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|Index||17 reviews in total|
JUST LEGAL offered a ray of light in an otherwise dreary 2005 fall
season line-up. After just three airings, the network prematurely axed
the show. How sad for the viewers who saw the potential of this show,
its characters and the actors.
DON JOHNSON, playing the part of Cooper, very believably portrayed an attorney who had reached the bottom of the heap...tired of the process, tired of the cases, tired of the law. In other words, Cooper was just a tired, sorry attorney. Cooper represents the "bad" path everyone faces in life. Cooper is the person who lost his way.
JAY BARUCHEL, playing the part of Skip, was the legal savant portraying the stereo-typical youth with ideals higher than clouds - the kid who will grab life by the horns because being right is the most powerful adrenalin available. Skip represents the "good" in everyone starting out on a career path.
Just Legal did a great job in dealing with the battles everyone faces in life on a daily basis...right versus wrong, easy versus hard, young versus old, seasoned versus green. JOHNSON's Cooper is a person who has made bad errors in judgment and benefits from BARUCHEL's Skip - the fresh outlook of youth and inexperience.
The show filled a huge gap that exists in current programming...believable story lines, believable characters and HUGE potential. I say bring back JUST LEGAL and sink about 90% of the new junk the networks are feeding the viewers.
Yes, I had time to complete this comment because I am left with unsatisfying television show choices during the prime viewing time of 8pm until 11pm.
Although I have been familiar with Don Johnson's work since "Miami Vice" and also watched "Nash Bridges" (for the most part because my wife enjoyed it)I have never thought of Johnson as an actor. He was amusing, charming and (in "Vice") showed occasional sparks of talent but hardly to be described as a fine actor; rather more of a celebrity who walked through his roles and made it by dint of his abundance of personality. The first episode of "Just Legal" caused me to radically modify my opinion. Johnson was simply superb. Certainly the writing was above par and the supporting cast was more than adequate, but above all Don Johnson shone as an *actor*. The opening of the episode with the dissipated lawyer behaving immorally (from a legal point of view) is good but the single scene of Johnson putting his head down on the table was enough to evoke laughter out loud. His development through the episode and the fine summary in court at the end was worthy of many a better regarded thespian. Whether the series can produce writing to support this new Don Johnson is open to question. The professional critic from whom I cribbed the summary above said it best: "Don Johnson's best work ever."
The biggest problem with this show wasn't the writing, the acting or
the concept. It was simply aired by the wrong network. I'm a huge Don
Johnson fan and this part was perfect for him. If only his old network
(CBS - "Nash Bridges") had picked it up I believe there would have been
a fan base just waiting to embrace it. On another level, it's also a
shame NBC...a network looking for a way out of the rating
basement...could have possibly seen this show become one of their few
winners this season because their demographics are probably far more
"mature" than the WB's. It's not a show for very young viewers and as
such didn't belong on the WB network at all. It never really stood a
chance languishing there.
For me...this is a show that will be missed.
Just Right: A review of the WB's newest series Just Legal.
Cast: Jay Baruchel - - - David "Skip" Ross Don Johnson - - - Grant Cooper Susan Ward - - - Kate
So I'm sitting down getting ready to watch the hour-long season premier thinking I'm going to skip (no pun intended) through the old Toshiba during the show, however after the first fifteen minutes of the court drama, (which isn't on the top of my lists for show basses) I'm surprisingly hooked.
Created by the Jonathan Shapiro, the father of TV's "The Practice" and "Boston Legal" and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, the show stars Jay Baruchel as Skip Ross, an eighteen-year old law school graduate with a large IQ and passion for justice who teams up with Grant Cooper (Don Johnson) an alcoholic ambulance chaser with a passion for money. They embark on court cases that deal with the wrongfully accused, issues of racism and hard evidence all wound up with an outside conflict like the dirty cop in episode 1 or Jay's infatuation with a bombshell beauty from Law School who is jealous of his quick rise to fame in Santa Monica. The two of them spark chemistry where each one balances the other out with their gritty street smarts or conservative, bythe-book character traits as they eagerly fight for various clients who seem guilty from the get-go. Now let's talk about Jay and Don. Awesome casting. Jay Baruchel's youthful appearance and back-of-the-class disposition makes him a stunning fit for his character of Skip Ross. And Don Johnson, aka Sonny Crockett of "Miami Vice," battles his frustration with the failures his profession has brought him in the past, but begins to slowly regain hope with the company of his associate Skip.
The two characters present us with the majority of the dialogue, and the writing has required them to carry plot on their shoulders, which is a make-or-break situation. In this case Grant and Skip pass with flying colors. The dialogue and plot is well formulated, giving us a wonderful balance of drama and comedy, and moves quick enough to grab our interest and stay through the commercial breaks. The writers have thought up a clever equilibrium of elements that prevents any one person or critic from writing off the show as "another court drama" or "sappy WB drama." So who is this show for? In my opinion the younger generation seems to appreciate the show more than that of their parents or great-uncles who, actual quote say "it has potential, but it's not grabbing my interest enough." Well Uncle Joe, I'm sorry 9 to 10's past your six-thirty bed-time and you're dozing off, but there's really nothing I can do about it. I'll loan you the DVD when it comes out so you can judge it when you're up and at 'em. All in all, "Just Legal" is a fun, snappy show with massive potential wrapped in a bag that slowly opens and spills out more of it's content each week. So on Monday's flip to the WB after the Camden's are done with their daughter's pregnancy battles and take the nine to ten ride dubbed: "Just Legal." Check you later
~ Sam Jones
I just returned from the U.S. a few days ago where I was able to
witness episode No 2 of this ill-fated new court drama.
Don Johnson really does a great job here. Unlike in his recent Vietnam war drama "Word of Honor", his portrayal of burnt-out defense lawyer Grant Cooper strongly reminded me of Det. Sonny Crockett of Miami Vice fame - gritty, disillusioned, world-weary at times , yet with great passion for his trade. That's a huge plus for a die-hard "Vice" fan like myself, and it made the episode very enjoyable from beginning to end.
As for the show itself, it has been criticized for adding nothing substantially new to the world of court drama - the cases allegedly being too straightforward, no brain teasers, no twists... but then again, "Just Legal" makes up for that with solid old-fashioned storytelling (don't call it run-of-the-mill because it really isn't!), nice California scenery throughout, and good chemistry between the main characters. Everything about the show was a good place to start. The potential was definitely there.
Just a little over twenty years ago, Miami Vice entered its second season. Its first-season ratings had sagged notably after a mostly appreciated pilot, but then soared during the '85 summer reruns and continued on a high level well into season three. But that was 20 years ago, looks like network executives are no longer willing to take any risks. Their loss, but sadly, ours even more.
I found this new show to be entertaining, funny and a Don Johnson we haven't seen since Miami Vice. I don't often watch and wait for a specific show but found myself looking forward to Just Legal and sat for several weeks hoping it would come back on. I feel there are many of his fans that are very disappointed and the only reason I am entering this comment is hoping he will get another show. The only reason I watched it originally was to see Don Johnson. It was a great show and I believe it would have received high rating if it had been given the chance. It was very different from the other Law Firm Shows and had great potential for some great story lines of clients that were not rich and would confront some issues for the average person.
Just Legal is good show it has drama and it's also pretty funny! Plus
I'm glad to see Don Johnson back on TV again because the last time he
was on TV was "Nash Bridges" that went from 1996-2001. The show stars
Don Johnson ("Miami Vice" and "Nash Bridges") and Jay Baruchel as
lawyers who save their clients, and in the process, save themselves.
David "Skip" Ross (Baruchel), 19, a brilliant legal prodigy, dreams of
becoming a great trial lawyer. When he can't land a job at a
prestigious L.A. firm because he's too young, Skip ends up working for
Grant Cooper (Johnson). Once a great lawyer, now burnt-out by the
realities of life, Cooper is barely scraping by in his beach front law
office. Together, Skip and Cooper become defenders of the accused and
crusaders for the unjustly wronged. Their cases vary from stories
ripped from today's headlines to clever mysteries with procedural
twists. So far it's a pretty good show! This show premiered on The WB,
User Rating: 10/10
BOTTOM LINE: LOOKS LIKE DON JOHNSON IS GOING FOR A THIRD HIT SHOW!
I think Just Legal was great. I am & have always been a Huge fan of Don Johnson, I was so happy to see him in TV again then boom he's gone. I feel if this show had been on a different channel it would have made it- just like all his other shows did. Because the show was on The WB it didn't catch the attention of the "younger generations" attention. Someone needs to do something to give this show another chance or to find Don Johnson another show. He is way to talented & good looking to let his talent go to waste. With all the new police, law & investigation shows surely they can find a spot for the man who is the Best at all of these subjects-Mr. Don Johnson. No one could beat him at that. I would love to see him on TV again but this time on a channel with the right age group (ABC,CBS,NBC etc.). He didn't get a fair chance. I also want to say Good Luck & Best Wishes Don & Kelley on your new baby!! God Bless!!
This show was a bright light for my wife and me who are retired and
can't relate to 80 % of the stuff that's on TV today! I think at the
very least some other network should pick
this "Just Legal" show up and make it the big hit it should have been if given the opportunity!
It is a real shame the WB Channel even exist if they are no more fair than this?
With all the repeats being run on so many other channels, why couldn't one of these channels make some money with a show like this?
Richard & Lynn Slusser
This was my favorite show of that years lineup for the WB. I don't understand why this show was axed. Don Johnson was great and the writing was excellent. Plus it was able to reach at different age groups with very young and more mature characters that seem relevant to almost anyone. I agree with much of the positive comments on this show and I just don't understand why WB (for whom I worked for at the time this show was about to come on) didn't decide to keep it. Don Johnson is almost always good and you should never drop good writing. I think this show could have been really great. "Doogie Howser" for lawyers. compared to some of the the things WB has put on the air it is still baffling that they couldn't see its potential.
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