First off, I’m a sucker for procedurals and legal dramas. I think over the last couple of weeks, I’ve binged quite a few. The Lincoln Lawyer however was a refreshing watch.
Streaming now on Netflix, The Lincoln Lawyer follows Mickey Haller (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), an LA defense attorney who prefers to work out of his Lincoln’s than his office. He is surrounded by his trusted friends including his investigator Cisco (Angus Sampson), couple of ex-wife’s Maggie (Neve Campbell) and Lorna (Becki Newton), and his offices…I mean Lincoln’s chauffeur Izzy (Jazz Raycole).
I’ll get to the point: I really do like this show, and I think you should watch it.
If you want to learn more about why I think its a must add to your watch list, please read on!
I was expecting a typical “LETS FIGHT IN COURT” style drama, but what I got to see instead was a refreshing human story, one that focuses on the value of individual connections.
Garcia-Rulfo brings forward a character that is proud of his Latino heritage, is confident in his position as a defense attorney, and more so, knows how to prioritize the important things in his life. You aren’t immediately given a character you want to love but are put on a journey to appreciate him. The way he approaches his cases just puts a smile on your face, and it really comes down to Garcia-Rulfo’s smooth, engrossing performance. His acting is A-class, and honestly, his adaption of Mickey Haller is one of my favourite character portrayals.
The other characters of the production felt less like just “other characters” and more so those that are integral to building the “Mickey Haller” narrative. They feel like important building blocks for what is to come, acting as catalysts for the titular character throughout various stages.
The first season really puts a spotlight on each of them while providing so much room to explore their characters in future seasons. Each has a story to tell, which I like that the show didn’t really explore too much in the first season because the focus was given on the titular character: the Lincoln Lawyer.
I have to say a big kudos to Neve Campbell, Becki Newton, Jazz Raycole, Angus Sampson and Christopher Gorham for creating different, unexpected characters for viewers to reflect on. They don’t follow stereotypical norms of what their characters should be, which is great, and rather provide unexpected golden moments that lift the entire shows narrative. Christopher Gorham’s Trevor Elliott – one of Mickey’s clients – provides the perfect challenge for Haller to test his principles and boundaries as a lawyer and human being, an ideal trial-by-fire style character. I think casting for each of the characters is on point, each with good chemistry.
I have become accustomed to Netflix shows being one long movie, rather than individual episodes. I find that the narrative just keeps going episode to episode, and you really need to watch the whole thing to get a fruitful takeaway. There is nothing wrong with that. Sometimes that builds up a character (like what was done with Daredevil) and other times it helps create an explosive ending to a season (like Snowpiercer).
However, when working with legal dramas and procedurals, dragging something on can be a pain.
There is a primary case that Haller is working on from the very first episode with his client Trevor Elliott, which builds the foundational narrative for all 10 episodes. However, Haller tackles every aspect of his life in each episode, including other cases, which helps the show build his character; each episode acts as jigsaw piece that helps build up who Haller really is.
Additionally, I love how whatever Haller does connects back in some way. Sometimes you don’t see it immediately, but everything he does connects back. That is very exciting.
One cool tip: pay attention to the licence plates. I love the little details on this show!
For me, this production is about human connections. Whether its sustaining relationships with former flames, or being honest about one’s problems, this show really celebrates the value of meaningful connections, and I think a lot of people will find relevance when watching this show.
I feel it is easy to nitpick a production. Sometimes I feel we lose the point and purpose of arts and entertainment. I’m really picky on what I watch, and invest in characters more than productions. This show isn’t trying to be smart or deliver something it can’t. Rather it has a simple focus: presenting a well-informed, talented, and hardworking Latino man who knows his craft damn well and moves on his legal dance floor with elegance and grace to make his case. A guy that people wrote off, that people judged, and that people left. The star player who was made into an underdog because of his own shortcomings. A guy who showcases the value of good morals and hard work. A guy you can root for and feel good about.
You don’t get to say that often about a defense attorney (with maybe the exception of Camille Vasquez…Season 2 cameo maybe?)
I like The Lincoln Lawyer very much, and I hope Netflix shows it some love and gives it a Season 2 with a few more episodes in its run count to truly explore its slew of cool and quirky characters.
Images Courtesy of Netflix.
I’m gonna watch it next weekend!