By Neha Fayaz
WHEN legal dramas such as Suits and How to get away with Murder released, the world didn’t only hail the plot of these shows that were coupled with brilliant execution but it also highlighted the excellence of the lead characters. To think of someone else other than Gabriel Swann Macht or Viola Davis playing the roles of Harvey Specter and Annalise Keating doesn’t quite bode well. Now with the advent of recognition for shows in other languages such as Korean, Japanese, French and German, the competition to perform well on OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hotstar has intensified for entities in the ‘showbiz’ industry. On May 13th 2022, Lincoln Lawyer starring Manuel Garcia Rulfo, Neve Cambel and Becki Newton, to name a few, released. Till now audiences worldwide equated The Lincoln Lawyer to Mathhew McConaughey and rightly so. With his captivating acting skills and evergreen charm McConaughey fit into the role perfectly. However, the coming of Rulfo as the ‘new Lincoln Lawyer’ has indeed posed a legitimate competition to McConaughey’s character.
The show’s title represents the nickname given to the lead character, Mickey Haller, who is always on the move from one courtroom to another which propels him to carry out most of his work in the back of his car, which is a Lincoln. The series which spans 10 episodes opens up with the audience being introduced to Rulfo’s character Mikey Haller, a once renowned criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles. However, after an oxy addiction caused by a surfing accident, Haller was thrown off the bandwagon into a spiral that entailed him getting a divorce, being remarried and getting a divorce again. Lorna Crain, played by Becki Newton,is Holler’s second wife and throughout the series we see her as his closest friend, loyal supporter and also his paralegal. In Mikey’s one year break, as he was in between rehab, Lorna tried her best to keep his practice afloat.
Shows that usually have the protagonist’s ex wife’s boyfriend in the lead tend to have a forced and rather awkward dynamic. However, Cisco, played by Angus Sampson, shared a very comfortable bond with Haller. Cisco is a private detective for Mickey Haller and like a godfather to Mickey’s daughter. Upon Cisco informing Mickey that he and Lorna will be getting married the latter made his concerns for Lorna’s wellbeing clear but was genuinely supportive.
In Episode one Haller gets a call from Judge Mary Holder to visit her office. An elated Lorna pushes Mikey to be positive as this might be a call for Mickey to take on a case assigned by the judge, which might also eventually be a chance to get back on his feet. To the surprise of both the audience and Mikey, Judge Holder breaks the information that Mickey will be handed a law practice that was left behind by his friend and peer Jerry Vincent, who was also recently murdered. The series thus delves into 10 episodes of riveting courtroom drama where Mickey not only gets one but all of Jerry’s pending cases. The most prominent one centered around tech mogul- Trevor Elliot. Accused of killing his wife and her boyfriend when he found them together in his bedroom, the state makes a strong case of murder againsnt Elliot. The series showcases the myriad of ways that Haller tried to get evidence supporting Elliot’s innocence.
This also gives room for the audience to play the role of jury in their own minds to arrive at the conclusion of Elliot being either innocent or guilty. Haller was proud of his profession even if it meant representing criminals as he believed every person had the right to be represented. As time passes, his decision of representing Elliot however makes him question that belief. Whilst this plot carries on seamlessly the show also delves into the relationship Haller shares with his daughter, Hayley. During his addiction to oxy Mickey’s first wife, Maggie, had taken preventive measures of limiting her daughter’s interaction with him. However, post rehab we not only see a positive turnout on Maggie’s relation with Mickey but also the blossoming father-daughter bond. This adds an interesting dimension to the series. For instance there comes a point where Haller discreetly posts security outside Maggie’s and Hayley’s house to ensure that him being Elliot’s counsel does not pose a threat to their safety. The series during its entirety also digs into the mystery behind Jerry Vincent’s death and his reason for leaving his practice under Haller’s care.
Even though the show delves into a myriad of themes it carries out the storylines and plots successfully. It does not portray itself to be forced but rather seems to be a product of effortless execution and acting. In a sea of series being put on OTT platforms, The Lincoln Lawyer is not only a fresh break from the overhyped ‘machismo’ portrayed in law series but also gives insight into the flaws and gaping holes in the American justice system while providing the audience with a good introduction to the same.
- The author is a student and can be reached at [email protected]
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