TV Show Review: Boston Legal (2004-2008)

Quote by Denny Crane

“Alan, you know, one thing you sometimes forget is, no matter how hard your day is, no matter how tough your choices, how complex your ethical decisions, you always get to choose what you have for lunch.”

bostonlegal

Creator: David E. Kelley

Executive Producers: Many

Writers: Many

Directors: Many

Major Cast in Season 1: James Spader as Alan Shore, William Shatner as Denny Crane, Candice Bergen as Shirley Schmidt, René Auberjonois as Paul Lewiston, Mark Valley as Brad Chase, Monica Potter as Lori Colson, Rhona Mitra as Tara Wilson, and Lake Bell as Sally Heep.

Major Cast in Season 2: James Spader as Alan Shore, William Shatner as Denny Crane, Candice Bergen as Shirley Schmidt, René Auberjonois as Paul Lewiston, Mark Valley as Brad Chase, Julie Bowen as Denise Bower, Christian Clemenson as Jerry Espenson, Monica Potter as Lori Colson, and Rhona Mitra as Tara Wilson.

Major Cast in Season 3: James Spader as Alan Shore, William Shatner as Denny Crane, Candice Bergen as Shirley Schmidt, René Auberjonois as Paul Lewiston, Mark Valley as Brad Chase, Julie Bowen as Denise Bower, Christian Clemenson as Jerry Espenson, Gary Anthony Williams as Clarence Bell, Constance Zimmer as Claire Simms, and Craig Bierko as Jeffrey Coho.

Major Cast in Season 4: James Spader as Alan Shore, William Shatner as Denny Crane, Candice Bergen as Shirley Schmidt, René Auberjonois as Paul Lewiston, Mark Valley as Brad Chase, Christian Clemenson as Jerry Espenson, Gary Anthony Williams as Clarence Bell, John Larroquette as Carl Sack, Tara Summers as Katie Lloyd, Saffron Burrows as Lorraine Weller, and Taraji P. Henson as Whitney Rome.

Major Cast in Season 5: James Spader as Alan Shore, William Shatner as Denny Crane, Candice Bergen as Shirley Schmidt, René Auberjonois as Paul Lewiston, Christian Clemenson as Jerry Espenson, John Larroquette as Carl Sack, and Tara Summers as Katie Lloyd.

Total Seasons: 5

Episodes in Each Season: Varies

TV Rating: TV-14

Running Time of Each Episode: 44 minutes

*******

It took me a while to get into this show, but again once I did, I was fully invested.  I encourage anyone to watch this show again to understand how a loyal Democrat and a loyal Republican can have their major differences (sometimes with too much paintball gun firing) and still be friends at the end of the day.  Life definitely recycles itself into a TV show with Denny Crane (Republican who likes real guns a little too much) and Alan Shore (Democrat who has trouble with just about everything related to women).  They challenge each other every chance they get and throughout the show there is personal growth in them both.  Many topics highlighted and cases tried are the same ones of today and when you throw in the upcoming Presidential election as well, it is TV mirroring life.  With this being said, this show is more than two friends who grow to love and support each other although the center of the show is often Denny Crane’s Mad Cow as he refers to his disease.  The other law partners and lawyers of Crane, Poole & Schmidt operate more like a dysfunctional family than peaceful co-workers, but their main objective always being to win any civil case walking through the doors.  The show had a revolving cast, but it was never not entertaining.

Season one focuses on Alan Shore and the rival he forms with Brad Chase.  It didn’t help they both liked the same woman.  The second season has an introduction of new characters especially with Denise Bower and Jerry Espenson.  Season three was the strongest in the diversity of characters and guest stars.  Jeffrey Coho and Claire Simms entered as lawyers.  Clarence Bell finds his place in the firm.  Bethany Horowitz is a great adversary for Denny and Katey Sagal was superb and chilling as the overprotective mother.  The fourth season welcomed Carl Sack, Whitney Rome, Katie Lloyd, and Lorraine Weller into Crane, Poole & Schmidt family.  The last season made for desperate times as the firm’s existence hung in the balance despite Denny and Alan finding themselves in front of U.S. Supreme Court again.  If you are not anything like Denny Crane, but still find him entertaining and likable due to the great writing and acting of William Shatner, watch the show.  The same goes for Alan Shore as played by James Spader.   The two together actors portraying their characters amounts to gold.  This is one show I’d watch again.

*******

BEST EPISODE OF EACH SEASON

Season 1 = Tortured Souls” is the 15th episode where Alan takes a case defending a police officer accused of torture.  Denny takes on a case involving a woman left at the altar and his son, Donny, as the opposing counsel.  It aired on February 20, 2005.

Season 2 = “Smile” is the 15th episode where Alan defends a girl for being rejected because she can’t smile.  Denise and Shirley take a case about a hospital that refused to offer emergency birth control to a rape victim.  It aired on February 14, 2006.

Season 3 = “The Nutcrackers” is the 10th episode where Alan bets Shirley he can win his case involving twin daughters.  Denise, Brad, and Jeffrey takes a case about a woman who wants to sue God while Denny takes a case about custody of an anorexic teenager.  It aired on December 5, 2006.

Season 4 = “The Object of My Affection” is the 6th episode where Alan attempts to prove his client was temporarily insane when she killed the man who killed her daughter.  Jerry helps a client with Asperger syndrome and Denny fires an associate lawyer for being fat.  It aired on November 6, 2007.

Season 5 = “Thanksgiving” is the 10th episode where Shirley reluctantly invites some of  the firm members to her house for Thanksgiving.  This leads to a lot of disagreements, cold mashed potatoes, and overall chaos.  It aired on November 24, 2008.

*******

I rate Boston Legal Four Fingers and One Thumb at 100%.

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