Last night I watched the premiere of How To Get Away With Murder, starring the glorious Viola Davis. I loved the show, because it accomplished what every great program centering on the legal profession, from The Paper Chase to Boston Legal, needs to do: the show made being a lawyer seem improbably sexy, thrilling and dangerous. On HTGAWM, the characters were always racing around, hiding bodies, interrupting adulterous trysts, seducing witnesses and, of course, bursting into courtrooms at the last possible second with that new scrap of evidence which will CHANGE EVERYTHING.
I began wondering, if I had an especially momentous legal problem, where I would turn for assistance. Here are some options:
1. If I wanted serious, ethical representation, I would hire Julianna Margulies and Christine Baranski from The Good Wife. These women are fiendishly smart, gorgeously dressed and they pretty much never lose a case. If any juror had doubts, he or she would just think, I have to go with Julianna and Christine – look at their handbags.
2. If I wanted a super high-end unscrupulous legal team, I would beg the firm from Suits to take my case. Gabriel Macht and Patrick J. Adams are handsome and devilish, and Gabriel wears custom-made Tom Ford suits, so he’s obviously doing very well. And if I wanted the best of the best, I’d hire senior partner Gina Torres, who’s beyond awesome, and whose superb designer outfits are so snug that she never seems to sit down. I’m pretty sure that Ruth Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonya Sotomayor all want to be Gina Torres, because then that repulsive Justice Scalia wouldn’t stand a chance.
3. If I was very, very guilty I’d head right to Viola Davis, because even though there’s only been one episode of the show so far, every single character, including Viola, has demonstrated a willingness to lie on behalf of a client, or sometimes just because they enjoy lying.Viola is so brilliant, sensual and mysterious that I can picture her taking out a pistol in court, shooting an uncooperative witness in front of the jury, and then asking, “So who are you going to believe? Me or some dead guy?”