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Boston Legal 

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Boston Legal is a spin-off of the long-running David E. Kelley series The Practice (1997), following the exploits of former Practice character Alan Shore (James Spader) at the legal firm of Crane, Poole, and Schmidt.

Creator:

David E. Kelley
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614 ( 20)

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5   4   3   2   1  
2008   2007   2006   2005   2004  
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 14 wins & 65 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
James Spader ...  Alan Shore 101 episodes, 2004-2008
William Shatner ...  Denny Crane 101 episodes, 2004-2008
Candice Bergen ...  Shirley Schmidt 91 episodes, 2005-2008
Rene Auberjonois ...  Paul Lewiston 71 episodes, 2004-2008
Mark Valley ...  Brad Chase 70 episodes, 2004-2007
Julie Bowen ...  Denise Bauer 52 episodes, 2005-2008
Christian Clemenson ...  Jerry Espenson 50 episodes, 2005-2008
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Storyline

Ethically-challenged attorney Alan Shore, formerly of Young, Frutt & Berluti, settles in at a wealthy and powerful firm focusing on civil cases. With some help from his friend and mentor, veteran attorney Denny Crane, Shore quickly makes his mark winning cases no one would take, often using less than honest methods. In doing so, he develops a rival in his colleague Brad Chase, who has been assigned to the office partly to keep an eye on the increasingly eccentric (and possibly senile) Denny Crane. Though his questionable conduct might make him a few enemies along the way, Alan's not one to be underestimated, nor will he let trivial things like honesty or integrity get in the way of winning a case. Written by Todd Smitts

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the courtroom.

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

ABC

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 October 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fleet Street See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The ringtone of Catherine Piper (Betty White) is the opening theme of David E. Kelly's other show The Practice (1997), of which this show is spun-off. See more »

Goofs

Throughout the series, Alan Shore and Denny Crane sit on the balcony overlooking the city of Boston. However, during the cold winter months, you never see the breath of either character, thus demonstrating that the "balcony" is part of a set, and not an actual location. See more »

Quotes

Shirley Schmidt: He is ultimately a benign man who we all happen to care about, including you. I think what you really mean to do is voice your concern unofficially.
Lori Colson: I'm making an official complaint. If there's forms to be filled out please have them sent to my office.
[Lori walks away]
Shirley Schmidt: You little bitch.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
You Should Watch this Show
25 October 2008 | by bradgadSee all my reviews

I think you should watch this show.

It's delightfully weird.

Totally unrealistic, it has just enough I-don't-know-what to enable the all important willing suspension, and once you got that, you're golden.

Here's the little stuff, the stuff that you'll enjoy but don't need to go out of your way for:

1) It has Candice Bergen! Bergen fulfills her role (uber-classy uber-MILF) perfectly. (Plus, she's Candice Bergen. To this date, no one does Bergen as well as Bergen.)

2) Clemenson/Espenson is likable and offbeat. One of the best "spice" characters since, oh, I dunno, Hill Street Blues.

3) Sometimes John Larroquette shows up, and he's so tall! He doesn't have to actually say anything funny. He's John Larroquette. It's a grin just for him to show up. (That sounds dismissive and snarky, but it's not meant to be. I honestly believe this is Larroquette's great comic gift: he shows up. That's all he needs to do. That's what he does. It doesn't matter what he says, because all the humor is in the wry, sardonic (and tall) presence. On Night Court, he had some funny lines, but that was actually a distraction. Remember The West Wing and The Practice... he had no funny lines there, but the effect was the same: Larroquette's wry, sardonic (and tall) presence = a grin. (Although, to be fair, in The Practice he did actually play a character in addition to showing up.))

4) It has William Shatner!

And here's the big stuff, the stuff you'll never experience if you don't go out of your way to watch a few episodes:

1) It has William Shatner! Star Trek gave us William Shatner giving us Captain James T. Kirk. Boston Legal gives us William Shatner giving us William Shatner (as Denny Crane)... the intelligent goof we always suspected was playing Captain Kirk. Even if you weren't a Trekkie, it's such a cool feeling to feel like you're getting to hang out with the *real* Captain Kirk, the (intelligent, goofy) man behind the myth.

2) Despite -- or rather, alongside -- the show's unabashed unrealistic stance, it takes an honest stab at depicting honest emotions, especially (but not only) in the traditional closing scene, where Spader/Shore and Shatner/Crane share a Scotch, a cigar, a presumably rather nippy Boston evening, and a friendship.

3) It has James Spader! Who? James Spader! Who's Jame's Spader? I don't know, I never heard of him before I saw this show, but he's incredible. His character (Alan Shore) brings something unlike anything I've ever seen on television... a character that is, I think, truly Shakesperean in its immediacy and otherness.

In fact, I believe this is the secret ingredient of Boston Legal's success. Spader's Shore has a Shakesperean otherness, and once we accept this otherness (as we are compelled to do), it doesn't matter how unrealistic (or compressed or reductive) the rest of the show is. Once we (the audience) have signed up for this otherness, once the writers have that signature on the dotted line, they're free play around and cut corners as they like. Thankfully, they often (though not always) do so to good effect.


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