This book examines the American television legal series from its development as a genre in the 1940s to the present day. Villez demonstrates how the genre has been a rich source of legal information and understanding for Americans. These series have both informed and put myths in place about the legal system in the US. Villez also contrasts the US to France, which has seen a similar interest in legal series during this period. However, French television representations of justice are strikingly different, as is the role of fiction in offering viewers the possibility of acquiring significant understandings of their legal system. The book will be an important addition to the study of popular culture and law and will interest legal scholars, sociologists, and media scholars.
Foreword by Judge Antoine Garapon. Series Editors’ Preface. Author’s Preface. Introduction 1. An American History: Television Legal Series 2. Actors of Justice as Seen on American Television 3. The French Approach to Legal Series 4. Myths, Models, Messages 5. Citizen Education: Teaching Democracy 6. Conclusion: A Democracy of Individuals. Afterword: Developments from 2005 to 2009. Filmography (Table of US Legal Shows). Bibliography. Index.
Routledge Studies in Law, Society and Popular Culture is an inter-disciplinary series that examines the relationship between the law and all areas of popular culture. Particular foci include the regulation of spheres of popular culture and representations of law within popular culture. ‘Popular Culture’ is a broad and inclusive church that includes all aspects of leisure and culture, including but not confined to music, sport, film, media, night- time economy, art, literature, the internet etc. Whilst law may well provide a useful vehicle for an analysis of cultural activities within society the absence of law in the field may be just as important and worthy of consideration.