Fictional agricultural corporation Terennial was the evil big business in the second episode of NBC’s new legal drama Bluff City Law.
In the Sept. 30 episode, Terennial makes genetically modified seeds for farming and sues farmers for “stealing” if their crops become contaminated with the company’s product. Farmers also testify that the company sent henchmen to intimidate them by following them, slashing tires or smashing equipment when they refused to buy the product.
Cue anti-corporate “change the world” father/daughter legal team Elijah and Sydney Strait (Jimmy Smits and Caitlin McGee). They go to court to try to overturn Terennial’s wins against small farmers including their friend Emma Sutton (guest star Kirsten Nelson).
Sutton’s description of the company as “bullies” and off-the-cuff remark that they’re “no better than gangsters” inspires Sydney and Elijah to try to use civil racketeering laws against the corporation since other options seem hopeless.
Elijah persuades the judge to allow the RICO case to move forward, saying of Terennial, “They move into new territory, like a gang. They force their product on you, like a gang. And if you don’t say ‘Yes,’ they resort to tactics like intimidation and threats to your way of life.”
The company agrees to settlement talks because CEO Tucker Goodman of Terennial is arrested and indicted for “witness tampering” after telling the independent contractor overseeing all the intimidation tactics “to flee” before he could be subpoenaed.
For a debut show, Bluff City Law’s anti-businesses themes aren’t original at all. They're an old Hollywood and television standby — one that many shows have used and Law and Order milked for decades.