We`ve mentioned David E. Kelley before, but we`d never get out of this avocado outage without his name reappearing. Kelley is the king of the eccentric lawyer series, and his roots go back to his days at L.A. Law, but from Picket Fences in 1992 he really ran with it. Picket Fences followed the inhabitants of the fictional city of Rome, Wisconsin, whose defining feature was essentially: “Strange things happen here.” One of the show`s main recurring narrators was in the courtroom, under the supervision of Judge Harry Bone (Ray Walston, who won two Emmys in the role) and defense attorney Douglas Wambaugh (Fyvush Finkel, who won the Emmys). Of course, we can`t talk about small-town lawyer shows without getting into Matlock. Andy Griffith played defending champion Ben Matlock from 1986 to 1995 and defended all kinds of people against criminal charges. What`s remarkable about Matlock is that he had the soul of a lawyers show in a small town, even though it was set on the outskirts of Atlanta. Sometimes the small town is an atmosphere, and the folk charm of Andy Griffith brings a very special atmosphere. It`s surprising that there aren`t more TV shows that fit into this niche. Evil, the Paramount+ series about paranormal investigators for the Catholic Church, doesn`t have an evil law firm in its narrative, and it looks like a waste.
The best example of this on television was Angel, a series about a team of supernatural detectives who often clashed with an evil law firm, Wolfram & Hart – and then blamed for it in the final season. Angel had his own inner mythology that was a mile wide and dates back to his existence as a spin-off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but the creation of Wolfram & Hart was one of his great triumphs. The small-town lawyers show is unique in that it runs through various other subsets. We`ve already talked about small-town lawyer series that were quirky (Picket Fences) or where the main character had a side appearance (Ed) or were comedies (Trial and Error). A small town setting allows the week`s cases to take a more personal perspective where even small potatoes look big and important. Here we go! Networks have been trying to spice up their lawyers` shows for decades, hoping to merge the procedural charm of legal drama with sexy, soapy and youth-friendly stars. L. Law may not have been the first sexy lawyer show, but it set the standard, with star Harry Hamlin making the cover of People as their sexiest living man while playing lawyer Michael Kuzak, among other hotties like Jimmy Smits, Blair Underwood, Susan Dey and, of course, the ultimate hornhound Corbin Bernsen. Like medical shows, lawyers` shows on television are infinitely malleable. Lawyers can be young shooters or old grizzly bear burnouts looking for a second chance.
Cases can be small or worth millions, or have the life of an accused in limbo. The tone can be dark, eccentric or comical. Sometimes even a Hulk can be involved, you really never know! To find out how diverse these shows can be, we`ve divided some of television`s best-known lawyers` shows into a series of eleven subcategories. Don`t worry: the criminal justice system has room for everyone. Another groundbreaking sexy lawyer show followed LA Law`s line about end-of-season showrunner David E. Kelley, who traveled to the East Coast and redefined the TV lawyer as we knew him with Ally McBeal. The show`s open eccentricity ended up overshadowing her notoriously short skirts and deep knee pressure points, but star Calista Flockhart will always go down in history as the woman whose on-screen lawyer outraged the entire country, paving the way for a number of hot lawyer shows from the Girls Club to Boston Legal and beyond. An easy way to distinguish between the trial lawyer series and the character/series lawyer series is to consider the differences between 1957`s Perry Mason and 2020`s Perry Mason, who played Matthew Rhys` version of the character in the 1930s amid a history of corruption and religion. These shows use a legal framework to focus on the fights and triumphs of their characters, and while the outcomes of the cases are important, they are often background noise for – or thematically in harmony with – the characters` drama. Two other great examples are Robert and Michelle King`s The Good Wife and The Good Fight.
The crimes only became darker and more detailed in shows like Damages, where Glenn Close and Rose Byrne went out of their way to win without considering the law they were supposed to abide by. How to Get Away With Murder included the criminal intentions of his lawyers and law students in the title. And then, of course, there`s Better Call Saul, the ultimate series about a lawyer who works as a criminal. It is generally accepted that lawyers are paid well enough, certainly well enough that they can spend all their time being lawyers and not making secondary appearances. But there is always a rash for the rule, as television thrives on exceptions. Enter hard-working people like Harriet “Harry” Korn, the character played by Kathy Bates in Harry`s Law who relies so much on her luck that she runs her law firm in an old shoe repair shop. See also Judge Waxner (Mandy Patinkin) of The Good Fight, who runs his kangaroo dish in a copy shop. The news of The Good Lawyer comes a week after the series finale of another acclaimed legal drama series, Better Call Saul.
Meanwhile, the half-hour legal comedy She-Hulk: Attorney at Law premiered on Disney+ this week. Recently, the Korean legal drama Extraordinary Attorney Woo also aired on Netflix, and although this series has a similar concept, Deadline reports that The Good Lawyer was already in development before the arrival of this series. Sony TV has developed two other longtime series, The Goldbergs and The Blacklist, into franchises with spin-off series, Schooled and The Blacklist: Redemption, and is currently doing so with its hit/premium network dramas The Boys and Outlander, as the spin-off chatter also surrounds the studio`s hit Netflix comedy Cobra Kai. Some TV lawyers are fighting for the little guy. A few. Do not. Those who don`t are trapped in the world of skyscraper law, where the stakes are high, very well paid, under high pressure. That is, lawyers working in firms with offices in major cities, sitting on the upper floors of high-rise buildings, controlled by senior partners and major clients, and cases worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more. Britne Oldford and Lyndon Smith were cast in the pilot episode to play Sandra Black and Allison Anderson respectively.
Both roles were later recast with Britt Robertson as Black (renamed Sandra Bell) and Jasmin Savoy Brown as Anderson (renamed Allison Adams).  After reshooting the pilot and shooting the second episode with the new actresses, production was temporarily suspended in September 2017 to rewrite the existing scripts for the rest of the season to adapt the series to Robertson and Brown`s new dynamics.  Filming for the second season began on September 23, 2018.  The Good Lawyer will follow a female lead and will be a drama series in the courtroom that follows an experienced lawyer struggling with OCD. While Janet and Joni resemble the mentor-mentee duo Glassman and Shaun in The Good Doctor, the dynamic between the two characters is very different, at least initially.