After her divorce, attorney Amy Gray and her young daughter move back into her mother's house in Hartford, Connecticut, and Amy becomes a family court judge. Amy's mother Maxine is a social worker who holds herself, as well as everyone else — especially Amy — to her perfectionist standards. Since Amy is a family court judge and Maxine is a social worker, they occasionally cross paths professionally, sometimes creating discord that spills over into their personal relationship. Amy and Maxine are both single and interested in romance. Amy's introspective, younger brother is a writer, while her older brother, an insurance salesman, and his neurotic wife frequently drop by. This show is about as complex as it gets without being a Mind Screw...This page is in serious need of Wiki Magic.
This show has examples of:
Abusive Parents: A huge part of Maxine's job, and these pop up in Amy's courtroom.
Actor-Shared Background: Sort of; Amy Brenneman's mother and father were a Connecticut Superior Court judge and a lawyer, respectively.
Adorkable: Maxine and Amy when they're flustered by the attention of the opposite sex... which leads Amy once to declare that she is done with men. ...it doesn't stick.
Asshole Victim: The creep stalking Amy that ended up being killed by Sean's foster kid in defense of the Grays.
The Character Died with Him: When Richard Crenna, who played Maxine's on-again, off-again boyfriend Jared, died of cancer, his character was written off by having him die of a heart attack in the episode "Requiem".
Disappeared Dad: The patriarch of the Gray family died several years previous to the pilot, and Lauren's father sometimes ventures into this territory.
Disproportionate Retribution: In one episode, a boy was brought in to Amy's court after calling in a bomb threat at school. However, his father was a soldier and he was born in Afghanistan. Since citizenship is passed through the mother, he is officially an illegal Afghani immigrant and could be deported if convicted of a felony. Later, in a Loophole Abuse filled conversation about a theoretical boy from "Sweden," she is told that if he is deported back to "Sweden" with no family or support system, he'll likely be placed in the military. All because he wanted to get out of a test. Amy takes a third option by sentencing to probation for 364 days, since only sentences of over a year are required to be reported.
Emotional Torque: The whole darn series. It doesn't screw so much with your brain as it does your emotions.