Legal TV Blog No. 2: The Grinder
After last week’s depressing look at the documentary ‘Making a Murderer’, this week I wanted to touch on something more lighthearted and fun that I also watch in the realm of Legal TV with The Grinder. The Grinder stars Rob Lowe as a retired actor/lawyer from a famous TV show, who comes back home to “practice law” with his brother and father who are real attorneys and his brother happens to be Fred Savage (or as we all know him-Kevin Arnold) from TheWonder Years. The show is hilarious as Fred Savage is constantly overshadowed by his big brother’s star power and personality even in the law office. While this show is wonderfully inaccurate and completely unethical at times, it is still a fun watch even for a real attorney.
Some of the funniest, and most accurate, parts of this show come from how these attorneys deal with their clients and their own familial issues. As an attorney who works in a firm with his father, I can tell you that many of the family’s day-to-day issues can come into play as they do in the show. Rob Lowe and Fred Savage’s father often has to choose sides, wants to use pen and paper and do things “old school”, and at times has to enforce his authority when he feels it’s necessary. Many times in our firm, my father will have to choose sides between myself and our other partner, Peter Sartes, who has been working for my father for 15-plus years (since I was in high school). Additionally, my father will always be an old school attorney who doesn’t like change and often will not adapt until he has been convinced beyond a reasonable doubt. Lastly, my father is not one who is shy to assert his authority in the firm and will always be the decision maker until he decides that he is no longer the decision maker. Oftentimes we discuss family matters at work, deal with family issues at work, and have my mother in the office in similar ways to Fred Savage’s wife working in their office. A family law firm is an easy setting for a sitcom which is easily proven by this show.
So while the legal part of this show is incredibly inaccurate the social aspect of it is true in one form or another. So if you’re into sitcoms, this show is a good one but if you want to learn what it’s like to be a lawyer find another show.