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For The People - Advance Preview - My Favorite New Show

"We’re not here to fix the system."

"For the People hails from Shondaland's Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers and has been called the legal version of veteran Grey's Anatomy. Set in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) Federal Court, aka "The Mother Court," the legal drama follows brand new lawyers working for both the defense and the prosecution as they handle the most high profile and high stakes cases in the country - all as their personal lives intersect."

"Samantha Who? co-creator Don Todd is returning to ABC Studios with a two-year overall deal. Under the pact, Todd has been tapped as executive producer/showrunner on the new ABC legal drama series, For The People, from ABC Studios and Shonda Rhimes’ studio-based Shondaland. Todd will be working alongside creator/executive producer Paul William Davies.
Todd is coming off an overall deal at 20th TV where he served as executive producer/co-showrunner alongside creator Dan Fogelman on last season’s breakout series, NBC drama This Is Us. Under the 20th TV pact, he also did stints as executive producer on Fox’s Second Chance and as consulting producer on Sleepy Hollow."

Those are some of the things you might want to know about For the People before tuning in. Now, it's my turn, and I hope you bear with me because I have a lot to say about this one, and contrary to what I was afraid of at first with all the casting changes, it's all good. The Pilot is a pilot, it can feel messy, and some of the actors don't seem to be quite comfortable with their roles yet. If this is your kind of show the Pilot will be good enough for you to give it a few more episodes, for sure, but if it isn't, I hope you'll give it a few episodes none the less. This show is entertaining as hell, but not only that, it's important, it makes you see the different sides of every situation, and usually understand them both, sometimes even care about both. This is not a lazy show, cheesy or preachy show, it is a complex, interesting, and yet light and at times even hilarious show. So, do yourself a favor and give this show a chance, it might be your new favorite show of the season.

For those of you interested in the differences between the original Pilot and the one re-shot with the casting changes I have a few things to say about that as well. First, I want you guys to know pretty much every complaint is fixed within the first few episodes, but I left some of my thoughts in because some of you might feel the same way I did when I first saw the Pilot. One of the changes I disliked about the reshoot is that they gave less time to the other members of the group, which is only a flaw in the Pilot, so if you get past that it's all good. From the Pilot alone you'd think it's not about an ensemble cast and but about two friends working their asses off, which is not bad, but the way the whole cast works together is just too good to miss. Having said that, I loved the chemistry between the two new leads, I could definitely see them as a new version of Grey’s twisted sisters, and I’m SO down for that. Thankfully that is fixed in the next few episodes and everyone gets a chance in the spotlight. And there are so many characters to love. I, for one, I’m already in love with a few and I can't wait to see more of them.

I have to say I’ve missed Britt Robertson in a good role (because I found her insufferable on Girlboss) and she could be the charismatic lead this show needs, which I don’t believe Britne Olford (Ravenswood, The Flash) was, she was perfectly functional, and she would’ve been a good addition to the team of lawyers, but wasn’t strong enough to lead a show. When I heard the casting changes I kind of wished they would’ve replaced her with Jasmin Savoy Brown (The Leftovers) and left Lyndon Smith (Parenthood) alone, but Britt seems like a good choice, now my only complaint about the casting is that Lyndon Smith is not a part of it, she would’ve been amazing to watch, even if it’s not as one of the lead roles, right now she’s a guest on Crazy Ex Girlfriend, but I hope she gets a lead role in some other show.

Also, Jasmine Savoy Brown is also great as Allison Adams. I have to say the only weak link in the entire cast for me is Ben Rappaport who plays Seth Oliver (The Good Wife) Allison's boyfriend, I think he’s supposed to be half good attorney, half insecure guy, but he only manages to do the second part well, I hope he gets better as he settles into the role. But then we have an amazing cast all around. Ben Shenkman (Billions, The Night Of) is Roger Gunn, the boss on the prosecutors' team, Hope Davies (The Newsroom, Wayward Pines, American Crime) is Jill Carlan, the head of the public defense attorneys, Vondie Curtis-Hall (Daredevil) is Chief Judge Nicholas Byrne and Anna Deavere Smith (Black-ish, Nurse Jackie, The West Wing) is Tina Krissman, the Clerk of Courts.

As for the rest of the young team, Wesam Keesh (Awkward) is Jay Simmons, he might be intended as the comic relief, but I don’t think he is, he can be a character you can empathize with, and he’s perfectly functional to the team. Kate Littlejohn (Susannah Flood) has had only a few small roles here and there, but I think this might be her break out role, she’s one of my favorite characters already, she’s tough, she’s bright, she’s particular, but she might be one of the most loyal and good friends to have. Especially her relationship with the awesome Leonard Knox (Regé-Jean Page), he has not done a lot yet either, but he might just become a fan favorite, he’s a good lawyer, cocky and cutthroat but secretly sweet. The fact that he’s easy on the eyes has no input in my opinion of him (...) I don’t think so. Nope.

Later, it will continue to show the ins and outs of the justice system, the injustices, the hard job of defending someone guilty of despicable acts, the politics behind it all. As for the personal relationships, everything not related to romance adds a lot to the show, but the justice system seems to be the main focus, and it makes for some very interesting debates. And damn, do they do it well, they make you get both sides, and like the attorneys on both sides, and those conflicting emotions seems like something really important to have.

Comparisons will be inevitable, so I'll make some of my own. If you like lawyer shows, you've seen the corporate side and deals, and how company politics work on Suits, you've seen lawyers give big speeches and stand for justice on How to Get Away With Murder, here you have both, and always on opposite sides, it lacks Viola Davis, of course, but it also lacks the crazy over-the-top twists and it has the potential for a lot of ass kicking and morally grey areas. It has some of the relationship chemistry Grey’s has and it’s fast paced, well written and a hell of a lot of fun, so if you enjoy Shonda’s shows, you should definitely give this a try. I, for one, will look forward to watching it every week as soon as it airs, and I can't wait to see where this goes.

"Are we worthy?."

Catch the premiere of For the People on Tuesday, March 13th at 10:00-11:00 PM. Are you excited about this? Let me know in the comments.

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