Small Details You Missed In Season 1 Of The Night Court Revival

Peacock's "Night Court" is a quirky courtroom comedy inspired by the original that ran on NBC for nine seasons during the mid-'80s through the early '90s. What made the comedy classic ripe for a reboot? We can't say for sure, but its revised edition, starring (and produced by) "Big Bang Theory's" Melissa Rauch is a fun, almost absurdist entry in the current comedic TV slate.

The new "Night Court" focuses on Rauch's character, Abby Stone, taking the bench in NYC's bizarrely real night court. While Abby is new to the job, her family isn't — she is following in the footsteps of her dad, the main character of the original show, Harry Stone, played by renowned actor and magician Harry Anderson. Abby and Harry share a similar warm-hearted approach to their caseload, but while Harry erred on the side of dry humor and wacky stunts, Abby sits somewhere between Anna Faris on "Mom" and Amy Poehler on "Parks and Rec."

Abby quickly recruits original "Night Court" star John Larroquette to take up a role as a public defender, though he spent nine seasons playing a ruthless, selfish prosecutor. Twists like this distinguish the new "Night Court" from its predecessor. The new show hides more subtle nods to the old one throughout Season 1. It also incorporates little details like Lacretta's Gurgs stuffing blueprints into vents in the event of a "Die Hard" situation. Try not to scare the birds in the rafters as you review these small details you missed in the "Night Court" revival's Season 1.

Court is still in session

The "Night Court" revival uses some of the same sets from the original show. Some of this is a fun nod to the show's origins, but if you've ever been to a municipal building that hasn't been updated since the 1970s, it's also a bit of truth in comedy.

Judge Abby Stone occupies the same chambers her dad Harry did, and even decorates the place with a box of his old decorations. The original series' Clarence the Armadillo still gets pride of place on the chambers' shelves, and, just like in the original, isn't explained at all. Instead of a portrait of Jean Harlow, Abby has a painting of a judge dog. Clearly, an appreciation for art runs in the family.

The show also uses the same courtroom set — with slightly better lighting. While the gallery isn't quite as crowded with what used to be considered "typical" New Yorkers as it was in the original show, the same half-moon window with a view of a charmingly fake-1990s NYC watches over the proceedings of "Night Court" — as do the pepperoni-pizza eating ceiling birds.

The billiard ball moment

In the first episode of the new "Night Court," Abby unpacks a billiard ball of utmost importance from her dad Harry Stone's box of judge stuff. Seeing the ball triggers a fond memory of a story Harry told his daughter at least once — about the time Dan Fielding (John Larroquette) reminded him of the good he was doing in his job.

In the new show, the ball gives Abby the idea to bring Dan in to be the court's new public defender — a wild premise, but just like that pool ball, we'll roll with it. In the original "Night Court," that billiard ball is a reference to an episode called "The Wheels of Justice, Part 2." In it, Harry has quit his job partly because of a bad ruling he made, partly because the city has slashed its municipal budget and caused a panic. City workers are no longer being paid, and disgusted and disillusioned Harry decides his time will be better spent in the pool hall than in court.

Tonally, the new "Night Court" hits the cringe scale when handling "issues" so far. The old "Night Court" didn't struggle with this as much. Dan Fielding (a cringe-master at the time) is actually the person to get Harry to see sense, and go back to doing the good work that would also become his daughter's calling.

Abby Stone's mom is a famous TV star

It stands to reason that Abby Stone, who's played by a blonde famous for her work in a major sitcom, would have a mom that fits the same bill. Abby's mom is played by TV comedy legend Faith Ford, the star of "Murphy Brown," "Hope and Faith," and, very recently, "We Have a Ghost."

Of course, as delighted as new viewers may be by Faith Ford's cameo and illicit love story, it may also be a bit of a bummer for fans of the original show. This is nothing against Ford, of course, but rather a mixed-emotion memorial for the original "Night Court's" Markie Post.

Post played public defender Christine Sullivan, a longtime will-they, won't-they love interest of Judge Harry Stone. The ending of the original "Night Court" showed Harry head after Christine, as she was the only woman to ever understand him. For Abby and the new "Night Court's" sake, it's good that judges can be wrong. For the rest of the world, that fact is bittersweet, to say the very least.

The Miami Connection

The new "Night Court's" maintenance man Nikolai (Dimiter D. Marinov) has a big attitude — and an even bigger talent with a paintbrush. The surly artist paints a mural on the courtroom wall in Episode 2, "Nighthawks."

While Judge Abby Stone thinks she's getting a portrait of Supreme Court justices, what she gets is infinitely better: TV's "Golden Girls" as Supreme Court justices. He almost had his paintings in the Estelle Getty Museum in Miami, after all. Fighting ceiling birds, painting Bea Arthur — is there anything Nikolai can't do?

Of course, there is a bigger connection between "Golden Girls" and "Night Court" than even the immensely talented Nikolai. Both "Golden Girls" and the original "Night Court" were NBC shows under former NBC Head of Programming Brandon Tartikoff, credited with turning the network's 1980s ratings around by many. Tartikoff even played himself on an episode of the original "Night Court" called "A Day in the Life."

Print is dead, long live print

Much of the new "Night Court" borrows from the old "Night Court." The building is the same, the theme song and title card are basically the same, and the cafeteria set is the same — almost. The "Night Court" of the '80s had a much more robust print newspaper and magazine selection for sale in their cafeteria than the modern cafeteria set does.

While the new "Night Court" doesn't show its characters with their heads buried in their phones, it also doesn't have much on offer in terms of printed media. In some episodes, you can see a few issues of "The New York World" available for purchase. In others, a hilariously scant variety of magazines are ready for purchase, including "In Flight" and "Woman's Time."

While reading material is always subject to change, one knows that when it comes to government buildings, the seating never will. "We have the original green 'Night Court' couch that's in Abby's chambers," Melissa Rauch tells NBC Insider, and adds, "The chairs in the cafeteria are the original chairs."

The show has a magical guest star

It isn't every day a sitcom legend/animated superstar graces the "Night Court" reboot with her presence — but we're so glad Wendie Malick did in Episode 4, "Dan v. Dating." Malick's voice is instantly recognizable by "The Owl House" fans as the witty rasp belonging to Eda the Owl Lady, a gifted chaos witch with a taste for trouble and a heart of gold. Of course, Malick is just as recognizable in non-animated form for her series regular roles on sitcoms "Just Shoot Me," "Frasier," and "Hot in Cleveland."

It would be fabulous if original "Night Court" viewers could also recognize Malick's new "Night Court" character from a long-forgotten episode of the old show, but Dan's love interest — and thwarted arsonist — is merely a delightful retcon. In fact, Malick's appearance as Julianne helps show the growth Dan Fielding has undergone since the original run of the show.

Dan used to be a sleazy womanizer until he met his wife, Sara, after the ending of the first "Night Court." Both Dan's love for his wife and loss of her to cancer have changed him, and, as Julianne says in the show, made him "able to suck the fun out of a revenge plot."

The show has magic in its DNA

If you've only seen the new "Night Court," chances are you're left scratching your head at the sheer number of references to pranks and magic, especially coming from Abby Stone and Dan Fielding. When Dan opens the box Abby thinks he's metaphorically scared to open in Episode 1, a bunch of fake snakes pop out. This is a nod to those same snakes popping up in the Pilot of the original "Night Court" — and Harry Anderson's legacy as a comedian and magician.

Anderson got into show business by way of magic, according to stories he repeated on talk shows throughout his life. In an NPR interview, Anderson recounted learning how to run a shell game as a kid in Chicago, and how that aspect of magic kickstarted his young con-man career. Eventually, after he supposedly got punched out by a mark, Anderson switched over to doing magic for performance rather than the old-fashioned form of profit.

Anderson did some of his con man magic bit on "Cheers" as Harry the Hat, and tells NPR in that same interview, "Somebody saw me on 'Cheers' and thought that I was an actor playing a part as opposed to a guy just doing what he knew. And they gave me 'Night Court.'" Sounds like he pulled off a pretty good magic trick to us.

Justice for Neil

Neil (Kapil Talwalkar, "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist") is the new "Night Court" clerk and (no hate, no shade) the victim of character development crimes, or at least misdemeanors. Talwalkar is funny and charming when his character calls for it, but to be frank his motivations are all over the place.

Does he want to move on to bigger and better work like the ambitious and neurotic Olivia (India de Beaufort)? Does he want to change the court for the better like he and the rest of the crew say in Episode 2? Does he not care about the court at all, as is made clear in Episode 1? Does he have a crush on Abby even though they do not once flirt even the tiniest bit? Oh, you betcha.

Neil mentions his crush in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment to Gurgs in Episode 8, and sort-of admits his crush (with a cover story) to Abby's fiancé Rand in Episode 10. The admissions seem to come out of nowhere, but might be more developed in Season 2. New shows (even new versions of old shows) take some time to find their footing. Hopefully, said footing is found with Neil for the sake of the talented Talwalkar and the storylines of the new "Night Court."

Gurgs has an entire alter ego

Gurgs, full name Donna Gurganous, is the new "Night Court's" big-hearted bailiff. Played by comedian Lacretta, Gurgs is a breath of fresh air in the musty municipal courthouse. While her fellow cast of characters know her as an enthusiastic and trustworthy bailiff dedicated to doing her job (unless it goes against her principles), Gurgs also has a whole alter ego named Sasha Santiago.

First seen in Episode 3, "Just Tuesday," Gurgs deploys her Sasha Santiago persona to help Olivia gather intel on the cops who take their perks away from her after a snafu. Sasha Santiago is bold, cool, and daring. We wager she's a perfect fit for "Brooklyn Nine-Nine's" Adrian Pimento. Of course, this union could never happen because Gurgs' big rule is to never fall in love undercover and Adrian Pimento has a few traits that would probably scare her off.

Dan discovers Abby's secret because of three small words

The original "Night Court" was a zany comedy that also regularly dealt with heavy issues with a light hand. It remains to be seen if the new "Night Court" will do the same, but one major clue that seems to say "yes" comes from a storyline in Episode 3, "Just Tuesday." Abby Stone is almost pathologically sunshiney in the entire season of "Night Court" — when she's not in "beast mode," of course.

Sometimes her good cheer seems to be masking something, but other times her positivity seems overly simplistic. For example, in "Just Tuesday," Abby unwittingly blows an undercover cop's cover. No longer able to go to jail to complete his mission, Abby blames her warm nature for blowing the man's cover, and says she never before thought the way she could do her job could negatively affect someone's life. Bit of a hard sell for a criminal court judge.

Abby switches into hardball mode instead of her usual "get to the bottom of this person" self, and makes a comment about how before, her own "defects of character" were affecting her job performance. Dan Fielding recognizes the phrase and gently asks Abby if she's in recovery. The language is something he knows from his wife's program. Abby, relieved, shares she's in recovery for alcohol. It contextualizes some of her aggressively positive behavior, as well as her struggle to be just and fair with herself, as well as others.

Rand is played by a famous comic

For the entire first season of the new "Night Court," fans are left wondering when they will ever meet Rand, Judge Abby Stone's much-talked-about fiancé back home upstate. In the reboot, "upstate" is treated a bit like how St. Olaf was in "Golden Girls," with Abby wistfully describing marathons run with horses and other folksy abominations her newfound city friends find beyond bizarre.

While everyone seems to doubt Rand's reality all season, we finally get to meet him in the Season 1 Finale, "Marathon-thon-thon-thon-thon." Rand arrives to surprise Abby by helping her train to run the New York Marathon that she spontaneously signed up for. Rand is sweet, small-town simple, and played by famous comedian and comedy writer Pete Holmes.

Viewers may immediately recognize Holmes from his gem of a break-up dramedy, "Crashing," his self-starring and written show, "The Pete Holmes Show," or his bowling-alley set sitcom, "How We Roll." Listeners may recognize the sound of Holmes' voice from his long-running podcast, "You Made it Weird With Pete Holmes" or his guest spots on "Bob's Burgers," "Ugly Americans," and "The Simpsons" — a show he also wrote some episodes for. Not bad for a guy who accidentally makes his TV fiancée go into "beast mode," but still remembers to get her a smoothie full of potassium-stuffed potato chunks.

That's a Blood Moon Binga

Everyone knows a full moon means a full room when it comes to hospital ERs, drunk tanks, and now "Night Court." In Episode 8, Judge Abby Stone tries to shield her mom from the madness that is court during a blood moon — and aggressively competitive Olivia during a round of "Blood Moon Binga." Called "Binga" because "'Blood Moon Bingo' is a John Cusack Red Box Movie," according to Olivia, the game is full of "Night Court" gems. While only a few squares are uttered out loud in the battle royale between Olivia and Stenographer Blaine (Al Bayan), we had to zoom in a little closer to see what else could be expected in a Blood Moon "Night Court."

Abby learns she has to fully lean into the madness of the Blood Moon and its tie-in bingo game. Vampire Drama gets dealt with on the main floor, as does Drunk Statue of Liberty and Possessed Appliances when the sweet little old lady with the Devil for her dad lets the court know he speaks to her through her air fryer. Faith Ford plays a recovered gambling queenpin, so if there's one thing she's going to understand, it's the excuse that the devil makes you do some wild things.

Also on the list are Deadly Robots, Jury Flash Mobs, Musical Conjoined Twins, a Hysterical Surgeon, Jury Flash Mobs, and our personal favorite, a Murder of Crows. Stenographer Blaine may win enough money to pay for his Dad's Lasik surgery, but everyone who watched this episode won the big "Blood Moon Binga" in their hearts.