Just Legal

Episode Report Card
Jeff Long: D+ | Grade It Now!

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?

David Ross is interviewing with an older gentleman for a position with a law firm. Per his résumé, David was Phi Beta Kappa at fourteen and first in his law school class at seventeen. The guy tells David that he will be a perfect candidate for employment at their firm...in, like, five years. At which point, David informs the interviewer that it is legal to practice law in the state of California at the age of eighteen, and that not hiring David because of his age would be discrimination. That reminds me of the time I was being interviewed for a job and I said, "You know, if you and I did it, I could sue you." Well, I got the job, but David's comment did not go over nearly as well, which he realizes; he begins to stammers apologetically. David says he thinks that his youth is an asset, giving him time to be what he wants to be, which is a trial lawyer. The old guy laughs at David and says, "Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men, Clarence Darrow? That sort of thing?" Retarded. First of all, the old guy -- even if he didn't want to hire a nineteen-year-old -- would be looking at David like the freak he is, or at least with respect. He wouldn't be staring down his nose and talking about fucking Tom Cruise. Also, if Jonathan Shapiro thinks the audience is going to find this show comparable to Aaron Sorkin's or Spencer Tracy's or even Rob Lowe's work, some changes are going to have to occur. Change #1 would be not having senior members of law firms talking like twenty-two-year-old D-girls from Universal. David then explains that trial lawyers have championed every great cause in this nation; as well, they have fixed every injustice. So, to effect change with your law degree, you must be a trial lawyer. Spoken with the true black vs. white conviction of a nineteen-year-old. Suddenly, the old guy's secretary announces over his intercom that there is a woman at her desk looking for a "Skip." David's cover is blown. His nickname is Skip, because of all of the school grades he skipped: "Not because I skip." His mother is here to pick him up and take him home. Apparently Mrs. Ross, though ambitious enough to assist her son through a remarkably speedy passage through childhood and law school, is not savvy enough to know that interrupting her son's job interview to pick up "Skip" will do him no favors. Skip doesn't get the job.

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Just Legal




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