With the final episodes of 'Battlestar Galactica', 'The wire', 'The shield' & now 'Boston legal' all having aired it is depressingly difficult to find television of a similar quality to take their place.
With Boston legal we have been privileged to enjoy a, albeit too brief, legal comedy that wore it's heart on it's sleeve and enjoyed a standard of script writing seldom seen.
The Boston law firm of Crane, Poole & Schmidt saw some truly outstanding characters come and go, the square jawed ex-marine lawyer Brad, Tara Summers & Saffron Burrows playing two very different British attorneys, Rene Auberjonois glues the 1st 3 series together as the serious Paul who tries to keep order at the firm, Clarence the cross dresser, the irrepressible Jeffery Coho, guest appearances by Michael J. Fox as a dying millionaire, Tom Selleck as a former love interest & a superb performance by David Dean Bottrell as the completely unhinged southern peeping tom Lincoln Meyer. Add to these the permanent fixtures of Candice Bergman, all class & patience as named partner Shirley schmidt, Christian Clemenson as the twitching, sensitive aspergers sufferer Jerry Espenson and towering above all else the close friendship of James Spader's womanizing, lost cause champion Alan Shaw and William Shatner's cigar chomping, groping gun nut, Denny Crane. two complete opposites who close out each show sharing a whiskey & cigar on the balcony of Denny's office while putting the world to rights. A mention must go also to Henry Gibson who plays the permanently disgusted judge Clark brown and Shelley Berman as the completely beffuddled old coot Judge Sanders. Too excellent character actors given something to get their teeth into & doing a superb job.
As interesting as the cases are it's the conversations and characters who drive the show along. There is always some topical subject to be railed against and no punches are pulled in blasting everything from gun law to drug companies and while the outcomes are often unbelievable,( they rarely lose), the facts and figures are all too real and make for some uncomfortable listening.
This really is Spader & Shatner's show and they relentlessly steal every scene they are in. Their characters may be reprehensible and out of contro; but they are also likeable and oddly real.
Looking back over just 5 series so much has happened and so many great people come and gone that it's impossible to do justice to everything & everyone in a short review. If you have seen any of Boston legal then you have either seen just one or two and decided it's not for you or you've seen the lot & loved it. If you haven't seen any then I have to be honest & say that I envy you. To be able to start from the beginning and watch the show afresh would be great. If you like courtroom/ legal drama then this will give you plenty to enjoy but if you don't and prefer humour then this is certain to suit you too. So sharply written & acted this was a rarity in that it never took itself too seriously and frequently pokes fun at itself, (in one episode of the last series Alan says it's coming to an end & Denny asks "Have we tried every available time slot?"),.
I never watched this on TV, I just bought each series as it came out and frankly thats the best way, no adverts and nothing missed.
The picture is fine as is the sound and although there are extras they are limited and nowhere near as extensive as fans would hope, (there's loads of interviews online if you're into that sort of thing),.
Great fun with a serious edge, peerless acting and razor sharp scripts mean that this is already sadly missed. Fortunately this is very re-watchable and will continue to entertain it's many fans for years to come. Go on whisper it one last time "Denny Crane!"