Street Legal “Glass Floor” Preview

CBC keeps rolling with its new, homegrown dramas this spring as Street Legal slides into Coroner’s slot this Monday night at 9pm ET.

[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]

Street Legal

The reboot-ish legal procedural follows one of the main characters of the original series, which aired from 1987 to 1994. It’s updated to the present with a new batch of attorneys and staff and a killer ensemble cast.

Cynthia Dale is the returnee, reprising her role of Olivia Novak (and wearing a producer hat). In the intervening decades, she’s risen to name partner at a Bay Street law firm. While she and her investigator, Derek (Patrick Labbé), are dug in building a case against big pharma in the age of the opioid epidemic, they’re blindsided by another filing.

Street Legal

The young firm behind it — lawyers Adam Darling (Steve Lund), Lilly Rue (Cara Ricketts), and Mina Lee (Yvonne Chapman) and their legal aide, Sam (Joanne Vannicola) — have an extremely personal interest in the case, and a star witness.

Olivia decides to make a run at them a few ways to keep her hand in the case, but then she’s blindsided personally, too. Pretty soon, the young upstarts and the experienced veteran need each other.

Street Legal

The drama that ensues from there is a mix of professional and personal, and it works well. The cast is really, really good.

I didn’t watch the original because it never came into the States (or I didn’t find it) and it predated Internet streaming. I’d bet it finds its way there, now.

Street Legal

That said, I don’t have a frame of reference for Olivia as a character. but I’ve always liked Dale when she’s popped up in things. Here, she delivers an authentic, multi-layered performance as Olivia realizes that despite her well-earned self-assuredness, she’s still vulnerable to outside forces.

Ricketts (Anne with an E/The Book of Negroes) is new to me, and she’s excellent, too — balancing practicality and standing her ground for herself and her friends.

The trio of attorneys are longtime friends and I love that Olivia’s divide-and-conquer attempt fails spectacularly. They are found family and an unbreakable set.

Street Legal

I know Chapman from a gem of a Hallmark movie she did a couple of years ago called Birthday Wish, and right out of the gate here, her character runs the gamut from confident and cocky to devastated, so she has a lot to do. Vannicola (Slasher) is always a welcome sight, and her character Sam, is integral to making Adam, Lilly, and Mina’s firm work.

Lund is the most familiar to me, from Haven and Bitten, and a handful of Hallmark films. His role here is quiet and poignant.

Adam is a lawyer and business owner who has to think about his clients and his partners. And he’s also a son who’s desperately trying to help his family the only way he thinks he can.

Street Legal

He’s especially good in scenes between Adam and his parents, played by the always-excellent Rosemary Dunsmore (Orphan Black) and Tom McCamus (Orphan Black). Labbé, who we last saw in Bellevue, is great as the quietly observant Derek, who’s intrigued by Olivia’s left turn and game to go with her and see where it leads.

“Glass Floor” was written by showrunner Bruce M. Smith (19-2) and directed by Sturla Gunnarsson (Ransom/Motive). The episode also co-stars John Ralston (Bitten) and Michael Murphy (pick something, anything).

I’ve seen the first two episodes and I’m in. The first season is six hours, airing every Monday at 9 pm E on CBC and then available on CBC Gem. Here is a sneak peek of the first (aka 9th) season of Street Legal.

Photos and Video Courtesy of CBC

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