The review of For the People, the Shondaland legal juvenile drama from 14 July on TIMVISION with the two unreleased seasons, starring the Duke of Bridgerton.
Directly from the archives of Shondaland, the prolific production house of Shonda Rhimes, a series that is still unpublished even if incomplete arrives in Italy. As we will explain in fact in the For the People reviewfrom July 14 on TIMVISION with the two unreleased seasons, the series was canceled a few years ago by ABC for not excellent ratings.
In the beginning it was the TGIT
For the People was designed to thicken TGIT (Thank God It’s Thursday, a play on words with the way of saying “Thank God It’s Friday – Fortunately it’s Friday” in the US), or the programming evening of the Disney-owned network led by the channel’s most watched series and produced by Shondaland, Grey’s Anatomy. The latter was accompanied and followed by various shows, including the spin-off Station 19 still on the air and The rules of the perfect crime with Viola Davis, the only ones to have held the bench compared to others that lasted little or nothing, such as Off the Map, The Catch and precisely For the People. This is because the legal drama created by Paul William Davies and produced by Shonda Rhimes (who now only produces and does not write, with the exception of Netflix’s recent Inventing Anna) repeats the characteristics that have made Shondaland’s fortune but without putting anything really into it. new and original.
Shonda Rhimes: “anatomy” of a success built with commitment and intelligence
For the People wants to tell the story of six very young lawyers, in their first real work experience, who find themselves handling federal cases of the highest profile. The main venue of the events is the Southern District Court of the Federal Court of New York where the promising lawyers must prove their worth to their superiors (Ben Shenkman and Hope Davis), but find themselves working on opposite sides of the law: in fact, after the oath some are assigned to the prosecutor’s office, others become public defenders. The protagonists, however, are all (or almost) characterized as too ambitious, starting with the two protagonists, best friends Sandra Bell (Britt Robertson, who seems to have a “serial curse” on himself after the cancellation of Life Unexpected and The Secret Circle) and Allison Adams (Jasmin Savoy Brown, whom in Italy we met in Yellowjackets), share the apartment and work for the defense together with the shy and kindhearted Jay Simmons (Wesam Keesh). The other part was instead assigned the arrivalist Leonard Knox (Rege-Jean Page, himself the Duke of Bridgerton who had already had the opportunity to settle in Shondaland), the fussy Kate Littlejohn (Susannah Flood) and Seth Oliver (Ben Rappaport ), with whom Allison is in a relationship and will have to figure out how to manage this new phase of their life.
The court is a jungle
The concept behind the series is that the courthouse is a real jungle made of sharks and you have to be too sure of yourself to make it. A metaphor for life and the transition from students to workers, from young people to adults. The first scene led by Tina Krissman (Anna Deavere Smith) and Nicholas Byrne (Vondie Curtis-Hall) seems to wink too much at the Grey’s Anatomy pilot and those of Richard and Miranda at the then newly arrived postgraduates. A series of repeated patterns that are only redundant, especially if the characters are more or less all on the one hand with little appeal, on the other almost detestable. Not only that: the idea of mixing sentimental and working relationships between upper and lower floors is also trite in Shondaland, especially for how it is managed. The cases chosen for the episodes are obviously the flag of a denunciation to the US system and to issues dear to production and current affairs, such as racism, homophobia and so on. But the result is only a set of badly amalgamated narrative schemes and plot twists already used, forgettable at the end of the vision.
Arriving at the end of the For the People review, we summarize the characteristics that have not made the series lucky: using the Shondaland trademark without inserting some truly innovative elements, focusing everything on the lack of humility of the protagonists (who are so repulsive for the viewer) and on hackneyed narrative schemes, such as the mixture of sentimental and professional relationships and issues related to current affairs.
Because we like it
- The metaphor of the court as a jungle as well as everyday life
- Mixing romantic and professional relationships, superiors and employees, current issues …
- … Which are however all elements already seen and not innovative within the production style of Shonda Rhimes
- The protagonists are almost all buffers for the viewer