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Recommended: The Lincoln Lawyer on Netflix

David E. Kelley turns the popular novels into a familiar yet likable legal ensemble drama.
  • Manuel Garcia-Rulfo in The Lincoln Lawyer (Photo: Lara Solanki/Netflix)
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    The Lincoln Lawyer Season 1 | Netflix
    Hourlong Legal Drama (Ten episodes) | TV-MA

    What's The Lincoln Lawyer About?

    While he fights for the wrongly accused, Los Angeles lawyer Mickey Haller runs his office out of his Lincoln.

    Who's involved?

    • Uberproducer David E. Kelley adapts the show from the novels by Michael Connelly.
    • Manuel Garcia-Rulfo (From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series) plays Haller.
    • Neve Campbell (Scream) and Becki Newton (Ugly Betty) play Maggie and Lorna, respectively. They're both Mickey's ex-wives, and they both still help him crack cases.
    • Jazz Raycole (The Soul Man) is Mickey's driver, Izzy.
    • Angus Sampson (Fargo Season 2) is Cisco, a shaggy PI and Lorna's fiancé.
    • Christopher Gorham (Covert Affairs) is one of Mickey's star clients.

    Why (and to whom) do we recommend it?

    Longtime readers of this site may remember that David E. Kelley originally developed this show for CBS, which might be why it resembles a reboot of The Practice, his late-90s legal ensemble drama. The move to streaming not only means the material is now more "adult," but also that the episodes are designed to make us binge.

    And speaking of The Practice: No one in this cast sizzles quite like Dylan McDermott or thunders like Camryn Manheim (although LisaGay Hamilton plays a judge). Nor is anyone going to mistake Garcia-Rulfo for Matthew McConaughey, who kicked off his 2010s “McConnaissance” by playing Haller in the big-screen adaptation of Connelly's books. But that said, Garcia-Rulfo's low-key approach to the title character still gets the job done, especially considering how much story he's expected to schlep. Plus, he’s surrounded by a solid ensemble, with Campbell, Newton, and Raycole as standouts.

    Besides, even though the set-up is familiar and the dialogue is shopworn, The Lincoln Lawyer still works. It delivers likable characters who are easy to root for as they stand up for the unfairly accused. There's comfort to be had in this type of storytelling.

    Pairs well with

    • The Guardian (Paramount+), a gem from the 2000s, starring then-unknown Simon Baker in a similar role as a hotshot lawyer working off a drug sentence by defending kids.
    • Bosch: Legacy (Amazon Freevee), a continuation of the longrunning series about detective-turned-p.i. Harry Bosch. Connelly created that character, too, and he happens to be Mickey Haller's half-brother.

  • The Lincoln Lawyer (Season 1)
    Complete first season drops May 13 on Netflix.
    Created by: David E. Kelley. Based on the books by Michael Connelly.
    Starring: Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Neve Campbell, Becki Newton, Jazz Raycole, Angus Sampson, Christopher Gorham, and LisaGay Hamilton.
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    TOPICS: The Lincoln Lawyer, Netflix, Angus Sampson, Becki Newton, Christopher Gorham, David E. Kelley, Jazz Raycole, LisaGay Hamilton, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Neve Campbell