The Lincoln Lawyer Season 1 Review & Summary: Fun & Quick With Great Performances, Nothing More

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Video Source – Netflix (Netflix YouTube Channel)

The Lincoln Lawyer is a Netflix courtroom drama. It is a 10 episode drama that covers the journey of the lawyer Mickey Haller. This is a series adapted from the book “The Brass Verdict,” by Michael Connelly. (Connelly has been adorned for Bosch an Amazon based adaptation of his novels).  If the name sounds familiar, a Matthew McConaughey film based on the same series of books was released in 2011.

The show weaves its way through Mick Haller’s personal relationships and his law practice. Mickey Haller has been out of the game for a year due to his drug addiction following his accident. Now, that he has just been handed one of the biggest cases of his life, will he be able to rise up to the challenge? Haller rides around in his Lincoln as the city of  LA sets the backdrop 

The Lincoln Lawyer Season 1 Cast

  • Manuel Garcia-Rulfo as Mickey Haller
  • Neve Campbell as Maggie McPherson
  • Becki Newton as Lorna Crain
  • Jazz Raycole as Izzy Letts
  • Angus Sampson as Cisco
  • Christopher Gorham as Trevor Elliott

The Lincoln Lawyer Season 1 Plot

Mickey Haller is a Los Angeles based defence attorney who operates from the back of his lincoln.  A year ago he suffered from a surfing accident that left him with a crippling drug addiction destroying his current practice. He has a sudden turn of luck and is given the practice of a recently deceased lawyer. The lawyer had been murdered recently. Along with his practice came a high profile case. In the case; a  famous video game developer, Trevor Elliot,  is accused of murdering his wife. The story begins from there. 

Mickey Haller meets the judge who assigns him Jerry’s practice. Then we meet Lorna his second wife who is a legal assistant, Maggie his first wife, a prosecutor, Izzy his first client and then driver, also Cisco his investigator who formerly was a part of a biker gang.  He also has a daughter, Haley, with his first wife. The main case may be Trevor Elliot but we see him travelling around the city in his lincoln working to catch up on all of Jerry’s cases.  He is incredibly smart and wily and gets all his clients off. An example of his intelligence would be the Izyy Letts case. He gets her off a grand theft auto charge for absolutely nothing because he believes she can be better. His father was also a huge defence attorney and he’s basically a legacy. One of his past cases also haunts him as one of his clients got wrongfully convicted and he is trying to get them out. Leaning into the cliche of defence attorneys, he loathes cops. 

The Lincoln Lawyer Season 1 Review

The Lincoln Lawyer Season 1 Review

The Lincoln Lawyer is a fun show to watch with a big culturally diverse cast. It has some beautiful shots of the sea and the classic LA skyline. It is a fun and easy watch that doesn’t require too much effort. It’s something that can be played in the background doing household chores or as a break when you’re tired of doing absolutely nothing. It is well, cute. 

The problems arise when this show is seen up close. First, there is glaringly weak writing that is compensated with some fun and well written sharp scenes. The show wasn’t gripping enough to watch if Maggie or Mickey weren’t on screen. The weak plot was compensated with fast-paced scenes and some good classic courtroom drama. The weak plot is highlighted through characters such as Lorna and Cisco who were not that fun to watch. They were flat characters in a seemingly rounded show. For a show that was about the grey area, their characters seemed to have been created through a coagulation of the portrayal of legal assistants and investigators across Hollywood. Many pointed out that it seemed to draw inspiration from the Hollywood depiction of a Lawyer. That is one of the perfect ways to describe it. It tries to show this gritty side of the law and portrays it in the most gentrified manner.

This takes me to my second criticism of the depiction of LA. Downtown LA where all the courtrooms are present is dirty, ghettoed, and dangerous. Here it was presented in a very beautiful manner. The pretty skyline, the clean streets, and the danger only accompanied them from the plot and not the context under which they were operating. 

The last criticism is the representation of the Asian population in the series. They are tied down to their stereotypes and are displayed as misogynistic, patriarchal, dumb, greedy businessmen. Maggie is fighting a case of human trafficking against a Filipino businessman who embodies all these traits. Even the Asian attorney who went against Haller was portrayed as extremely dumb. Their characters were used to further plotlines and just kind of thrown in to make the main characters look better. 

Comparison Between the Film and Series

There is a fair amount of comparison to draw between the McConaughey film and the new show. I mean it was McConaughey! But personally, Rulfo did a banger job at it especially after having such a tough act to follow. His Mickey Haller was similar enough to McConaughey so as to not be jarring but distinguished enough to not draw too much comparison. He was charismatic, measured and a much nicer Mickey Haller. McConaughey’s Haller was a shade darker, dirtier, and had no real moral compass. This could be seen in the world of the OG The Lincoln Lawyer as well. It was grittier and dirtier that matched the tone of the plot better. The depiction of violence and Mickey Haller’s obsession with being paid was a lot more aggressive. This Haller seemed toned down he had a moral compass and was viscerally aware of right and wrong. He also emphasized his need for payment but was not corrupt. 

The film was great but so was the show. The show measures up quite fairly in relation to the film. 

The Movie Culture Synopsis

The Lincoln lawyer is a fun binge-able watch but if dissected carefully would fall apart. A metric I like using to tease out the show’s brilliance is to see if it would work under the format of weekly television. Remember the days when we waited a week to watch an episode at a specific time because it would probably come out at 10 pm on Star World. Yes, well, is this a show that I would patiently wait for week after week, probably not. But it’s a perfectly good streaming series.

Netflix has come up with a perfect formula to release shows. It’s average writing, an extremely simple plot that is terribly convoluted coupled with actors that look great from far away. These shows have excellent run time and are super addictive. It’s a perfect show to watch in between shows when you don’t know what to watch. Supposing you were transitioning from Suits to How to Get Away With Murder. It’s a fun quick show with an incredible performance by Manuel Garcia Rulfo and Neve Campbell. The creation of this universe into a Latin-American one was also a nice cultural overlay on the plot.