Unpopcult’s Casting Call #4: LA Law 2017

That, uh, was a slightly longer hiatus than I was expecting. But there really hasn’t been that much on, and we probably needed the break. As for what we have been watching: we’ll have more to say about Shades of Blue, Containment, Stranger Things (maybe), and ESPN’s documentary series O.J.: Made in America, in due course. We almost certainly won’t have anything to say about Netflix’s The Get Down, because we haven’t been watching it.

But to get us back under way: my eye was caught by the news that Steven Bochco is working on a reboot of 80s/90s legal drama LA Law. In its original iteration it represented, perhaps, a high watermark for American shows on British television, as ITV broadcast it at peak time and got big audiences, at least to start with. (And I LOVED it, at least to start with.) Since then it’s been rare for one of the mass audience British broadcasters to put an American show on in that sort of slot, although interestingly ITV is claiming that it’s going to try that with Lethal Weapon this autumn; we’ll see if they do, and how long it lasts.

Meantime, though, we need a cast for LA Law 2017 (?). And, I think, a big and strong cast, as the original was a terrific ensemble show. So here’s what I’m thinking. The senior partner needs to be a woman with a bit of star power: Felicity Huffman, maybe, with Lisa Edelstein as the next-in-line to succeed her, being side-eyed by Tim DeKay: great lawyer, a bit dull perhaps, resigned to never becoming senior, wondering if his best days are behind him, and feeling under threat from the younger attorneys.

Such as Jake McDorman – for whom I’m desperate to find a vehicle – as a dissolute and disreputable associate, drinking too much, flirting with attractive female clients and ethical boundaries, but nonetheless getting the business done in court. He wants to be a partner, but how likely is that? And does anyone know what his Secret Pain is? And Columbus Short – comeback! – as the brilliant associate on the fast-track to partnership, torn between the rewards of being at a law firm and wondering whether he should be doing something more with his life.

We also need some connection to the original show. So Harry Hamlin – who showed in Mad Men that he’s still got it – as partner emeritus, and Michele Greene, Blair Underwood, and Jill Eikenberry as occasional guest judges. Throw in a couple of up-and-comers as associates, and someone with a bit of moxie as office manager, and there you go. As for possible plots: as long as someone explains the Venus Butterfly, I’m good.

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3 thoughts on “Unpopcult’s Casting Call #4: LA Law 2017

  1. CJ Cregg August 22, 2016 / 9:31 pm

    Dude. Never mind all these other folk. I am all about JUDGE. JIMMY. SMITS.

    Although, I concur on Jake McDorman bad boy lawyer / son of Will Gardner – I love that idea and he would be awesome.

    Taraji P Henson for senior partner.

    Meanwhile, it’s a long shot, but what about a one-off/ three-episode arc featuring Ugly Betty the Lawyer Nun since she didn’t get her own show? Let’s say she went to school with Harry Hamlin’s daughter Amber Tamblyn so comes to the firm for help with some kind of worthy pro bono case. Bad Boy Jake flirts with her because that’s what he does, and she gets a bit starry-eyed over him because HELLO, but then she overhears him saying something funny but cruel about her Lawyer Nun-ness to his buddies. Uh-oh. She gets very upset, and he feels a bit guilty because he’s bad but not mean, so by the end of the case (which technically they lose in court but win some sort of moral victory outside) she forgives him and heads happily back to Lawyer Nun work with renewed commitment to the Nun part. He, meanwhile, heads out for another night on the town with his buddies, but not without a slightly regretful look at her retreating figure. And SCENE.

  2. Snoskred August 24, 2016 / 2:04 am

    OMG I am all about Judge Jimmy, too. He should have his own show, like Judge Judy! 😉

    Also Steven Bochco related, I am enjoying Murder in the First season 3, which kinda has gone in an odd direction but I am still loving the cast, Kim Delaney showed up as a police psychologist, and yesterday happened to spot another interesting call back to NYPD Blue with a director credit for Mark-Paul Gosselaar.

    While you may not have been watching much during your break, I have been deeply enjoying a little show by the name of “The Night Of” which sucked me in right from the start, then eventually Omar from The Wire showed up, and who can resist Omar?

  3. Jed Bartlet August 24, 2016 / 7:01 am

    DA Smits? Senator Smits, needing legal advice?

    No word yet on when we’re getting s3 of Murder in the First. I was a bit lukewarm on s2, but I could be swayed by some Delaney. The Night Of is coming at the start of September, so we’ll have a bit more to say about it shortly. But that’s two recommendations I’ve had for it.

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