CBS' All Rise is the network television premiere you won't want to skip this season. The new courthouse drama starring Simone Missick (Marvel's Luke Cage), Wilson Bethel (Hart of Dixie) and Jessica Camacho (NBC's Taken) brings a heart-filled look at the justice system and its systemic problems, adding big twists and trauma-centered storylines fans will find relatable and important.
Created by Greg Spottiswood, All Rise centers around the lives and careers of judges, prosecutors and public defenders working together for justice at a Los Angeles courthouse. The first episode introduces fans to Judge Lola Carmichael (Missick), an earnest and passionate new judge set on bringing positive change to her courtroom after a traumatic event.
The difficult encounter sets off a chain of events that unites Lola and her best friend/prosecutor, Mark Callan (Bethel) with the other players in the courthouse, including public defender, Emily Lopez (Jessica Camacho) and officer Luke Watkins (J. Alex Brinson). CSI alum Marg Helgenberger, Ruthie Ann Miles and Lindsay Mendez round out the main cast as Lisa Benner, Sherri Kansky and Sara Castillo respectively, three characters who capture our hearts, and pique our interests by the end of Episode 1.
All Rise stands out from CBS' slate of procedural-style dramas in part with strong performances from the cast, led by Missick. The actress makes a character that could be stereotypical into a living, breathing person that should really be leading the charge for change in all courtrooms across America. Camacho and Bethel also shine in their roles, portraying attorneys with the passion and determination needed to bring about true change.
While the series follows the case-of-the-week pattern of other successful CBS dramas, All Rise breaks the mold by providing powerful backstories to its recurring characters. The show also gives the main cast plenty of time for character development, and drama, outside of the cases that will keep fans of more serialized offerings happy.
Some will try to compare All Rise to other shows featuring strong black female leads like ABC's Scandal or How to Get Away With Murder. But the new ensemble CBS drama series manages to shine a light on stories from diverse perspectives, and bring light-hearted humor into problematic situations — much like a Shondaland-produced series — with a fresh tone allowing it to stand on its own in the best way.
After watching the first three episodes of the series made available to press, it is clear All Rise is on a mission to highlight problems currently plaguing America's judicial system and social climate, hopefully to inspire change. With a talented cast and intriguing storytelling in its corner, it might do just that.
All Rise premieres Monday, Sept. 24 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.