So far, John Larroquatte still got it as Dan Fielding, the character he plays. He’s a far cry from the irrepressible version from long ago, and to see how he developed to that state is why I’m loving this show. Although he was really hesitant to return to working at the old haunting grounds, the new young magistrate has high hopes that he can do what his collegue from long ago could offer. Be empatic and keep people from going to jail.
In the latest, “Dan V. Dating,” he’s certainly getting challenged in more ways than one. So far, this is the best episode to date, and it suggests that this series is more about Dan than the other characters. Hopefully that’ll change as the character arcs for the others get better. This new Night Court needs to better balance the narratives between the five. I’m finding the newcomers are basically replacements of those those performers who sadly passed away. Nothing’s been said about what happened to Christine Sulliven (Markie Post) or the others. She will always be that perky ray of sunshine and Abbey Stone (Melissa Rauch) gives similiar vibes. Had she lived, I’m willing to bet the producers would have put her on the bench once again.
Even Rosalind “Roz” Russell lives on in Lacretta’s performance as Donna “Gurgs” Gurganous. Although she’s not as gruff as the previous version, long time fans will recognise the nod. Everyone else, namely Olivia (India de Beaufort) and Neil (Kapil Talwalkar) are new. Their presence gives the series a new coat of paint, as the first episode joked at, and as for how well they’ll adapt or imitate their predecessors, I really need more episodes to tell.
Overall, it’s a joy to see this series make a comeback that I really want to watch. Unlike ICarly which fizzled by episode three and that I have little interest in That 90’s show, the North American sitcom scene is only as good as those worlds which strikes a chord with the viewing public. In Night Court, the mix of humour and empathy made the 80s series special.
As for the new one, it’s still trying to find ground. At least we see Abbey attempting to fill her father’s shoes. It’s not easy given the weight that’s upon her. I’m sure there’ll be more story development in that regard where she recounts those times with dad, and she’ll try to put what was taught to her in good practise. I’ll be tuning in to see how that develops. Also, I want to see when or if the others will get mentioned somehow. I want to see the surviving cast make some kind of return.
4 Stars out of 5
NBC’s Night Court Early Promo