"The Lincoln Lawyer," based on the "The BrassVerdict," the second book in Michael Connelly's series of novels about Los Angeles defense attorney Mickey Haller, is a terrific example of mainstream streaming television - and I mean that in the very best sense.
"The Lincoln Lawyer" doesn't break any new ground, substantively or stylistically. Nobody will look back on it and utter its name in the same breath as "The Sopranos," or "Breaking Bad," or any of the other TV series that have emerged in this new golden age of television. But it is, in its way, excellent - crisply written, engagingly acted, attractively set in the sunwashed climes of Southern California, and spinning a tale that remains a mystery that remains unresolved until the end. Though even then, there is a moment that sets up a second season, which is inevitable since it already has been wildly successful for Netflix.
(The good news is that it has been roughly a dozen years since I read "The Brass Verdict" when it was first published, so I didn't remember the plot points - which made the series almost completely fresh for me.)
The series has been adapted by Connelly and the estimable David E. Kelley, and it offers Manuel Garcia-Rulfo as Haller, who begins the series as a recovering painkiller addict looking to redeem his personal and professional life. (Matthew McConaughey played the part in the feature version of the first book, "The Lincoln Lawyer" - so named because his office is the back seat of his Lincoln Town Car - and the series actually is in synch with the books, in which Haller's mother is Mexican. One thing not mentioned in the series - Haller's half-brother is Harry Bosch, but that's likely to go unexplored since "Bosch" is on Amazon and "The Lincoln Lawyer" is on Netflix, and never the twain will meet.)
Haller re-enters his career by being handed the entire law practice of a lawyer who has been murdered, which is just one of the crimes he has to deal with; there are lots of small cases, but the big one is defending a video games entrepreneur accused of murdering his wife. The cases are intertwined and range from being simple to complex, and Garcia-Rulfo is excellent at balancing a sense of vulnerability with a great deal of confidence in his lawyering skills.
There's a terrific supporting cast - Neve Campbell, Becki Newton, Jazz Raycole, Angus Sampson, and Christopher Gorham - and I four "The Lincoln Lawyer" to be utterly involving. I really recommend it.
My wine of the week - the 2020 Domaine Fond Croze La Serre de la Garde Côtes du Rhône, a delightfully fresh white wine that's perfect for sitting in the back yard and sipping as the sun slowly goes down.
That's it for this week. I hope you have a great weekend, and I'll see you Monday.