2 March 2015 | brown_steve
A splendid show that covered legal matters relevant to EVERYONE.
Most legal dramatic shows leave everyday family law issues to "reality" stars Jerry Springer and the like, and, along with other civil law matters, to another pocket of "reality," Judge Judy and her parade of imitators.
The popular legal dramatic shows go for high drama: big dollars, big murders, big felonies, unique (bizarre if possible) but uncostumed sub-Batman bad guys (and girls).
On the other hand, "Civil Wars" used the taut, compelling structure of L.A. Law to address issues that could arise in anyone's life and one or more elements in everyone's life. Well, one episode, as I remember it, featured a circus couple that included a midget.
The most gripping episode of many gripping episodes, for me, was the battle for custody of their young mixed-race (black/white) child by two loving parents each feeling he/she was acting in the child's best interest. I have no personal investment in the issue; my children are white.
For me the show was sparked by Mariel Hemingway, with her unusual contrast of dominating height and squeaky little-girl voice that she re-engineered enough to achieve a quite convincing courtroom presence aided by her strong "Papa-esque" facial structure (Jack Palance, anyone?).
The second attractive feature of the program was Hemingway's byplay with legal associates Rosenberg (especially) and Onorati.
The other kind of legal shows don't even tempt me to watch them. Another way to characterize them is as embellished headlines. Civil Wars was simply life described.