Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Return of David E. Kelley

A long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away... okay, sorry), my hubby and I really got into the show "The Practice".  It was smart, it was dramatic, but witty, and we looked forward to it every week.  Until the inevitable downward slide, and I don't even remember anything about what caused us to lose interest, but we did and not long after, it was canceled, which means that we weren't the only formerly loyal viewers to lose interest.
On a side note, this was the first show I personally ever watched that involved lawyers who dressed like high-class call girls.  How many REAL lawyers show that much leg and cleavage in the courtroom, I ask you... seriously.  Don't we women want to be treated professionally and NOT be ogled?  But I digress.

Then came Ally McBeal.  My husband couldn't stand it, and I didn't care enough to watch it alone.  I do believe David E. Kelley has had other shows (law shows and maybe others? I could do some research, but I'm just not that interested.) since then, but they've flown right under my TV-antenna radar, and I haven't watched any of them.  Until now.
(Note the even higher hemlines... maybe a topic for another blog entry??)

On Monday night, "Harry's Law" premiered, and we actually sat down and watched it (which is unprecedented, as we hardly ever actually watch anything live anymore-- since we got rid of our DVR, I've had to catch up on HULU or other internet sources to keep up on my shows!).

I should preface my thoughts by saying that I really like Kathy Bates.  I think she's talented, funny, and was simply PERFECT as the cranky, sassy boss on recent episodes of "The Office".  She is likewise perfectly cast as Harriet "Harry" Korn, who is spunky, quirky and real.  I was also very pleased with Brittany Snow, whom I haven't seen since "Hairspray", Nate Corddry and Aml Ameen, who bring the perfect balance to Harry's crusty facade.  I didn't make any of those names up, so my spellcheck can just bug off, please. I'm not familiar with Corddry or Ameen, but I found them entertaining, engaging and, frankly, adorable.  I am really looking forward to the next episodes to see where the writers go with these characters.
I must say how glad I am that everyone kept all their clothes on (and were considerably modest, as well!) in the first episode.  It IS possible to have a great cast, a great show, and compelling stories without so much flesh.  So far, so good...

My only complaint was that Bates seems to be limping or maybe gimping along as she walked down the street in a couple of scenes.  I wasn't sure if she was supposed to be in pain from the two emergency-room visit-causing accidents she'd had earlier, or if it's just the way that Bates walks.  Either way, it was distracting and I would recommend that the cameras not film her walking again.  At least, not a shot of her whole body... sorry, Kathy, but it's true. 

Oh, and also the annoyingly predictable anti-conservative comment thrown in during one of Kathy's monologues. I realize it sounds silly, but is everyone in Hollywood trying to indoctrinate people, in the hopes that the entire country will become liberal or something?  Come on!  I have noticed such agenda-laden dialogue on other shows from time to time (and I don't really watch THAT much TV), such as Law and Order SVU.  I just want to be entertained, not indoctrinated, people.  Gah...

But I digress again.  After episode I, I would recommend "Harry's Law".  I don't feel I wasted that hour. :)


melanie said...

You write like a film critic I know well... I'll have to check this show out! I also love Kathy Bates.

Angie said...

I have this on my DVR to watch and am glad it is worth it, I also have The Cape on there, but am unsure after your previous blog (but I do like Punisher type shows and am still curious, as long as I have the time on there I guess it can stay and I will try to check it out:)

Steph said...

Thanks, Mel. :)

Ang, you'll have to come back and comment after you watch "The Cape" and let me know what you think. I don't think he's very Punisher-ish. More like Puny-sher. Or Puky-sher. I'm stretching here...

Chris said...

Steph -- I'm playing catch-up with your blogs that ran while we were gone, gone, gone. (And gone.) Nice assessment of this show. (As your sister says, you're starting to sound like a certain film critic in the family.)

We taped (yes we still tape -- gotta love time-shifting, especially when "Harry's Law" is opposite "Castle.") this show while on our trip and we really enjoy it. We are also Kathy Bates fans, and, as you say, the rest of the cast is appealing as well.

I too have noticed her stilted walking (overweight? diabetes? age? -- Hey, she's just two months older than me!). And she's playing the part a little bit more muted than I expected, though that may be direction. Still like her, though.

I have enjoyed other David E. Kelly shows ("L.A. Law," "Picket Fences," "The Practice," "Ally McBeal" -- never did get into "Boston Legal," even thought it spun off of "The Practice") but after 2 or 3 seasons, they all seem to run out of steam and go off on such ultra-quirky tangents that I lose interest.

Kelly is famously a rabid liberal, by the way. But isn't everyone in Hollywood?