tek's rating: ½

For the People, on ABC
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Season One
This is something I mainly wanted to check out because one of the stars is Britt Robertson. I wasn't sure I'd actually be that into it, though, because courtroom dramas are a genre I haven't been into for years. However, I found myself liking it more than I expected to. I find the cases interesting, and it reminds me of David E. Kelley lawyer shows I used to watch, back in the day, albeit less quirky than they were. (Kelley's not involved in this show, though. It was created by Paul William Davies, whose work I am unfamiliar with, but he worked on the Shonda Rhimes series "Scandal," and Rhimes herself is an executive producer of this show.)

Anyway, the show is about six young lawyers (three Federal Public Defenders and three Assistant U.S. Attorneys) who have just started working at the highly prestigious Southern District of New York federal court, trying some of the most high profile cases in the country. Robertson plays a passionately idealistic public defender named Sandra Bell. One of the other new defenders is Sandra's best friend and roommate, Allison Adams. The third is Jay Simmons. Their boss is Jill Carlan (Hope Davis). On the other side, the prosecutors are Seth Oliver, Kate Littlejohn, and Leonard Knox. Their boss is Roger Gunn. At the start of the series, Seth was Allison's boyfriend. They both thought they'd be able to handle working on opposite sides of cases, but by the end of the first episode, Seth broke up with Allison. (It seems to be because of something she did in their first case against each other, which I don't think he should have blamed her for. But in the second episode, he gives a deeper explanation for his decision, which seems to be based on issues that had been going on for some time. I'm really not sure what to think about it all.) There are some other important characters, including the court's Chief Judge, Nicholas Byrne (Vondie Curtis-Hall), and a clerk named Tina Krissman.

I think probably the most interesting character is Kate, who is hyperfocused on her work, and does not suffer anyone she thinks is less dedicated or just not as good as she is. And the most unlikable character is Leonard, who seems very entitled. (His mother is a U.S. senator.) And while obviously all the lawyers on both sides are determined to win their cases, I'd say Leonard seems most interested in winning for the sake of winning (and advancing his career, probably politically in the long run) than for the sake of justice. Still, he does become a bit more likable as the series progresses.

Season Two
This season, the defenders are joined by an investigator named Ted, and over the course of the season, a friendship develops between him and Sanda, which could turn into something more. Also at the start of the season, Leonard is working a new job in his home state of Texas, but soon moves back to New York to resume his old job. Also, throughout season one, a friendship had grown between Jill and Roger, despite often very different beliefs when it comes to legal cases. This season, they're in a romantic relationship, but they must keep it secret, because of a conflict of interest. That secret is exposed at the end of the season, and it leads to a plot development that I don't want to spoil. Part way through the season, Seth temporarily moves in with Jay, who lives with his parents. Later, Jay moves out of his parents' house, and becomes Seth's roommate. Aside from these things, I can't really think of anything important to say about season two.

Well, I probably liked (or loved) season two more than I did season one, but I think it's safe to say the whole series is pretty great. Or at least, it is if you're a liberal, like me. I can certainly imagine a lot of conservatives would hate it. What I really love about the series is how a lot of the cases highlight issues that play a major part in contemporary American politics, and differing social values. (It aired in 2018-19.) The show pretty much comes down on the liberal side of those issues, which I believe is the correct side. And... I don't really know what else to say. But it was cancelled after two seasons, and I'm going to miss it. Given certain plot developments at the end of the season, I would have liked seeing how things would go in a third season. But still, I guess the season finale worked alright as a series finale.

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