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'Magical Law': It Can't Be Any Worse Than 'Outlaw'

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 17th 2010 5:10PM
'Magical Law' A combo of 'Harry Potter' and 'Law & Order: SVU?'
Have you watched an episode of 'The Good Wife' or any of the myriad 'Law & Order' shows and thought, "Wow, if only Detective Benson could cast a spell on that pedophile so his peep falls off. Now that would be justice!"

Well, you may have your chance. According to Joe Adalian of the Vulture blog, there's a pilot script in development at Fox that's a cross between 'Law & Order' and 'Harry Potter.' Yes, you read that right.

Called 'Magical Law,' the show would take place in a wizarding world, where we'd examine how cops and lawyers are able to police and prosecute all of those magic-wielders who are using their powers for evil instead of good (or to conjure kittens from furniture... not sure what these wizards do on their time off). No word on if the cops and lawyers would have powers themselves, but the show would be a heck of a lot more interesting if they did.

Sounds like a silly premise, right? Lawyers and cops fighting crime in the magical realm? But think about it for a second: as much of a disaster than this show sounds like it could be, it can't be any worse than a lawyer show that's already come and gone this season: NBC's "Outlaw."

Forget that 'Outlaw' ever existed -- believe me, Jimmy Smits is doing that right now. If you were a network executive that was presented with the following two pitches, which one would you think was more far-fetched:

1. A conservative Supreme Court justice, who is a gambler and a womanizer, quits the Court and travels the country defending down-on-their-luck and wrongly-accused clients, mostly for free.

2. A determined group of police and lawyers try to enforce the law in a world full of wizards and goblins.

Hard to choose, isn't it? Actually, the way I worded the 'Magical Law' pitch actually makes the show sound somewhat dignified.

Anyway, the fantasy world that 'Outlaw' lived in, where Smits' character could give a guy clemency as a Justice and then defend the same guy after he stepped down, doesn't seem any more outlandish than what we'd see in 'Magical Law.' In fact, knowing that this takes place in a pure fantasy world might actually make the show a better watch, if only because you won't be getting dizzy from rolling your eyes for an hour straight.

Imagine some of the cases you could see on 'Magical Law:'

-- A sleazy porn purveyor concocts a potion that he uses to put women in a hypnotic trance which forces them to perform in his movies. (Wait, wasn't that a 'L&O: SVU' plot?)

-- A woman is terrorizing the city by going around and turning random men into newts.

-- A financier who looks suspiciously like a cross between Voldermont and Bernie Madoff uses his skills to create piles of money that look real but turn out to be piles of bat dung.

-- A teenager uses his powers of invisibility to peep in the girls' locker room (actually, that's every teenage boy's fantasy, isn't it?).

-- A wizard is accused of sending a plague of locusts to the houses of politicians.

What plots do you think could be explored on 'Magical Law?' Would you watch the show?

(Follow @joelkeller on Twitter.)

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I liked it better when it was called Charmed.


November 17 2010 at 8:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jackie Estrada

This premise is very close to Batton Lash's "Supernatural Law," which has been around as a comic strip, a comic book, graphic novels, and a webcomic for over 30 years.

November 17 2010 at 7:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Jackie Estrada's comment
BC McKinney

It's even closer to Randall Garrett's science fiction alternate history stories and novels about Lord Darcy, forensic wizard for the Duchy of Normandy, which date back to the mid-1960s.

November 17 2010 at 10:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Loved those books. They were so well written and detailed, you could believe that it was truly possible.

November 18 2010 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In actually don't have a problem with this, at least in theory. Technology has allowed special effects to catch up to make something like this possible. There are a few things that are going to make a huge difference. Is this going to be a tounge in cheek view of things (as was often the case in "The Dresden Files", both the show and the books) or are they going to go a more deadly-serious Law and Order direction?

Frankly, if you boil a lot of shows down to their one or two line premises, they can sound horrid.

"A group of war refugees flee the robot army that is trying to wipe them out."

"The comedic antics of a group of misfit courtroom personnel working the night shift in a NYC arraignment court"


November 17 2010 at 6:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great another Law and Order, just what is needed, surprised NBC didn't do it first.

November 17 2010 at 6:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


November 17 2010 at 5:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rob Stevens

I liked the premise better when it was "The Dresden Files."

November 17 2010 at 5:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Rob Stevens's comment
Joseph Land

Came here to say this.

I say we get a reboot of the Dresden Files that is better done. One season per book and you have a show that'll stay strong for awhile. With good characters.

November 17 2010 at 6:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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