This week on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday, Tiffany and I talk some more legal drama, with her take on the last surviving member of the Law and Order franchise, and my views on the much newer Harry’s Law.
For you regular readers, you’ll recall last week that I confessed an unexplained love for legal TV shows. It would stand to reason that I would be excited about a new addition to my list.
Harriet Korn (Kathy Bates), or “Harry”, was a successful patent lawyer. That is, until she loses her drive and is fired when her boss finds her watching cartoons and smoking pot in her office. Shortly after this, a man trying to commit suicide jumps off a building and lands on her. She survives, only to be hit by a car right after being released from the hospital.
It gets better. The guy who hits her, Adam (Nate Corddry) happens to be a young lawyer who thinks she is amazing and wants to work for her. So, of course, it only makes sense then the two lawyers, along with Harry’s former assistant Jenna (Brittany Snow) go into business together. They set up shop in a high end shoe store in the ghetto.
Yes. For reals.
So, here is the thing about David E. Kelley, the show’s creator. He knows how to write and he knows law, having had a practice in Boston. This isn’t the first time he’s combined his talents, not by a long shot. L.A. Law, The Practice, Ally McBeal, The Practice, not to mention non-legal drama like Doogie Howser, Chicago Hope and Boston Public.
Kelley often writes quirky, if not odd characters, doing it so well that you find yourself willing to go along for an unrealistic ride. I’m not hating on that fact. As a matter of fact, Boston Legal is currently sitting in my DVD player (and not just for James Spader and Craig Bierko). I can’t recall a closing argument delivered in Boston Legal, no matter how silly the case, that I wasn’t pulled in by the witty, heartfelt delivery.
Harry’s Law, however, seems to have gone just a bit too far into ridiculous territory. As I mentioned the lawyer sets up shop in a shoe store, which just happens to still have a stockroom full of designer shows. Jenna the assistant sees no reason why they shouldn’t sell shoes and be a law practice. Well, Jenna, maybe because that sounds dumb. What purpose does this serve beyond quirk?
Don’t get me wrong, there are some watch worthy moments, with the comedic timing of Nate Corddry and the talents of Kathy Bates. However, even a Bates-delivered closing argument, while heartfelt and even moving, seems to be missing the wit of Kelley’s past shows.
For that reason, I can only give Harry’s Law a JFTV. I will still tune in, because Kelley’s undeniable style is present, and I hope the show tightens up. It’s okay to be quirky, silly, and perhaps unbelievable, but it still needs to be witty and smart.
What do you think of David E. Kelley’s latest legal dramedy? Are you generally a Kelley fan? What’s your favorite past Kelley production?
Now, for more opinions on the law, or at least the law on TV, check out Tiffany’s take on Law and Order: SVU.
Come back next week when we switch over to FOX and review two supernatural programs – the new hit, Terra Nova, and the returning favorite, Fringe.
Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future. We’re currently working on our September schedule and would love to chat with you!
A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:
GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech