Our little tale takes place in the City of Angels, as subtly indicated by the choppy editing of the first eight seconds of the program (bikinis, palm trees, Venice Beach). Skip Ross is a nineteen-year-old law-school graduate trying to find a position in a law firm. Unfortunately, due to his tender age, there is nothing but rejection for this little whippersnapper. There is a silver lining for Skip, though: he caddies for Grant Cooper, a down-on-his-luck attorney who mostly handles insurance cases. Grant needs brainy Skip's help in writing a brief, and offers him a chance to do some courtroom lawyering. Their case is that of a Marc Jacobs-clad street urchin named Paradise accused of murdering a drug dealer. She was found holding the murder weapon and has confessed the murder to Grant, but tells Skip that she didn't commit the murder. However, she insists on taking the heat, apparently for her boyfriend. Grant is ready to let Paradise be lost, but Skip insists that they go to trial and save her. Because there are apparently only like four people working in the LAPD, the judge presiding hates Grant and the detective involved in the investigation of Paradise has known Grant for years. The bad detective fills Skip in on Grant's past (attempted uncovering of police brutality, orchestrated ruin of his reputation by LAPD, relegation to lame insurance cases referred by bad detective). Paradise insists that she wants to take the fall for the crime, even though her boyfriend has moved on without her. After Skip sees some pictures of Paradise and her sister, as well as a piece of the prosecution's evidence (a denim jacket), he concludes that Paradise's sister was the murderer. Paradise admits that her sister killed the drug dealer because he was trying to force himself on her; however, she refuses to let her sister take the blame. Grant presents the final argument for the defense, stating that though Skip had no luck at all in proving who committed the murder, he had firmly established reasonable doubt. The jury agrees. The judge, however, reveals that Paradise was on probation, and lying to a jury is in serious violation of that probation. She gets ten years in prison. Suspended. Weekly reports to probation through her lawyers. Looks like Paradise is here to stay, as is Grant and Skip's working relationship.
Californian, sun-drenched bikini girls on rollerblades; graffiti; surfers; palm trees; frolicking; and the New Radicals apparently reuniting to create the intro music, singing "It's a good life, so why ya'll trippin'." So begins our journey into Jerry Bruckheimer's newest wonderland, Just Legal. Fast-mo to sunset, and then we cut to a house that looks mildly adorable, yet has been dirtied up to read "crack den." Yeah, maybe as envisioned by Nate Berkus. Inside, an '80s-era boom box is playing hard rock amidst empty beer bottles, pizza boxes, and a serene punk couple canoodling on the sofa. Suddenly, a group of guys in the breakfast nook hear screeching and see bright headlights. It's a raid. I wonder if it's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Wait! You guys, why are you running away? Oh, it's the cops. In Bruckheimer fashion, the guys inside perform confusing West Side Story-style choreography as they climb out of the windows. They have escaped. Odd that a raid would consist of flashing your headlights and honking, instead of maybe going to the door. I hear, though, that Mr. Punk is really difficult when you try to take Sally Punk on a date. He's totally intimidating. Better just to wait for her to come outside. They apparently change their minds as, accompanied by slow motion and a menacing background score, the police break the door with a battering ram and find a tattooed and wife-beater-adorned man, dead on the floor. Beside the man is a lovely crying girl with perfect charcoal eye makeup and pink lip gloss; she's holding a knife. Though she was only looking for something to remove the price tag from here new pair of 7 Jeans, it looks like she's going to be accused of killing the guy.
Roll the title sequence. It sounds like one of the surfer songs from the soundtrack to Pulp Fiction. More carnival shots, Don Johnson and Jay Baruchel separately arguing in court, surfers, the Santa Monica courthouse, the title, and Jonathan Shapiro's name. Okay, so you know the whole thing about "you never have a second chance to make a first impression"? Jonathan and Co. totally have dandruff on their sweaters, as my first impression of their show has included multiple clichés and improbabilities. Such is life on The WB, I suppose, but would it have been so hard to find a crack den that wouldn't easily fit in on Wisteria Lane?