6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Funny, Preachy, Over the top, Entertaining,
This review is from: Boston Legal - Season 1-5 [DVD] (DVD)
I watched the 5 series box set of "Boston Legal" over the last 8 months and the quality of the series was consistently high over nearly one hundred episodes.
Created and often written by TV legal drama stalwart David E. Kelley as a spin off from "The Practice" it shows us the world of the very unconventional practice of Crane, Poole and Schmidt. We also see the equally unconventional private lives of the main characters.
The opening scene of Series 1 features one of the named partners - Poole - arriving to the office in his underwear. In this show judges, clients and lawyers are all capable of doing something a bit mad.
Each episode features one or more cases the firm is fighting, usually a highly controversial or a simply ridiculous one. Some cases continue over more than one episode, usually ending with a cliffhanger as we wait for the jury to give its verdict.
The excellent cast is instrumental in making this series so good.
James Spader plays the brilliant orator and full time lech Alan Shore, though I found his acting style became more mannered and slightly annoying from Series three on. Candice Bergen is the matriarchal partner Shirley Schmidt and there are countless other brilliant recurring and once off characters.
However the acting highlight for me was the performances of William Shatner as Denny Crane. He plays the right wing, "Mad Cow disease" suffering, gun toting sex addict with relish but also at times with surprising subtlety as his character contemplates the loss of his faculties. Shatner has certainly come a long way from his over acting days on Star Trek.
The last five minutes of almost every episode feature Crane and Shore on the balcony of the office, sipping whisky and debating their conflicting political and moral views, often finishing with a declaration of their undying friendship. It's unlikely that the importance to men of their close platonic friendships with other men has been portrayed on screen as it is in these scenes.
The show is far from perfect. Kelley's repeated use of Alan Shore's closing legal arguments to set out his own liberal views gets a bit tiresome after a while. Statistic after statistic is quoted to support his arguments until the viewer feels as if they are being beaten over the head.
The switch in the middle of episodes from broad comedy to a serious subject isn't always achieved successfully. And the theme tune is undoubtedly the most annoying of any TV show I've ever watched!
After five series it was time to call it a day for one of the most entertaining comedy drama series to come out of the US in the last ten years.
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Initial post: 1 Jun 2014 10:34:15 BDT
r. stager says:
Enjoyed all the subtleties and nuance of your comments. But though I agree that William Shatner has grown as an actor, I didn't notice him particularly over-acting in the original "Star Trek" -- I found him rather dull. Leonard Nimoy as Spock and DeForest Kelley as Bones were where it was at for me in Star Trek -- and Nimoy's turn as director-writer-actor in the movie "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" was dazzling!
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