Night Court Reboot Review: What TV Revivals Are Right and Wrong

Ah, the time-honored tradition of rebooting TV: a way to squeeze more money out of TV property that seemed to be dead. It is the latest in this genre night courtwhich is a revival night court. It premiered last night on NBC and I still can’t believe they actually went through this thing.

Now, I love the original version night court – I actually had a lot Long years twitter bit They demand to return it. The joke was that I thought I was the only (non-fictional) person who felt so strongly that the show wanted one, which is why it would never happen. But the joke is on me, because night court Reboot here. And after a co-worker said she thought night court was just 30 rock An invention and not an actual show, I knew I was going to have to review it, as only the truest and best fans of the show can. Although I wasn’t expecting much. There are things a fan wants from a reboot — a return to the setting, the people, the tone — that it doesn’t night court Can save reboot. Although this one, at least, tries to beat them all and sometimes succeeds.

night court It was a sitcom based on a New York City night courthouse, which is true. I suppose the real Night Court isn’t too similar to the hijinks that filled our TV screens for eight years and doused them for another (last season sucked) in the ’80s and early ’90s. The court was run by unorthodox judge Harry T. Stone (Harry Anderson), who was as compassionate as he was corny (a lot of courtroom magic tricks happened). Dan Fielding (John Laroquette), the district attorney, was a jerk who only cared about money and women, though he was prone to bouts of decency and profundity at times. Kristen Sullivan (Markie Post) was the sassy, ​​hilarious public defender, Mac (Charles Robinson) was the sarcastic jacket-loving court clerk, and Rose (Marsha Warfield) and Paul (Richard Mule) were the bailiffs. Rose was angry most of the time. The bull was very strange and very tall.

In terms of content and format, the show was a big part of its time, which it wasn’t at this time. It was the quintessential multi-camera sitcom performed in front of a live studio audience, the way almost every sitcom was then and much less now, the days of single-camera comedies as well as cable and broadcast. A parade of petty criminals, drunks, punks, sex workers (different terminology has been used for them), psychopaths (but the funny kind!), and other assorted characters that make up unfamiliar downtown New York, wack before Judge Stone’s bench and fill the courtroom each week . Mayhem usually ensues (but the funny kind!). The walls had cracks, peeling paint, everything had a layer of grime on it. Despite all of Fox News’ assurances that we were completely back in the crime and drug-ridden days of New York City in the ’80s because of the suave liberals, the city was a much dirtier and more dangerous place. night court The opposite, to an extent. It was a ridiculous offer and he happily owned it. The jokes were quick and often mixed with some impressive physical comedy. I celebrated the weird and enjoyed the absurd. There is a slight possibility that it was funnier and better in my childhood memories to watch than it was in reality.

Reboots are hard. The best of them either completely revamp the show, giving it a separate enough identity that it can succeed in its own right (Star Trek: The Next Generation), or appear three seconds after the original aired, making it almost the same show you’ve come to know and love (Criminal Minds: Evolution). In the middle, you get something that isn’t quite like the original show to keep fans with it, but feels a lot like the original show to attract new fans. night court It is located in that middle ground. There was no way she wouldn’t do that with her setup.

Or, as my brother – the most common and my favorite night court Watching Companion – Put it: “There’s no way this show could be this good.” Maybe, but it’s not bad either.

In this version, our judge is Abby Stone (Melissa Rauch), Harry’s daughter who moves from a judge position in her hometown of two-buses in upstate New York to her father’s old land at New York Night Court to feel close to him, as he did to Matt. (By the way, don’t do the math for Abby’s age. In the original show’s timeline, she couldn’t be older than 30. There’s no way she’s young here.) I love Rauch even if I don’t quite buy her as Harry’s daughter. The character reminds me a lot more of Christine, who was also bright and bright and from upstate New York.

Rounding out the cast are all-new characters like Olivia (India de Beaufort), prosecutor, Neil (Kabil Talwalkar), and court clerk and bailiff Georges (Lacrita, no last name). Olivia is the standout here, deftly filling the selfish, shallow absorption role vacated by Dan. night court You still write the best lines from the prosecutors and get the best offers! Gurgs takes turns mentoring Bull and Roz and would benefit greatly from getting her own personality. She has potential. And Neil is there.

On her first day in Night Court, Abby begins to be the new Judge Stone who is as caring and spends time with the defendants as her ex. This prompts the Solicitor General to resign immediately. Needing a replacement that is somehow up to her to provide, Abby decides to track down her father’s former co-worker Dan, who stopped practicing law years ago and doesn’t want to start over. But Abby and a box of deceitful snakes convince him to return.

Dan Fielding in the original series was a traveling HR violation that can’t exist in a sitcom now, and so he doesn’t. The New Dan Fielding is a wisecracking but grumpy widow who becomes a father figure (or “emotional support nag”) to Abby. Larroquette is very good here, just as it is everywhere. Niu Dan retained his sneer, but he’s also old, tired, and sad. Some of it is necessary because time is running out and Larroquette is now 75. But some of it is because the new show decided to write it that way. In that respect, Dan’s changes are emblematic of the show itself. It’s been remade for the times, but it doesn’t quite restore the show’s old charm. Part of that’s because it’s not 1986 anymore. But another part is that the writers didn’t nail What Made It night court Very well in the first place.

The Night Court cast in the courtroom.  Melissa Rauch as Abby Stone, Lacreta as Georges, India de Beaufort as Olivia.

Criminal Court Part 2 is now in session, again.
Jordyn Althaus/NBC/Warner Bros.

Thirty years later night court Harry fell in love, got married, had a daughter, and died. Dan fell in love, got married, and lost his wife. And the rest of the series regulars apparently fell into a rip in the space-time continuum and were erased from existence, as none of them are mentioned in the first seven episodes. new night court She had one big snag to clear up which was that her crew was loved up and half of them (Anderson, Post, and Robinson) were dead. Of all the ways I thought the revival would handle it, I didn’t anticipate what it did in the end, which was giving Anderson his due and making his loss a huge part of the show (it’s actually his catalyst), and completely ignoring Post and Robinson. We hear more about Dan’s dead wife, whom we never met or care about, than we do about characters we’ve known and loved for years. Harry’s stuffed armadillo Clarence appears, but there’s not a word about Kristen, with whom Harry and Dan were in love at various (low) points in the course of the show. Did they think we wouldn’t notice or mind? Lack of respect!

Beyond that, the show does a good job of feeling familiar yet fresh. When Dan first returned to court, he thought the place had “unchanged.” In many ways, this is true. The lead single made a triumphant return, albeit in an updated and truncated version. We get one from Dan’s trademark Yelp. I think some of the jokes were actually written for the original show; There are references to Vanna White, Weird Al, and the main parties of all things. The courtroom walls have a fresh coat of paint but look much the same. But the sex workers, with their tiny clothes, big hair, and $50 fines, are gone, and the show now looks more like an audience. Judge Judy From an assortment of misfits who may or may not be there because they have nowhere else to sleep that night.

We even got some surprising twists from hilariously comical to very serious and painfully serious material like the old ones. night court He often insisted on jamming his scripts, no matter how inappropriate those moments might be. There are dark moments that took me back to the original, where at least three characters come close to killing themselves over loss, loneliness, and uh, diabetes. Harry is at a comatose Dan’s bedside, begging him to wake up – do the laughs ever stop? Really, I swear this show was funny.

But something important is missing along with any reference to who the original series regulars are not Dan and Harry. Best episodes and funniest moments night court It was driven by the defendants in court. It was unique and closely related to the setting of the show. Now, they are almost accidental.

In the first seven episodes of this night courtAnd, at least, the major plots look like they could happen on any show, even if it doesn’t happen in court or on the night. I do not watch night court To see people training for a marathon at a random gym, looking for a quiet office space, or trying to date after the loss of a spouse. I am watching night court To see people who believe they are ambassadors from Saturn and/or the future take the entire courtroom hostage, which happened at least twice in the original show. Where is Dan Fielding being chased by a giant 8-ball moment?

For all my tweets about how badly I want a file night court Reboot, I wasn’t even planning on watching the revival at all. I really didn’t want to go back night court Universe if Harry, Kristen and Mac weren’t in it. I thought I might just be disappointed, but I was wrong. There are bright spots. It’s fun to watch. It’s clearly made by people who know and love the source material (or at least half of it with Harry and Dan). Like Gurgs, it has promise. She just has to figure out what she’s really trying to be. But that’s what happened with its predecessor, which didn’t find its footing until the second or third season.

If you are a fan of the original version night courtThere’s enough of it in this watch to make it worth the nostalgia watch at least. What I’m not sure is how much a sitcom routine will appeal to someone who has never seen the show. If you like what you see in the reboot, I encourage you to check out the original. All nine seasons are free to watch on Freevee right now. Maybe skip the last one.

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