Home » Elsbeth

It is a difficult job for a new show to stand out in an overwhelming television landscape. However, Robert and Michelle King have always shown us that they can create programming that is very good after “The Good Wife” and “The Good Fight,” which received high critical acclaim. In their new dramedy series Elsbeth with the brilliant Carrie Preston yet again playing the role of a quirky lawyer, the Kings suggest that network TV and procedural drama, when well-written and perfectly cast, can be bizarre, funny and happy.

After thirty years in Chicago, Elsbeth Tascioni brings her keen mind and strange way of looking at cases to New York City. On both “The Good Wife” and “The Good Fight,” she was often underestimated as a litigator — usually to the detriment of her legal opponents – but fans of the Kings Cinematic Universe know how brilliant Elsbeth is. She loves being enamored by Times Square, The Empire State Building or caricature artists. So Elsbeth’s decision to move to New York as an outside observer for the Justice Department who makes sure NYPD does things right comes as no surprise in its own way because she is attracted by everything happening there. They aren’t quite welcoming towards her though having arrested several innocent people are facing a lawsuit over this from NYPD. A police captain C.W. Wagner (Wendell Pierce) considers her a bother while Officer Kaya Blanke (Carra Patterson), who happens to be Elsbeth’s quasi partner isn’t really sure what this probe-pusher wants at first. However, some of her new colleagues start changing their minds due to Elsbeth’s sincere desire for justice although not all are so malleable.

Elsbeth stands out for both individuality as a character and construction of the series itself. For example, it shows on the screen all those little moments that Kaya herself or other characters might overlook, therefore viewers get to look at crime scenes and suspects the same way Elsbeth does. Since procedural dramas have been done to death for ages, it’s very difficult to create something new in this genre. On the other hand “Elsbeth” defies this trend by featuring different episode formats. The pilot begins with an offender committing a violent act and utilizes the “howcatchem” structure, which was made famous by “Columbo,” and more recently revived by Natasha Lyonne’s Rian Johnson’s “Poker Face”. However, there doesn’t seem to be a single narrative style that Elsbeth is married to: In Episode 3 (“A Classic New York Character”), we don’t find out who did it until right at the end; nor do we discover what happened after or before the central event.

The core ensemble includes Preston as well as Pierce and Patterson but each episode has several familiar faces. Stephen Moyer, Retta, Jane Krakowski and Blair Underwood are some of the guest stars. Prospective Episode 2 may be titled ‘Reality Shock’ and will revolve around Jesse Tyler Ferguson playing Andy Cohen-like producer who manages a cheap version of ‘Real Housewives,’ known as ‘Lavish Ladies.’ Besides being funny, the crimes that Elsbeth and Kaya investigate are usually related to popular culture much unlike any other procedural dramas dominating television today.

Most of these series’ storylines can stand alone as they are all wrapped up within twenty minutes or so. Nevertheless, chapters one through three lay down some seeds for surprise reveals as well as arcs that should continue throughout this season if we hope for another one on top.

“Elsbeth” is such a lovely watch due to its attention to detail. Elsbeth’s backpack collection that she carries on her back are always odd and she wears bright, gaudy multi-colored blazers with polka-dot pussybow blouses which never quite match. Elsbeth takes up space in all of the best ways. She is concerned with being candid. Through this lack of deception, we begin to figure out who she really is as we get bits and pieces about what drove her professional choices in life.

Nowadays, television feels rarely special. There are one-off cultural moments viewers navigate toward, but much of what is developed and put on the small screen — especially network television seems like filler or different iterations of the same old thing. A gem of a series, “Elsbeth” embraces a bold blend of comedy and drama centering on a beautifully off-kilter protagonist, making it a breath of fresh air.

Watch free movies on Fmovies

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top