Street Legal: Is Tubi’s Drama Series Inspired by a Real Incident?

A revival of the original eponymous show, Tubi’s ‘Street Legal’ is a legal drama series that follows the professional as well as personal lives of a group of ambitious lawyers working at a startup lawyer firm in Toronto. Having complications in their life and reasons of their own, each lawyer fights compassionately for their clients, all while they test the limits of their relationships not just inside of the courts but also outside of them.

The character-driven drama show is elevated further by the brilliant onscreen performances from a talented ensemble cast, comprising Cynthia Dale, Cara Ricketts, Steve Lund, Yvonne Chapman, Tom McCamus, Rosemary Dunsmore, and Patrick Labbé. With the inclusion of several seemingly realistic themes and elements, including lawyers’ professional and personal lives and the different kinds of crimes they come across, the series is bound to give many of you the impression that it is based on a true story.

Street Legal Takes Inspiration From Real-Life Elements

The show takes inspiration from several elements of reality and incorporates them strategically throughout the narrative. Moreover, the cases that the lawyers take on in the show are often inspired by true events, which are conceptualized and dramatized by the screenwriters — Bruce M. Smith, William Deverell, Lynne Kamm, Nicolas Billon, and Nikolijne Troubetzkoy. All the writers collaborate and make the most of their creative minds, brilliant writing skills, and experience in the industry, to conjure up a gripping yet realistic screenplay for each episode of the legal series.

Given the uncanny resemblance to reality when it comes to the show’s way of dealing with some true-to-life issues through the Toronto-based lawyers, Brieftake did not hesitate to ask the leading cast members all about the degree to which the series is based in reality in an early March 2019 interview, right when the show was revived for the ninth season after nearly 15 years. Yvonne Chapman, who portrays Mina Lee, stated her opinion, “…We talk about diversity and things like that, but the show saw that and said ‘this is the normalization of it,’ this is reality. We don’t really use the word ‘diversity’, it’s just reality, and it wasn’t something which we drew attention to or focus, it is what it is and it is how it should be. So that’s what I appreciate about the show and how we did that and our approach to it.”

Chapman further expanded, “This show is sexually diverse, racially diverse and there was consideration for inclusion. And then the thing that made it more amazing was once we got there, then we decided to make it universal, so it doesn’t mean that this person has to go through a certain thing, it’s just this person’s living their life.” What emphasizes her point is the fact that one of the characters is non-binary while Mina Lee is a lesbian herself.

Elaborating on her own character, Chapman said that being a lesbian does not define Mina Lee as there was way more to her character than just that and that’s what she loved about her storyline. She added, “…And the way that they approached my relationship on the show is ‘I love another human being—I’m a human being loving another human being who happens to be a woman’. And love is love and that is it.” So, even though there are various true-to-life elements sprinkled throughout the narrative, it does not change the fact that ‘Street Legal’ only gets influenced by some real-life themes and dramatizes it for entertainment purposes.

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