Icelandic legal drama The Court premiered in the US yesterday, and if you’re like me, you’ll binge-watch all six episodes, too.
Created by Edda Award winner Sigurjón Kjartansson (Trapped, Case, Cover Story), The Court (Réttur) is a terrific new legal drama set in modern-day Reykjavik, in which the stories revolve around crimes for which clients seek out help from the Law and Order legal firm.
The business is owned and operated by Brynhildur (Jóhanna Vigdís Arnardóttir, Case, Every Color of the Sea is Cold) and Hörður (Víkingur Kristjánsson, Prisoners, World’s End), but the pair loses a client to Brynhildur’s former employer and the ship is sinking fast.
Enter Logi Traustason (Magnús Jónsson, Case, Cover Story), one of Iceland’s most brilliant lawyers. His was not your typical uni-to-law school track. Rather, at age 18 he went to prison and served four years for killing another young man — an incident he still doesn’t remember 25 years later.
Now Logi’s on the other side of the law, but his past is still haunting him (in more ways than one, as you shall see in subsequent episodes). Cops won’t cut him a break, and his own law firm went bust after only two years. Then, after not making partner after another two years at another company, where he didn’t lose a single case, he jumps ship again, this time to Law and Order.
Hörður isn’t big on the idea, given that Logi killed someone and all, but Brynhildur sees what’s possible by having Logi on board: more clients. Plus Logi makes them an offer they can’t (and don’t) refuse: he works gratis for two months. If business hasn’t doubled, he leaves; if it has, he becomes an equal partner and gets one-third of the firm.
The cases Logi, Brynhildur, and Hörður work on involve murder, divorce, prostitution, human trafficking, smuggling, and rape, amongst others.
Meanwhile, the three lawyers’ private lives are rather complicated, as well, notably in the area of relationships. (Logi’s alcoholism doesn’t do him any favors here, especially when he’s the prime suspect in a sexual assault.)
And the “Friday Night Rapist” is still at large in Reykjavik.
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The Court is more L.A. Law than Perry Mason, so plots are intriguing without getting into granular details. Each episode features two cases, with the “Friday Night Rapist” storyline arcing across the first season.
The lead characters are distinct and balance each other nicely — Logi with his take-no-prisoners attitude, Brynhildur with her tough-cookie demeanor, and Hörðurand with his soft-spoken, easy-going manner. By the end of Season 1, they’ve become a solid team.
Logi is one of my favorite new characters. Of the three, he’s the one who grows the most. They all experience life changes, but he comes to make choices that are outside his usual habits, which is refreshing given where he started in the first episode. He’s also quite magnetic.
The first season features Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson (Cover Story), Sveinn Geirsson (The Lava Field), and Egill Ólafsson (The Viking Sagas).
(Fingers crossed that Season 2 arrives soon. Like in June.)
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