Eleanor’s Bench: New Juvenile Court Drama Series

Eleanor’s Bench

New series ELEANOR’S BENCH is streaming exclusively on Pure Flix!


  • Karen Abercrombie as Judge Eleanor Thomas
  • Cameron Arnett as Reginald “Reggie” Davis
  • T.C. Stallings as Apollo Davis
  • Rebecca Rogers as Heather
  • Durrell Nelson as Eddie
  • Demond Wilson as Isaac Thomas
  • Kamillah Matthews as Jewels Hamilton
  • Caleb J. Avery as Drayvon Hamilton
  • Lori Schultze as Pat Hout
  • Scotty Curlee as Attorney Banks


Eleanor Thomas lost her faith growing up in an inner-city neighborhood after witnessing years of gang violence. Now her success as a juvenile court judge in Washington DC is challenged when her past comes to court and demands more than judgment. Will her renewed sense of purpose reinvigorate her faith?


Eleanor Thomas is a high-class judge who returns to her old neighborhood to take care of her aging father. This leads her to take a heartfelt look at class differences, law enforcement, and the consequences of justice on a community. She strives to make a substantial change saving at-risk youth.


  • Second chances, it’s never too late to change
  • Past has a way of repeating unless we can find a new way forward
  • Juvenile justice
  • Foster care system
  • Strained familial relationships
  • Hurt people, hurt people
  • Be a chain breaker


I was so excited to see that ELEANOR’S BENCH stars Karen Abercrombie, Cameron Arnett, and T.C. Stallings! The acting is awesome, the photography is awesome, the music is awesome, the story is awesome!

ELEANOR’S BENCH is a compelling series that blends courtroom drama, family drama, and personal drama all rolled into one. Imagine if you were to become a judge in your hometown, realizing that the people who enter the courtroom could be your friends or neighbors. That is precisely Eleanor’s predicament. Judge Thomas must also face her own secret trials while presiding over the court hearings.

I love how this series shows that deep down, even the most wealthy and successful people are human. Traumatic events in childhood can effect the way people behave as adults. Even in spite of her great success in life, Eleanor has past trauma that can be triggered and resurface as irrational behavior. All of this underlying psychology makes ELEANOR’S BENCH a truly relatable series encompassing many complex issues that deal with spiritual, emotional, and physical healing.

The fictional character of Judge Eleanor Thomas reminds me of Dr. Ben Carson in real life. Both were raised to have a good character and work ethic that transcended race and class, showing that beautiful accomplishments can bloom from an impoverished childhood. ELEANOR’S BENCH is a clever title with a double meaning, as there is a red bench in the front yard of her childhood home where Eleanor’s mother, also named Eleanor, would “hold court” and be a place for neighbors to come and be heard.

I don’t normally watch courtroom drama shows, but this one is unique. It really tugged at my heart strings and had me hooked from the very first episode. The juvenile court cases drew me in and I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next. As the series progresses, you discover more about Eleanor’s backstory and her relationships to various characters. In Episode 5, things really heat up with some intrigue surrounding the church offering basket. Yes, this show even includes a bit of mystery and suspense!

Since ELEANOR’S BENCH centers on the juvenile justice system, it’s a must-see if you’re interested in legal careers, social work, the role of Juvenile & Family Courts, the duty of child protective services, or how foster care works. It’s also a must-see if you like crime dramas or enjoy faith-based shows in general. There is an overarching story arc that continues through each episode, but in each episode we also meet new people who end up in family court. Here are a few examples:

  • Star is a young girl currently serving a stint in juvenile detention who is diagnosed with anxiety and defiance disorder but her family cannot afford the medication.
  • John is on the run and at risk of becoming a ward of the state because he missed parole meetings, skipped hearings, and was picked up on a warrant. He faces confinement until he turns 18.
  • Three wealthy teens are in Eleanor’s courtroom for stealing a credit card – but they are only there because their parents got involved and forced them to face the consequences.

All of these characters come across as real people with real problems and it’s interesting to see how Eleanor attempts to resolve each of their cases. I love how each episode includes wise advice that every viewer can relate to, even if they didn’t grow up in the ghetto. There are lessons in wisdom, parenting, forgiving others, and forgiving yourself. Here are a few examples of truths that struck me from the series:

  • “The older I get, the more I realize our past has a way of repeating until we find a way forward.”
  • “The court must also recognize that there are significant developmental differences between adults and children. And some of those differences are the ability to reason fully with respect to consequences, impulsivity, and other undeveloped controls related to reason.”
  • “Life always comes down to the decisions we make… go out there and show the world what you can do.”

I was a bit shocked when the judge starts telling a girl who is being bullied about the art of revenge. However, her version of seeking revenge has a positive spin. She says, “You won’t always want to walk away from situations, but there is something that will help with those feelings. Revenge. And the greatest revenge of all is success. You are capable of greatness. And good choices will help you to have a bright future filled with success. And when life rubs you the wrong way, don’t get mad. Say to yourself, success is my revenge.” I love that!

Overall, ELEANOR’S BENCH is a relatable story about renewal, faith, and healing. This series is a powerful reminder that we’re all equal in God’s eyes, despite where we were born and where we were raised. It’s full of important lessons about following God’s calling, practicing self-control, learning from your past, and discovering that we are all deserving of God’s love.

In summary, ELEANOR’S BENCH is truly a masterpiece with outstanding cinematography, compelling dialogue, and awesome casting. A stellar performance by the lead actress, Karen Abercrombie, makes this series well worth watching.

Watch ELEANOR’S BENCH on Pure Flix! Start your 7-day free trial now!



Leave a comment for a chance to win a 3-month subscription to Pure Flix! Pure Flix is a Christian entertainment platform working to provide a safe place for all ages to stream wholesome, family-friendly titles that carry a great message! Watch ELEANOR’S BENCH along with lots of other faith-based films and shows! This is limited to US winners only, and only to those who have not won a subscription in the last 6 months. One winner will be randomly chosen on 7/26/23. Please submit your full name and email address to receive your prize. (Note: comments are moderated so it may take yours a while to show up if you haven’t posted before.)


Many thanks to Pure Flix for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own. #EleanorsBenchMIN #PureFlix #PureFlixVIPAmbassador #MomentumInfluencerNetwork


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  1. I would absolutely love to watch some Pureflix! I am really interested in watching The Two Thieves. Jonathan Roumie from The Chosen stars in it.

    1. Congratulations, Kathy! You won the free 3-month subscription, so you will get to watch it!

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