28 September 2015 | NarcoNelly
Loved It, Then Hated It, Now I Love To Hate It: A Lawyer's Tale
At the time of writing, I have seen all of season one and the first episode of season 2.
I've seen other reviews on here that talk about how impossible it is to watch this show if you have any legal knowledge, and I would just like to add my two cents to this topic. I sympathize. I'm a lawyer, and have worked in criminal defence (once upon a time), and I, too, generally have a really hard time watching any legal dramas whatsoever. Television takes egregious liberties with the justice system, and shows that portray the practice of law are difficult to watch when they are wildly inaccurate, and it is frustrating to witness protagonists do things that you know are illegal or unethical. As annoying as this is, the tendency is understandable—even criminal law is only so compelling in real life. The assumption is that most viewers do not have legal training, and that nobody—lawyers included—will watch a show where competent, ethical practitioners stay at the office late looking up cases on Quicklaw, fiddling with binding machines, and trying not to smudge pad thai sauce on their prelim transcripts.
This show, however, is so ridiculous that it actually rose to the level of suspension of disbelief required for me, at least, to still enjoy it. It is basically a soap opera. Trying to subject it to human logic is a pointless exercise that will inevitably leave you discombobulated, shouting at the sky about injustice or whatever people do once they've discovered their whole life is a lie.
For instance, I would be hard pressed to conceive of a more profound conflict of interest than that contained in the season 1 episode 10 court scene if someone bet me $100 and a case of beer (I won't describe it in the interests of no spoilers--the blame-shifting thing). And that is just the tip of the iceberg. Every other thing that every character does in this show would get you summarily disbarred, fired, or charged with something.
At the end of the day however, that is not the point. This show seems to know exactly how over-the-top it is. But rather than trying to scale back the insanity in the name of realism, it revels in knocking it right into twelfth gear. Left and right, people are lying to each other or the court, sleeping around and committing felonies—sometimes at the same time—because why not? The degree of accuracy is so low that the mercury drops out the bottom of the thermometer and creates a rift in the space-time continuum. It fails so hard it wins. It is the Hearts equivalent of shooting the moon.
So get some popcorn and get comfy. Try to resist the analytical voice in your head that keeps screaming "No!" and just let it wash over you. Everything will be fine.