Primetime Show Reviews
Review by Suzanne 11/13/04
I watched every episode of "The Practice" for years, so I wasn't very happy
when I heard they were getting rid of half of the cast last year. They
basically changed the show completely, which is good news if you didn't like the
old show but bad news for those of us who did. They brought in a lot of
big name guest stars, including James Spader. He was such a hit that they
decided to spin him off into his own show this year.
The last few weeks of "The Practice", they started to get us ready for this
show. They may not have been sure which characters would work and which
didn't, or they wanted to use the viewers to help figure it out. Now that
"Boston Legal" is its own show, they dumped the annoying bitchy character played
by Rebecca DeMoranville and brought in some other people. They kept
William Shatner and some of the other actors.
They also decided they wanted a show that was funnier and more lighter in
tone than The Practice...something not quite as wacky as "Ally McBeal" (all
three shows were created by the same guy, David E. Kelley). The Practice
dealt with many heavy issues in their cases, which were largely criminal cases,
but Boston Legal deals more with civil and corporate cases, with the occasional
criminal case thrown in. The Practice sometimes got bogged down by the
soap opera of the characters' personal lives. Boston Legal has yet to do
that. So far the office politics and relationships are interesting but not
They have to do a delicate balancing act on this show because James Spader's
character was established as someone who, while we feel sympathy for him, is
ethically-challenged. That worked fine when he was just the new guy, but
here he is the star of the show, so they might be tempted to make him the hero.
We really don't want to see that because it takes the fun out of his character.
It's really great that they brought in Shatner and revived his career.
He is great as Denny Crane. He is not only funny but sometimes brings in
great pathos or drama as well, reminding us that he really is a fine actor when
he wants to be and not just the caricature we saw in "T.J. Hooker" and so many
bad movies. There are other cast members but I am still waiting to see if
they work out.
The show is worth watching and really, what else is there to watch on
Saturday nights at this time?
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