Night Court: “Pilot” and “Nighthawks” opens “Newboot” with adorable but 50/50 laughs

Night Court is back. I don’t type that sentence lightly. The original is one of my most favorite sitcoms of all time. The premiere was this week, leading with two episodes, the pilot and the follow up “Nighthawks”, and its mixed bag of laughs but with a reason for optimism.

Melissa Rauch stars as Abby Stone, the daughter of the legendary Harry T. Stone, who inherits his bright outlook of life, appreciation of magic, and big heart. She’s the new night court judge and manages to wrangle in her dad’s old colleague, the also legendary Dan Fielding, whose now a process server who has abandoned his narcissistic and womanizing ways.

The recipe here is good. But the execution needs some work.

Rauch gets it “over the net” by just being plain adorable. Also an EP on the show, you can tell she’s a true believer and tries to radiate this positive energy anytime she’s on screen. John Larroquette reprises his role and is great here (just like he’s always been).

We do need to work on some uneven writing though.

The pilot was strong. I enjoyed the fortune teller spot and its great seeing these familiar sets and humorous defendants. It was a good time.

However, the follow up “Nighthawks” gets a little weird, with an almost adversarial twist to Abby and Dan’s relationship. She brings him out of hiding just to criticize him. That’s a fast swerve for a series that’s less than an hour old.

Still, I’m here for the show. I’ll be following it. If it can even get inside of the same store to purchase the shoes it’s trying to fill, then it will be worth it.

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