Rebel, Season 1, Episode 1

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Illustration from the article titled Katey Sagal Raises Rebel from Her Shadow Erin Brockovich

photo: Temma Hankin / ABC

Shonda Rhimes may have left ABC to netflix plush vintage climates, but his legacy and influence is still felt on his old network, especially on Thursday nights. Step into the intimidating heels of Scandals Olivia Pope et How to get away with a murders Annalize Keating is the fearless Katey Sagal, taking on the role of Annie “Rebel” Flynn Ray Bello, not so loosely based on an Erin Brockovich (who also produces Rebel). If you’ve seen this Oscar-winning film from 2000, the setup may sound familiar:A serious, down-to-earth lawyer tackles a multitude of neglected causes as her personal life falters.

Like Erin, Rebel has three children and three husbands (for reasons of symmetry, the series is one child per spouse; also, Erin is divorced from the three, while Rebel’s current marriage is evolving at the end of this pilot. ). She does not have a law degree: A Rebel line straight from the movie as everyone continues to assume she’s a lawyer: “I hate lawyers. “(A better line is when a viewer asks if Rebel is this famous lawyer and someone responds, ” She is not a lawyer. She’s just loud. “) What she has is a ton of intelligence and moxie that allow her to work her way through a multitude of David versus Goliath situations, always from David’s side. Rebel works for an older and real lawyer (Cruz d’Andy Garcia replaces Ed Masry’s role of mentor in real life), frustrated and overwhelmed by his efforts, yet seemingly powerless to combat such a dynamic force of nature.

If Rebel were played by almost everyone except Katey Sagal, her holy and selfless stance would be almost too much to take. Thankfully, the TV vet’s charisma, polished to perfection for decades on the small screen, instead makes Rebel’s character a sympathetic draw. Unfortunately, due to the complicated family life of the manager, Rebel’The pilot of s must offer a mega-load of exposure to set up a not insignificant number of characters: the gynecologist son of Rebel Nate (Kevin Zegers) is the product of the union with her first husband (Matthieu Glave), a cop; Child number two Cassidy (Lex Scott Davis) is a girl who looks a lot like Rebel herself, which only makes her want to rebel and go work for her father, corporate lawyer, Benji (James Lesure), including sister Lana (Tamala Jones) is Rebel’s best friend; child number three Ziggy (Runaways’ Ariela Barer) is a fair teenager in rehab adopted by Rebel 10 years ago with third husband Grady, who may be on his way out (John Corbett, playing refreshing a cad for once).

Tamala Jones, Matthew Glave, Kevin Zegers, Katey Sagal, James Lesure in Rebel

From left to right: Tamala Jones, Matthew Glave, Kevin Zegers, Katey Sagal, James Lesure
photo: Karen Ballard / ABC
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There are so many crossed family ties that the episode actually makes a lot more sense on second viewing, even if it again means enduring cringe-worthy dialogue as Rebel sarcastically warning his son, “I’m sorry ma. compassion for my comrade the human beings made you suffer ”, or Grady telling Rebel that if she ever stayed home after work,“ Who would save the world? While Rebel (like Erin Brockovich) is certainly an admirable figure, you can also see how all of those constant crusades may not add up to the happiest of homelives (although there is a big moment where Grady complains about how including Rebel ‘He’s never there to make her dinner and the four main women yell in unison: “Do you having dinner!?! »)

But he’s a pilot, and that’s why there are so few stellars those right out of the door: there is a lot to put in place, while also create a story interesting enough to make the viewer want to come back. Cassidy has an exemplary audience scene (much admired by her new colleague, Nashville ‘s Sam Palladio, allowed to use her native accent for once), Lana shows her worth by being Rebel’s earth to heaven (taken down a perp to boot), and Garcia is excellent as usual. More it’s Sagal, finally, that we will be back for. It was apparently so requested by ABC (hey, they did well with her Married with children co-star, Modern familys Ed O’Neill) that she had her pick from a tower of scripts – and that she chose well. Rebel puts it front and center, create a fiercely determined but compassionate and sympathetic character. The supporting cast and guest stars, with names like Battlestar Galacticas Mary McDonnell et Scandal’with Dan Bacatinsky, also bodes well for the future of the series.

Showrunner Krista Vernoff, after all, has been in the Shondaland range for years, most recent recently executive producer Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19. Rebel allows topically appropriate storylines to unfold not only in the courtroom, but also in the familiar hospital setting, thanks to Nate’s career (and colleague Abigail Spencer, showing up next week). Look for a multitudee of passionate speeches, many links between girlfriends and distressing explanatory lines such as: “We are doing what we can to tip the scales towards justice” and ““I bring the CEOs of multi-million dollar companies to their knees, and not in a sexy way. » And Rebel start to prioritize showing story, more, Sagal may have found a new home worthy of his legendary talent.

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