The Detroit actress fought villains as cop Misty Knight on “Luke Cage,” the first TV black female superhero. Now she’s got the lead role as a fearless judge in a new CBS drama, “All Rise,” that premieres at 9 p.m. Monday (right after the new Detroit-set sitcom “Bob Hearts Abishola”).
Here are five things you need to know about Missick, who may not have saved the world in real life, but who’s giving strong performances that just might inspire someone who will.
1. She’s an activist judge in ‘All Rise’
Missick plays Judge Lola Carmichael in the hour-long drama costarring Marg Helgenberger (CBS’s “CSI”) and Wilson Bethel (HBO’s “Generation Kill”). A former deputy district attorney, Lola is new to her job — and willing to stretch the envelope of what judges are supposed to do. The story lines will draw inspiration from real-life cases, much like NBC’s “Law & Order” franchise. We’re betting her character will be a lower-court version of women judicial heroes like Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Notorious LC, anyone?
2. She surprised her family by choosing acting
The 1999 Renaissance High School graduate told the Free Press three years ago that she always wanted to act, but didn’t really pursue it as a young person. Said Missick, “I did a little bit of theater when I was in high school outside of my high school. I was focused more on sports and playing the violin. It was not really clear to me how I was going to follow this dream and goal I had that I hadn’t shared with anyone in my family. They all thought I was going to (Howard University) to be the next Cokie Roberts.”
Missick made a big impression as Misty while co-starring with Mike Colter on “Luke Cage.” She appeared as the same character on “Iron Fist” and “The Defenders,” two other shows that were part of Netflix’s Marvel-verse. She was set to return for a third season of “Luke Cage” and thought to be moving toward a spin-off show, “Daughters of the Dragon,” starring her and Jessica Henwick, who played Colleen Wing on “Iron Fist.” But then Netflix canceled the Marvel franchise, leaving fans to contemplate what might have been.
4. The critics seem to like ‘All Rise’
Variety said the show “indulges the basics of the genre and finds some refreshing ways to twist them into slightly new, more intriguing shapes. Between its cast, subject matter, and many charming friendships, it almost feels like ‘All Rise’ accidentally wandered onto CBS’ schedule on its way to ABC’s Shonda Rhimes-driven TGIT lineup.”
The Wall Street Journal also came away with a favorable impression. “What the show turns out to be, judging by the first installment anyway, is a better-than-average light drama, sans stridency, with a strong cast and considerable potential for exploring themes of substance …,” noted its review.
5. Missick has something in common with Lola
Apparently, Missick takes on the role of adjudicator in her own family. “I am the level-headed person in my family and with my husband, I am the first one to say ‘sorry’ in order to get the ball rolling and the conversation can get to the heart of the matter,” Missick told the Chicago Tribune. “This is the perfect role for me because Lola is the kind of person I aspire to be.”