I wanted to watch “All Rise” because it’s Simone Missick’s new show. Missick was awesome on “Luke Cage,” figured I’d try it. But you know who else is in “All Rise”? Bullseye from “Daredevil,” Wilson Bethel. They play best friends. She’s a new judge, he’s her ex-fellow district attorney. She’s Black, he’s white, but they’re real friends. Heartwarming stuff. It’s really weird to see Missick and Bethel in this kind of role, this slightly patronizing mainstream safe progressive CBS show. Missick’s got to wait for humor cues, Bethel’s got to play excitable but sympathetic guy, it’s weird. And it’s kind of fun, especially with Bethel. He lets loose well. Missick’s better with the new judge stuff.
Besides Bethel, “All Rise” centers around Missick’s new courtroom. The last time the regular team was together, a white cop had an anti-immigration meltdown and tried to kill a judge. A kindly old white judge. In the courtroom are defense attorney Jessica Camacho (from “The Flash”), bailiff J. Alex Brinson (son of a bitch cop and spousal abuser Jeff from “Travelers”), argumentative court clerk Ruthie Ann Miles, and stenographer Lindsay Mendez. Camacho’s basically third lead. Brinson flirts with her and helps her out with her case (he’s going to law school at night) and is buds with Mendez, who’s the introverted sassy one because “All Rise” is all about its caricatures. And the caricatures are fine because the cast bring enough personality. It’s basically a perfectly casted network legal drama. Not going to rock any boats.
But… it’s going to have a great cast. This episode has, guest starring, ‘Rocket Romano’ and ‘Emil’ Paul McCrane, Tony Denison (the show gives off a whole “Major Crimes” vibe, also with the upbeat reality nonsense), and Richard Brooks. Onahoua Rodriguez gets a small part too (I had to look her up, “Shield”). So it’s an exceptionally well-cast show. It’s worth just watching for the guest star casting, especially since Denison is playing Bethel’s lowlife small time crook dad. Denison’s so good. So “All Rise: The Pilot” gets a pass, but maybe not on the merits it should be scoring.