'Bluff City Law': What Did You Think of Jimmy Smits' New Legal Drama? (POLL)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the series premiere of Bluff City Law.]
L.A. Law's Jimmy Smits is back in a familiar place in the new NBC legal drama, Bluff City Law. But is nostalgia enough to get you to tune in week to week?
After her mother's death, Sydney (Caitlin McGee) returns home and leaves behind corporate law to rejoin her father's civil rights firm. Though she and Elijah (Smits) are both alphas and have been estranged — he didn't treat her well when they worked together in the past, and he cheated on her mother — she also knows how the "dark side" operates. That should come in handy, right?
Sydney does help their first client together, Edgar, a hard-working father whose job as a school groundskeeper caused his cancer. She has a new plan to speed up his trial date by breaking from a class-action suit and having Edgar tell the jury his story to prove there was a cover-up. "GreenCoat can cause cancer. Amerifarm hid that. Let the jury connect the dots," she explains.
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Despite obstacles in the court room, she asks the right question of a doctor who worked on GreenCoat and knows it causes cancer: "Is there anything you'd like to say to Edgar and his family?" The doctor apologizes, and though the judge tells the jury to disregard her testimony, the family receives enough money in damages that Edgar won't have to worry about them when he's gone.
The career move isn't an easy one for Sydney. She looks sick when the other side pulls the same move she often did as a corporate lawyer: offer the witness a sympathetic drink of water before listing other causes for his illness. "Everyone likes to talk about how this kind of work is noble or rewarding, but what they don't tell you is if you lose, it destroys you," she explains in the opening voiceover. And that's before she finds out that just as she and Elijah are getting to a good place — or at least seem to be able to work together — he's been keeping a big secret from her.
In the final scene of the premiere, paralegal and assistant Emerson (Stony Blyden) calls Elijah "Dad." (Did Emerson's "it's nice to finally meet you" foreshadow that revelation?) We'll have to wait and see exactly how Sydney reacts to the revelation that she has a half-brother — and the fact that her father didn't clue her in. After all, he should have expected the truth to come out sooner rather than later with the three of them working in the same firm.
This was just the first episode of the series, and while we're waiting for a through-line with the cases, it has set up a few interesting dynamics among the characters. There's Elijah and Sydney's rocky past. Sydney and another lawyer at the firm, Jake (Barry Sloane), are already clashing, but the stage is also set for a potential will they/won't they dynamic. Della (Jayne Atkinson) has known the family for years and could be the bridge that connects father and daughter.
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Sydney went to law school with Anthony (Michael Luwoye), who is extremely likable from the first moment he's on the screen. Sydney's best friend Briana (MaameYaa Boafo) could offer a window into what Sydney was like before she went into corporate law and the kind of person she can become again now that she's back home.
But what did you think of Bluff City Law? Did the pilot draw you in on its own, are you just watching for Smits, or is it a combination of the two?
Bluff City Law, Mondays, 10/9c, NBC