Friday, August 14, 2009

Lawyers in Your Living Room! Law on Television

Lawyers in Your Living Room! Law on Television is new in the library this summer: PN1992.8.J87 L39 2009 at Good Reads.

The publisher (the ABA) says this about it:
From Perry Mason and The Defenders in the 1960s to L.A. Law in the 80s, The Practice and Ally McBeal in the 90s, to Boston Legal, Shark and Law & Order today, the television industry has generated an endless stream of dramatic series involving law and lawyers. The way lawyers are perceived has depended on how they are portrayed on television series and in the media. A new guide, Lawyers in Your Living Room! Law on Television examines television series from the past and present, domestic and foreign, that are devoted to the law.

Written in an entertaining and relatable style, you'll enjoy the forewords by Sam Waterston (Law & Order) and James Woods (Shark), who share their experiences playing "real-life" lawyers and how their roles have shaped the way lawyers are perceived by the general public. Lawyers in Your Living Room! begins with an introduction and history of law on television. It then discusses the process of writing for television -- from courtroom to writer's room and how lawyers have played an important role in furnishing technical advice for TV. The book also discusses the media effects from television shows and legal ethics on TV.

Included are chapters on daytime television judge shows, including Judge Judy, and non-legal shows with important lawyer characters like The Simpsons, Seinfeld, or West Wing. The most popular television series, past and present, are also discussed, as well as popular shows abroad. All fans of legal television -- a group that includes almost everybody -- will enjoy this discussion of how TV shapes the views of lawyers and the law.

1 comment:

Kate said...

One of the interesting phenomena this book documents is that boomers, like me, grew up watching shows where the lawyers were generally defenders. Now -- since the '80s -- lawyers on tv are usually prosecutors, e.g. Law & Order, or flakes, e.g. Ally McBeal. So, depnding on your generation, some of your formative ideas of lawyers may be quite different. Interesting, no?