The Lincoln Lawyer is a new legal drama from Netflix, debuting on May 13. The series title may sound familiar; a film of the same name was released in 2011 and starred Matthew McConaughey. The film is based on a different novel, so viewers can rest easy knowing they won’t be seeing the same mystery unravel. This time around, defense attorney Mickey Haller, is played by actor Manuel Garcia-Rulfo. The Lincoln Lawyer is the latest show from David E. Kelley who has been behind several hit shows over the last few years, including Big Little Lies and Big Sky.
THE LINCOLN LAWYER MAKING ITS CASE
Season 1 of the new series is based on the 2008 novel The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly. It follows attorney Mickey Haller, who, following a surfing accident, has been out of the courtroom for the last 18 months. However, an unexpected turn of events pushes Haller back into the courtroom and into the middle of a high-profile murder case. In order to avoid spoilers, I’ll keep the details light as to anything regarding the plot of the season. At its core, The Lincoln Lawyer is what you’d come to expect from a legal drama. That is not to say it’s a bad thing, and there are some twists and turns that occur to keep the plot fresh.
This murder trial, while a constant plotline throughout the season, is not the only case that lands on the desk, or in this case the backseat, of the Lincoln Lawyer. The writers do an excellent job of peppering other cases throughout the episodes to keep both Haller and the viewers engaged. I will say, that at times these side-cases can feel a bit crammed into the overall plot. However, these smaller cases provide an opportunity to showcase the unique style and skill set that Haller possesses. So in that regard, they do offer a vehicle to further round out Mickey Haller. They also allow for the introduction of memorable supporting characters. One such case leads to a new ally for Haller in the form of Izzy Letts (Jazz Raycole) who becomes the driver of the previously mentioned Lincoln.
THE LINCOLN LAWYER DRIVEN BY ITS CAST
Garcia-Rulfo does a wonderful job as Mickey and brings an internal vulnerability and outward swagger needed for the character. Stepping into the shoes of Haller, previously filled by McConaghey, is no easy task, but Garcia-Rulfo makes the character his own. While comparisons to the film will be unavailable, Garcia-Rulfo does not attempt to copy the previous iteration of Haller, allowing his portrayal to stand on its own merit.
The rest of the main cast, in addition to Garcia-Rulfo and Raycole, are all excellent in their roles. There are some wonderful scenes between Maggie (Neve Campbell), Haller’s ex-wife and Assistant District Attorney. Both actors do a fantastic job in conveying the strained relationship between the two that perhaps still has something there. Mickey’s second ex-wife, Lorna (Becki Newton), and investigator Cisco (Angus Sampson) provide support for Haller as he works on the various cases. Thankfully all of the characters get their individual moments to shine. Often times in a series, the supporting main cast can take a backseat. The Lincoln Lawyer avoids this and the series is stronger for it.
The Lincoln Lawyer is of course not the only current streaming series based on a Michael Connelly character. Over at Amazon Freevee, Bosch: Legacy has its first season underway. after 7 seasons of Bosch on Prime Video. In the original Mickey Haller novels, Detective Harry Bosch does play a role. However, with two different streaming giants having the rights to their respective characters, any eventual crossovers are not foreseeable. In the case of The Lincoln Lawyer, the role that Bosch in the novel filled is now handled by a different LAPD Detective. For viewers who are unfamiliar with the Connelly books, this is in no way noticeable. As a fan of Bosch myself, I did pick up on the fact that Haller, much like Harry Bosch, enjoys listening to jazz music. While it might have been nice to have a potential Connelly-Verse crossover, we’ll just have to settle for two excellent shows on different platforms.
THE LINCOLN LAWYER TRAILER
The pacing throughout the season can be frenetic at times, but never to the point that the audience is unable to keep up. The tension and intrigue are ever-present in the episodes, mirroring the high-stakes situations Mickey Haller finds himself in. As Haller and his team unravel the mystery of the cases they are working on, I found myself fully engaged. With the conclusion of each episode, I was ready for the next, eager to see what would happen. Viewers will undoubtedly find themselves attempting to piece together the puzzle alongside Haller. The final verdict is in, and it is a win for The Lincoln Lawyer.
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