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Series / Crownies

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Crownies is an Australian television dramedy series that first screened on ABC1 in 2011. The series involves a group of solicitors fresh from law school, working with Crown Prosecutors, or 'Crownies', who are the public prosecutors in the legal system of Australia, working for the Office of the Department of Public Prosecution. The series is filmed in Sydney, New South Wales, but the story is set in a (fictional) unnamed state (although several Sydney suburbs are mentioned by name).

A spinoff series, Janet King, began in February 2014, with about 80% of the major characters returning.

Crownies contains examples of:

  • All Lesbians Want Kids: Janet and her partner Ashleigh are expecting twins. Subverted in a sense, as the risk of one of them having a birth defect is present and Janet contemplates whether or not she should have an abortion.
  • Anachronistic Clue: A teacher accused of having sex with a student claims that a note the student had in her possession was written to his wife years earlier. Unfortunately for him, the note happens to mention a brand of alcopop that didn't exist at the time.
  • Apologises a Lot: Richard is constantly apologising "profusely" to Judge Walker, usually because he's brought in uncooperative witnesses. She lampshades it in one episode, while she's forcing him to copy by hand a list of prior convictions that he'd given her without a chance to properly format them, while dealing with a sprained wrist. He then informs her that his wrist was sprained in a bike accident on the way to her lecture two nights ago. She reveals that the ambulance that picked him up also dented her Prius. He apologises. Profusely.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When Janet first reads the file on Nicholas Quinn's alleged crimes (luring two office cleaners to his country house, holding against them against their will and raping them over a number of days), she gets fixated on the fact that he forced them into turtleneck jumpers. Played with in that the turtlenecks are mentioned somewhere in the middle of the file. Some of the other solicitors have the same reaction.
  • Artistic Licence – Law: Tatum, while we appreciate your... zeal in simply making shit up on an iPad and attempting to pass that off as evidence, the fact that it works (despite the very very well founded objection from defence counsel) in open court says rather bad things about the Local Court of New South Wales.
  • Asshole Victim: In the 'bolt-cutter babes' case, the victim is found to have been beating the women charged with his murder.
    • In a non-homicide example, the climate change-denier who was punched in the face by a scientist that he had been harassing for months. Richard's sympathies clearly lie with the accused, though he still manages to get him found guilty.
  • Bed Trick: A borderline case. A woman dresses up very provocatively for a blind date set up by a friend, with someone whose been told is an attractive dentist called Phil. Around the time she's expecting him, an average-looking campaign worker who has been going door-to-door stops by. Before he can get a word in, she asks "Are you Phil?" Distracted by the Sexy, he impulsively answers "Yes." She proceeds to sleep with him, even though he's nowhere near as attractive as she was led to believe Phil is, and never makes an effort to pretend to be the man she was expecting beyond lying about his name - the implication is that she never gave him a chance to talk after that. When the real Phil shows up, she reports the campaigner to the police and then to the Crown Prosecution Service. Though Richard acknowledges the man's actions could constitute rape by fraud, most of the characters are just dumbfounded by the fact that the woman slept with him for no reason beyond "He said he was Phil." Whether or not the man was charged is left unrevealed by the end of the episode.
  • Break the Cutie: Erin's involvement with a murder case begins to take a mental toll on her.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Quite a few of the more senior staff members have... quirks. This does not affect their competence in the law generally.
  • Butt-Monkey: Richard.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Richie walks in on Conrad doing cocaine at the Christmas party, and reminds him that there are numerous cops and lawyers just outside the room. Conrad protests that he doesn't have enough for all of them.
  • Conviction by Contradiction: A teacher accused of having sex with a student claims that a note the student had in her possession was written to his wife years earlier. Conveniently, the note happens to mention a brand of alcopop that didn't exist at the time.
  • Creepy Child: Max Gardiner.
  • Driving Question: Who leaked the Quinn file to the press?
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: In a Ripped from the Headlines example, one of the minor cases involved a tattooist who tattooed a giant penis on a friend's back while they were both drunk.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: Richard angrily confronts the tennant he has been trying to evict. He rides off on a bicycle a moment later.
  • Friend on the Force: Out of all the police officers in the first season, Andy is the most friendly and helpful to the Crownies. Even when he gets enraged at the Crownies lack of cooperation, he's quick to apologize for his own unreasonableness later.
  • Hello, Attorney!: Erin and Tatum. Lina is also attractive but is a lot more conservative in how she dresses.
  • The Internet Is for Porn: Tracey unwisely clicks on a link Tatum sends her. She ends up opening a porn site that she can't close down and which reappears every time she starts up her computer. She ends up smashing her computer so she can get a new one.
  • Irony: The media blames Janet for incorrectly sending Dianne Vaslich, accusing her of trying to run a speedy trial rather than searching for the truth with the police. Just an episode before, Janet turned down the case for its alarming lack of evidence and only agreed to take it because the police planned to run their own trial without the Crownies, which would be political disaster.
  • It Never Gets Any Easier: Both Erin and Lina have gone through this. Erin's lead to alcoholism and an eventual sabbatical.
  • Job Title: "Crownies" is shortened form of Crown Prosecutor.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Politically, the police and the Crownies want to be seen as cooperative but they frequently butt heads. The Crownies demand more evidence for successful cases to ensure a fair trial, while the police think the Crownies are just afraid of looking weak to the press. Jack Rizzoli in particular is outraged and accusatory when its pointed out his cases aren't airtight and attempts to start a trial behind their back. Partly because he's trying to cover his own tracks.
  • Karma Houdini: Nicholas Quinn is seen as such by David after he dies of cancer before he can be prosecuted for rape.
  • Mafia Princess: Tatum. Throughout high school she was known as "the gangster's daughter".
  • Mistaken for Gay: Tatum initially assumes that Richard is gay. Admittedly, his expertise regarding wedding dresses does not help.
  • Mistaken for Pregnant: Tracey finds Janet's sonagram on Erin's desk and leaps to the wrong conclusion regarding Erin.
  • Mood Whiplash: Several episodes manage to shift from comic relief subplots involving office hijinks to serious stories such as murder or rape cases and back again pretty well.
  • "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: Discussed by two of the prosecutors in the first episode.
  • Office Golf: Ben does this.
  • One-Word Title
  • Parking Payback: In the first episode, Ben's grandfather parks in an able bodied surfer who parked in a disabled spot. This one does not end well, as Ben's grandfather ultimately recieves a beating that results in his death.
  • Professionals Do It on Desks: In the first episode, Ben and Julie sneak into the office after the Christmas party to have sex on Ben's boss's desk.
  • Stealing the Handicapped Spot: In the first episode, an able-bodied surfer parks in the disabled parking space at the beach, and is then rude to Ben's grandfather (who is entitled to the space) when he asks him to move. Ben's grandfather then extracts some Parking Payback by parking the surfer in. This has tragic consequences as Ben's grandfather later receives a beating that results in his death.
  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Richard does this to Tatum by pulling off a pair of imaginary gloves.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Richard gets two in episode nine: he finally impresses a judge who he has a terrible history with (mainly because of uncooperative witnesses) to the point where the accused is sentenced to 20-27 years (Richard's goal was 25, for the accused's impulsive murder of a postman, but the judge added two years for tampering with the mail). This is quickly followed by a passionate sexual encounter in his office chair with the psychiatrist whose testimony got the aforementioned conviction. (Though this does cause a hitch when it ruins Conrad's suit and Tatum comes close to letting slip that he's not really gay).
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Erin in the first episode.
  • Worth It: Richard gets Steve Coburn, a prominent climate change professor, found guilty of assaulting James Watt, a skeptic who had been harassing him for months, showing up at all of his lectures and repeating the same fallacious arguments against global warming. Dr. Coburn gets a $1000 fine and declares that it was worth the satisfaction.