Night Court Reboot – Nightly Nostalgia

Written by on March 20, 2023

Night Court Reboot

NBC has brought something good to life on Peacock TV: a Night Court reboot. It’s just released it’s first couple of episodes, and I’m happy, but torn. When I was a boy and bread cost a penny cut in two, you didn’t need to finance a dozen eggs, and you could buy a house with the money you spend today on a latte (yes, I was a boy in 1750,) I would sit with my father at night and watch the NBC lineup. See, we lived a block from the transmitter, so that was all we got without a blizzard on the screen. So we watched, and we had our favorites, and one of them was Night Court.

Night Court, starring Harry Anderson, Markie Post, John Larroquette, and many other talented actors, was a show about New York Criminal Court, Part Two, a.k.a., night court. Anderson played Judge Harold T. Stone, a young, clever, slightly goofy magician with a passion for singer Mel Torme. John Larroquette and Markie Post played District Attorney Dan Fielding and Legal Aid defense attorney Christine Sullivan. Charles Robinson played court clerk Mac, and Richard Moll and Marsha Warfield played bailiffs Bull and Roz, respectively.

The reboot is a mix of former cast members, notably John Larroquette as the super reluctant now defense counsel out of the woods of exile, India de Beafort as ADA Olivia, and the new judge, Harry’s daughter, played by Big Bang Theory star Melissa Rauch. And of course, after forty years, the courtroom (and cafeteria) haven’t changed much.

I have two main issues with the show. I’m not loving Melissa Rauche as the judge. She’s a victim of her own success in TBBT as Bernadette, a cute-on-the-surface little monster who I would’ve voted most likely to kill everyone else on a bad day. I just don’t buy her as a sunny, optimistic daughter of Harry Stone. Am I typecasting? Sure.

Second issue is that Jon Larroquette being called back to court by Abby (Stone, Harry’s daughter, Rauch) He kind of agonizes at first over whether to play defense in night court. You see, the “court” part, in the old show, was just the vehicle for comedy. It wasn’t a law show. The Dan Fielding of the old night court was a perverted sleazeball. He didn’t care what side he was on. And I don’t think defending people would cause him to break a sweat this time. I hope he grows into it quickly and move on with it.

So I’m torn. On the one hand, a Night Court reboot is comforting. I got a lot of nostalgia here, and I want it to succeed more than anything. But the problem with nostalgia is that it’s hard for anything to measure up to the love that used to be. Like this reboot is missing my father sitting in his chair. So is my take really fair?

It’s early and shows have to come into their own. First season’s are first seasons, got to get the kinks out. So I’d say it has a lot to strive for, and I’m not totally giving up on it.


Current track