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The Practice - The Complete First and Second Seasons [DVD]
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Bobby Donnell is a young, passionate lawyer struggling to keep his small Boston law firm afloat. Full of idealistic dreams of defending the innocent, he quickly realises that being a good defence lawyer is more challenging than he ever expected. Along with his associate attorneys he walks a fine line between his own principles and his legal obligations to his clients. Striving for justice, Bobby squares off against formidable adversaries like tenacious and sexy prosecutor Helen Gamble, a relationship that catches fire both in and out of the court. The Practice ran for eight seasons winning 7 Emmy awards and 3 Golden Globes and stars Dylan McDermott (ALLY MCBEAL, WILL & GRACE), Lara Flynn Boyle (TWIN PEAKS), and Steve Harris (LAW AND ORDER).
Extras: Featurette Setting Up The Practise and Stills Gallery.
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I managed to watched both seasons in two days, it is that addictive. The show has a more serious feel than Boston Legal and Ally McBeal and for that reason I feel that it is more superior.
Execellent cast and execellent writing. A must buy!
Creator David E. Kelley's aim is a law series without the gloss so abundant elsewhere. Here is an attempt to show the nitty-gritty side, the firm at times almost overwhelmed by several cases on the go at once, racing to come up with evidence, plea bargaining - all this before court sessions begin.
Season 1 (just six episodes) is great. Season 2 (a generous twenty eight episodes) begins with a stinker that should never have seen light of day. Totally unconvincingly, Tommy falls in love with the murder suspect he is defending.
Fortunately most of the second season belongs to a more worthy league, its highlights really packing a punch. (Tobacco companies do not get off lightly!) The trials themselves show "The Practice" at its best, David E. Kelley's legal background ensuring procedures ring true. Closing speeches for and against are splendidly argued, viewers no doubt wondering how they would vote if on the jury.
Amongst delights are a crossover with "Ali McBeal" (another David E. Kelley brainchild), an award winning cameo by James Whitmore as a barrister losing his memory. Linda Hunt's appearances as a judge are always enjoyed. She has a soft spot for Bobby but comes down most heavily when he pushes his luck. Acting honours? Steve Harris as Eugene is excellent, especially when venting his spleen on High Court Appeal Judges.
At some time or other viewers may well be punching the air or yelling at the screen, cases so involving and concern genuine about verdicts reached. Once or twice the firm resembles David taking on Goliath, satisfaction clearly to be immense should it succeed. (Sadly, this cannot be guaranteed.)
Low spots are few (usually involving romantic entanglements which some may feel a real bore). Heights are many. Despite lapses, the two season box set thoroughly deserves its five stars.
Finally the first two seasons get a UK release - lets hope there is enough interest for the rest of the series to be released too.
The series is based in a gritty Boston law firm based in the underbelly of Boston society and the lawyers do whatever is necessary to get their sleezy, usually guilty, clients off.
Doesn't sound a promising idea but the cast is brilliant and it is full of dark, often bizarre, humour as well as a lot of character development within the firm.
This was written by David E Kelley and ran at the same time as his other shows Ally McBeal (about a surreal law firm) and Boston Public (about the school system). In later series there are crossover episodes where cases occur across the two series. You don't need to watch Ally McBeal or Boston Public to know what is going on but it is a brilliant idea - all the more remarkable because Ally McBeal is almost the anti-Practice - a firm so frivolous and zany that they seem to be on completely different planets.
If you want to see some of the best drama from US TV this is a must buy - plus it will help to encourage the release of the other seasons.
As a last word - the final season (8) is basically the springboard into Boston Legal (which went in another totally different direction) and introduces us to a rather darker version of Crane, Poole & Schmidt through the characters of Denny Crane, Alan Shore and Tara - the last two of which emerged from the series The Practice and carried over into Boston Legal.
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