My TV

13 March 2008

Boston Legal

By // TV

Boston Legal is not a show I watch on a regular basis. I watch every episode but not week to week as one would with Brothers & Sisters and certainly not as soon as it broadcasts as one would with Lost. Instead, I tape every episode and watch them pile up on my PVR until I have nothing else to watch and I sit and have a marathon. This works well. I enjoy the show but don’t care enough about it to put any effort into keeping up with the current episodes. That said, I like a lot of the characters, the legal cases are often interesting, its always good for a couple laughs and the overarching plots are usually pretty well developed.

Here’s my view on the season so far and the changes they’ve made since last season:

– I really like Katie Lloyd. I think she’s a very good addition to the show as the recent graduate who has enormous potential, is extremely quick and witty and encompasses a compassion and kindness that allows her to befriend Jerry and believe in the innocence of her clients. Her Joseph Washington murder trial multi-episode arc at the beginning of the season was excellent. It really established her as a character. Her friendship with Jerry is also a great dynamic to add to the show and her almost romance with the AIDS victim was heartbreaking. The establishment of Shirley as a kind of pseudo parental figure for her was also a nice dynamic. I hope we continue to see a lot of her.

– in the same vein, I do enjoy Jerry. He can be a little much, which is why his friendships with Alan and now Katie are so important in grounding him, but he can be very endearing. His closing argument in the episode with the sleazy lawyers who were advertising divorce was awesome, as was his defense of ex-girlfriend Leigh when she was fired for hugging a student.

– Shirley. This season she’s been getting some great character stuff. Her relationship with Carl Sacks and their breakup paired with her encounter with her law school beau was brilliant- very humanizing. This season has also made a point of giving the audience a couple Shirley/Denny scenes that have been truly touching such as them singing “You are my sunshine” and his comforting her after her breakup and her saying “that’s why it was your office I came into”.

– Denny and Alan. The coast guard thing was completely over the top but the episode where Denny tried his own case without any assistance was remarkable and completely made up for it. Their fight in that episode gave voice to years worth of building resentment and helplessness on Denny’s side which was both necessary and helpful in keeping the audience invested in Denny despite his many flaws. The fact that Alan was so happy when Denny won without him showed such selflessness as can only exist in a really true friendship. He showed no signs of feeling unneeded or undermined, he was just happy in his friend’s triumph. When Alan represents Denny against false solicitation charges the two also provide a ton of laughs.

– the cases are fun. Everything from a company that lost a woman’s remains and replaced them with a fake diamond to Denny’s constipation being interpreted as solicitation; a woman suing her pastor for breaking up with her after their affair; a man asking for a court ordered abortion after a crazy woman stole his sperm to get herself pregnant; preventing the opening of a nuclear power plant in a small town; a woman suing her daughter’s high school for putting so much pressure on her that it caused her to fall asleep at the wheel and get in a fatal car accident; a teacher getting fired for hugging a student. and so many more. The cases have a balance of drama and comedy. Many bring about debate of current and important issues. Many argue sides of arguments perhaps never examined (a father’s say in the abortion discussion for example). The episodes are topical, make specific references to the world and its current state and make the audience think. For the most procedural aspect of the show, the cases are far from boring.

– I also like the judges. The recurring guest star aspect of the judge rotation is fun. They may be very small parts but they are fully developed and add a lot to the courtroom aspect of the show. The homophobic gay judge is a particularly fun one in front of whom Alan often has to argue cases somehow pertaining to prejudice and equality. Loretta Divine is also always fun, as is Debra Mooney and all the others that often appear. I also enjoy the similar approach to prosecutors. We see Brad every once in awhile and its always a blast to hear from Bethany again.

– we need more Clarence. I like Clarence. I want more of him. That is all.

– I don’t like either of the other new girls- the one with the long neck or the one with the snarky attitude. They are both incredibly annoying and bring nothing to the show. Lets bring back Jeffrey Coho and Constance Zimmer’s character instead. I can live without Denise and Brad though.

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