Lawyers Not in Love

Steven Classen
2007 Television & New Media  
This essay offers a social history and examination of The Defenders as a popular, critically acclaimed television text that negotiated anxieties regarding crime, law, justice, liberalism, and masculinity in the 1960s and 1990s. Both The Defenders television series (1961)(1962)(1963)(1964)(1965) and the Showtime motion picture series (1997)(1998) by the same name rearticulated enduring tensions between law's formalism and just desires for compassion and mercy, depicting defense attorneys as men
more » ... ho work both inside and outside of "law" to ensure justice and confront the lack of humanism in "the rule of law." Such discourses are understood and appreciated in different ways in different times, particularly as the cultural politics of nostalgia are engaged. The Defenders offers clear illustrations of the ways in which popular narratives not only depict juridical roles but also perform them, specifying when and where "law" begins and ends.
doi:10.1177/1527476406298904 fatcat:fxzfzwac5jarxpdusy6uqngdze