consider: a Scrubs-esque dramedy but about lawyers instead of doctors
I am not talking something like Suits, because in Suits a lot of the comedy is derived from hijinks and wisecracking. nor am I talking about something like Boston Legal with the whole bunny-ears lawyer thing providing a lot of the jokes.
oh no. I mean stuff like “oh god what even is a pleading anyway I never did this in law school” and “please lord just let me wipe the smirk off of opposing counsel’s face” and “damnit patricia WHAT DID I JUST TELL YOU NOT TO DO FOR THE GOOD OF YOUR CASE AND ALSO MY SANITY?”
I would Fite and Dye for a Brooklyn Nine-Nine style comedy about public defenders instead of cops.
ALL the satire about the System. ALL the frantic dashing between departments – it becomes a running joke that the protagonists can’t speak to each other when morning arraignments are happening, they have to dash past each other at full speed exchanging increasingly comedic shorthand. ALL of the Weird Cases that come up when you just have to stick your head out of the office door and shout BOB, the HORSE guy is back and they DENIED MY MOTION to allow the chihuaha in the courtroom!
I mean, this show wouldn’t even need to hire writers to make it bizarre, submissions from counties all over the country would just start pouring in.
and so much salt. SO much salt. One of the protagonists shows up with the client’s actual literal priest and fifteen eyewitnesses and the DA still refuses to dismiss.
YES PLEASE THIS, and also with a dash of like, you know how in Parks and Rec, the townspeople are just Like That? like the lady who gets upset because she drank the sprinkler water despite the sign saying not to? like That, but clients
“why did you violate the protective order against you?”
“because my girlfriend called me and it made me upset, so I went to her house and punched her in the face and then kicked her dog. what was I supposed to do?”
“NOT THAT! especially after I told you not to violate the protective order. no, actually, let me rephrase: I didn’t tell you not to violate the protective order, the judge told you not to violate the protective order because of that bit in there that says ‘if you violate this order, you go to FUCKING JAIL’.”
“wow, you just don’t get how hard it is to not punch people in the face.”
“oh, believe me, I am intimately and immediately familiar with that struggle.”
YESSSSSSS YES YES YES. the spirit of sprinkler lady is an eternal struggle and embodies exactly what I neeeeeed:
An ongoing list of recurring Client characters in [as yet unnamed Public Interest Law Show]:
- In One Ear, Out The Other (alternatively: I Showed Up To My Drug DUI Arraignment In A Bong T-shirt)
- the Sovereign Citizen (no, you actually don’t have a fundamental right to do that, and the cops Will GET YOU)
- the Better Lawyer Than You (because Google is totally the same as a J.D., right?)
- the Flirt (you’re literally in an orange jumpsuit behind glass for violating a restraining order, please STOP)
- Your Anger Is Reasonable, But That Doesn’t Make You Any Easier To Deal With (please stop screaming, or the front desk will call security on us again)
- The Scary One (please understand that when I smile, I’m trying to be friendly and professional and I am NOT laughing at you)
- The Heartbreaker (catchall client for the ones who are getting screwed over repeatedly by the system but your office isn’t resourced/designed/allowed to give them the help they need)
An ongoing list of recurring Opposing Counsel characters:
- Tired Old White Man In Wrinkled Suit (bonus wild tie)
- Tired Old Person Who Still Finds Time To Be Demeaning To You (tries for parental vibe, actually is condescending)
- That One Kid You Hated In Law School (got the internship the same time you did. This is a three-episode arc for one of the protags)
- Rich Whippersnapper Who Looks Down On Poors (dresses better than you, never quite makes eye contact)
I feel the Better Lawyer Than You Client in my soul. and just to add to the Opposing Counsel Cast List:
- How Did You Get This Job When You’re So Bad At It (with bonus Imposter Syndrome on the order of “if they’re that bad and still have a job, I must also be that bad”)
- The For-Profit Lawyers (swans into court whenever they want, files whatever they want, constantly and undeservedly smug. bonus points if they’re from The City)
- The Fool for A Client (says they’re going to represent themselves, proceeds to look stupid in front of the judge and everyone else, and you, protagonist, have to try to negotiate with them like a reasonable person)
also, there is a running gag that we only ever see one court clerk (whose name is Brenda), but she is played by a different actress wearing the same costume and hairstyle every time we see her (sometimes switching actresses inexplicably between shots).
this blew up a little bit and I’m getting two different responses:
1. “actually this is exactly like [other legal media property]”
2. “I AM A LAWYER. I HAVE WAITED NINE MILLION YEARS TO SPILL ALL OF THE FUCKING TEA AND MY MOMENT HAS COME.”
I want the title of this series to be my *favorite* client title for us…
Coming this fall
Supporting cast for the protagonist cast:
The Bartender: The wisest person in the show, somehow he’s on first-name basis with all the judges and knows what’s going on in the prosecutor teams somehow.
The Delivery Guys: From the closest pizza joints and subway shop, they pop in an out of the office at random times, will give rides to the protagonist cast.
The cat: Nobody knows where it came from, will try to maul cops wandering in from the street. Always shows up when someone is sad.
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The amount of vitriol European people have over this article is amazing.