“So Help Me Todd”: The slightly different legal series with Oscar flair

“So Help Me Todd”
The slightly different legal series with Oscar flair

Skylar Astin (l.) and Marcia Gay Harden clash again and again in “So Help Me Todd”.

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“So Help Me Todd” is the start of a legal series that strikes a balance between drama and comedy – including opposing main characters.

Opposites not only necessarily attract each other, but also the audience. The dynamic, i.e. the friction that exists between unequal TV or cinema duos, is a basic recipe for many comedies, action films and dramas alike. In the new US series “So Help Me Todd”, which starts on September 26th is celebrating its German premiere on 13th Street, it is a mother-son team that stands up to each other well – not least thanks to an Oscar winner in top form.

Blind Justice – that’s what it’s all about

Todd (Skylar Astin, 35) can hardly sink any lower. Despite his talent as a private detective, the aimless and planless man in his mid-thirties lives in his sister’s garage. The only reason he didn’t have to trade this unglamorous place for a prison cell is Todd’s mother Margaret (Marcia Gay Harden, 64). The successful lawyer knows every paragraph of the code inside out. But while her pedantic work ethic brings her one success after the next at work, it causes her to get offended again and again in her private life – and not just with her son.

To bring Todd back to what she believes is the right path, she gets him a job as an internal investigator at her law firm. Despite initial skepticism, he quickly earned his first spurs in his new field of responsibility. However, his methods are not always as legally sound as his meticulous mother would like.

One case, two approaches

Does the desire for justice sometimes justify unfair means? And how does this belief affect interpersonal relationships with people who think differently? “So Help Me Todd” is dedicated to similar moral dilemmas to those brought to light by the acclaimed “Breaking Bad” spin-off “Better Call Saul.” In contrast to the AMC series, however, the emphasis is clearly different: “So Help Me “Todd” remains at its core a lawyer/investigative series; each episode (21 in total) deals with a new, tricky case.

The characters Todd and Margaret are at the center of the entire plot. The two seem like the yin and yang of justice – fundamentally the same, yet so different and incomplete without each other.

Marcia Gay Harden once again shows impressive joy in playing. The Oscar winner, who won the golden boy award for “Best Supporting Actress” in the biopic “Pollock” in 2001, is the personification of authority. At the same time, the actress demonstrates a sense of comedy that has rarely been seen before. Meanwhile, “Pitch Perfect” star Skylar Astin turns out to be a charming, bold counterpart; together they dare to walk the tightrope between drama and comedy.

Supplies already on the way

In addition to the two main actors, Madeline Wise (“Star Trek: Picard”), Tristen J. Winger (“Bigger”), Inga Schlingman (“Life Coach”) and Rosa Arredondo (“Roswell, New Mexico”) also appear. There is also a famous name away from the camera: Phil McGraw, known to those familiar with the US TV landscape as “Dr. Phil”, is one of the producers.

From September 26th, “So Help Me Todd” will premiere as a German TV premiere every Tuesday evening with double episodes on 13th Street. The season finale on November 28th offers three episodes. All episodes are also available on demand after broadcast and if you still can’t get enough, you can look forward to an upcoming refill: A second season has already been ordered by the US broadcaster CBS.


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