The small screen has been hit with a plethora of promising new shows in recent weeks. HBO dropped the crime drama “Mare of Easttown,” Freeform unleashed the psychological thriller “Cruel Summer,” Disney+ launched the high school basketball story “Big Shot” and ABC debuted “Rebel.” The latter, a legal procedural based upon the life of activist Erin Brockovich, who also serves as an executive producer, was created by Krista Vernoff of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Station 19” fame. Airing Thursday nights at 10 (and streaming each Friday on Hulu), the series centers around Annie Flynn-Reid-Bello (Katey Sagal), a quick-witted, fast-talking legal advocate who works at a law firm run by Julian Cruz (Andy Garcia). The show’s moniker is a reference to Annie’s preferred sobriquet. As she explains in the pilot, she’s “had too many husbands, picked up too many names, so most folks these days just call me ‘Rebel.’”
2020 left the world primed for a feel-good show and “Rebel” certainly delivers as the plucky titular character fights to right all sorts of wrongs, namely by aiming to take down Stonemore Medical, a corporation responsible for a heart valve that is making leagues of patients ill. She also helps out various other underdogs along the way. Throughout it all, Rebel, a mother to three grown children, manages to maintain a uniquely friendly relationship with her two ex-husbands, high-class lawyer Benji Ray (James Lesure) and police officer Tommy Flynn (Matthew Glave).
Rounding out the all-star cast is John Corbett as Grady Bello, Rebel’s current, but soon-to-be ex-husband, Mary McDonnell as one of her ailing clients and Adam Arkin (another of the series’ executive producers) as the corporate CEO she is obsessed with derailing.
Filmed throughout Los Angeles and its environs, the show’s locations are also quite noteworthy. The Edward Durell Stone-designed Wilshire Colonnade complex in Koreatown serves as the building housing the law offices of Julian Cruz & Associates. In the pilot, Rebel crashes Stonemore Medical’s annual shareholder meeting/polo match at Hummingbird Nest Ranch, an oft-filmed special events venue in Simi Valley. And Julian calls a gorgeous Mediterranean at 1821 Braeburn Rd. in Altadena home. But the series’ real crown jewel is the stunning contemporary residence where Rebel lives with Grady and their daughter, Ziggy (Ariela Barer).