We love courtroom dramas. Flip on any television, and you’re sure to find the daily line-up of Law and Order (not just the original, but Criminal Intent, Los Angeles, UK, and my personal favorite, Special Victims Unit). Yes, there is a rich history of television surrounding the legal system. Think of Boston Legal, The Practice, and Ally McBeal… even Judge Judy is a court system cash cow.
However, it doesn't stop with your favorite television heroes (cough…cough… Benson and Stabler… cough). Courtroom dramas are celebrated in plays, novels, and of course, film.
Crime and civil litigation have stood against the test of time, proving that they are fantastic subjects for dramatic works. Whether its a story of a idealistic lawyer battling against injustices or a detective searching for the truth in a brutal murder case, courtroom dramas keep the audience on the edge of suspense: reasonable doubt or not.
At its core, it is so simple. Courtroom dramas are about the battle between good and evil, justice and injustice, right and wrong. And with the help of complex characters and a great storyline, the courtroom drama can result in a heart-pumping, sweat-inducing, masterpiece of a film.
As you will see, courtroom dramas deal with extremes. That’s what makes this genre so great. Sometimes the case deals with an unimaginable crime. Sometimes it takes a look at the complexity of the human mind. Whatever the case, a person’s life is on the line… and that makes for an intense story.
So bang that gavel. Court is in session.