had anything to do with the show until yesterday. I'm not his biggest fan, either, but I though it was an interesting tidbit.

      Perry Mason is an all-time great. I used to watch that in re-runs as a kid.

      Never heard of The Bold Ones.

      I love L.A. Law. I just about had it picked myself right up until the last minute when I decided to go with shows the wife likes.

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  6. How to Get Away with Murder is the only one I watch and I love it. It looks like a soap opera at times but it's so good!

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  7. The Good Wife is popular today which I have not seen but heard great things. I was never into wanting to see How to Get Away With Murder because I don’t want them to...whoever “them” is. I love Viola Davis who is a great actress even though I wish she would stop wearing wigs because I saw her real hair once at an awards ceremony and she looked so beautiful. Ok ..I digress...I did try a couple of times to watch Bull but I found the guy insufferable..hmm..much like Dr. Phil

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    1. The Good Wife is popular for good reason. Love the point about Viola Davis's hair. As for Bull...yyyyeeeaaaahhhh...It made so much sense when I found that out.

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  8. I haven't seen any of these and that's okay because really I just came here to say happy 1 million!

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  9. The Good Wife is great. Spin off one too. First series of Murder One sensational btw.

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