Lawyer course

The Lincoln Lawyer is ‘The Bad Husband’, a polished legal process with authenticity at its core

Jits exceptional quality of Lincoln’s lawyerMickey Haller is jovial, infuriating confidence in the face of really bad luck. In Netflix’s winning new show – which shares its name with the Michael Connelly books it’s based on and the Matthew McConaughey legal thriller they spawned in 2011 – the defense attorney enters his first trial in more than a year. Here he boldly asserts that his client cannot be guilty of “grand theft” because the diamond necklace she snatched from a wealthy lady’s neck is actually a chain of fake stones. Is Mickey a former jeweler? No. Does he have any experience in the gemstone trade? Of course not. Is he right ? Sacred right, it is.

Mickey Haller, played by Mexican actor Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, is both stubborn and scrupulous. He prefers to do things the hard way, which almost always works. It drives the people who love him crazy, but it’s also – if six novels, a big-budget Hollywood film and the world’s No. 1 series on Netflix – are to be believed – what makes the character so enduringly appealing and his stories so pleasant. low stakes. Julianna Margulies gave us seven great seasons as The good wife‘s Alicia Florrick, a woman back in law after 13 years as a stay-at-home mom. Now we have The Bad Husband trying to revive a failed career.

“You know Mickey,” says Lorna, Mickey’s loyal legal assistant and long-suffering ex-wife, in the season premiere episode. She talks to Maggie, who too happens to be Mickey’s long-suffering ex-wife. “The only thing he loves more than a fight is a fight with one hand tied behind his back.”

The former Mrs. Hallers (with Lorna played by Becki Newton and Maggie by Neve Campbell, who are recorded in Mickey’s phone as “First Wife” and “Second Wife”) debate Mickey’s soundness – returning to the law after a long hiatus – taking on a splashy double murder case with a high profile client. Not that Mickey would ever heed Maggie’s advice even if he was there to hear her apprehensions.

Which isn’t to say that Mickey Haller is a bad person — just too unlucky to listen to caution. In this new television adaptation, he is recovering from an opioid addiction developed following a serious surfing accident. But his Los Angeles business fell apart while he was in treatment and his relationship with his teenage daughter suffered as well. When a former co-worker bequeaths Mickey a thriving law firm, the Lincoln attorney — so named because he prefers to do business from the backseat of his vintage Lincoln Continental convertible or a gleaming new Lincoln Navigator SUV — gets a second chance. to succeed professionally. Just like that, no need to crawl or scratch.

Developped by The good wife producer Ted Humphrey and legal TV titan David E Kelley (Ally McBeal, The practice, Boston Legal), the series is more than just a reworking of the film. The Netflix show mostly sticks to the second book in Michael Connelly’s hit series and adopts the familiar form of a televised court proceeding. A son The good wife, each episode is a mix of Case-of-the-Week plots that let its characters show off their courtroom trickery and dramatic storylines with longer arcs. It’s when Mickey navigates between fatherhood and sobriety that his bravado falters long enough for us to catch a glimpse of the man Lorna and Maggie have fallen in love with.

Manuel Garcia-Rulfo in “Lincoln’s Lawyer”

(LARA SOLANKI/NETFLIX)

In another significant departure, Mickey is Mexican-American, a heritage that was buried under McConaughey’s casting. The Netflix series not only resurrects this aspect of the character, but the center. Garcia-Rulfo speaks English with the same Mexican accent more often associated with TV criminals than their iconoclastic lawyers. It may be incidental to the plot that Mickey prefers tequila to whiskey, but his Hispanic roots contribute to a richer, more accurate portrayal of LA than we’re used to seeing on screen.

What remains unchanged is Mickey’s spunky nonchalance and obnoxious “NTGUILTY” license plate, which it’s impossible to imagine ever hanging from the bumper of Alicia Florrick’s van. But she began her big second act at the lowest rung of a humble corporate ladder; Mickey magically inherits a place at the top. As engrossing as it was to watch her climb, it’s less demanding and more fun to watch a guy straight out of calamity and into his own miracle. If Alicia Florrick was a tribute to all good wives and devoted mothers who strive to make their families work, Mickey Haller represents a fantasy as sexist as it is familiar: the bad husband who is lucky in everything he needs to to change.