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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.

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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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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

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Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

3 October 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fleet Street  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Shatner and John Larroquette appeared in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984). See more »

Goofs

Throughout the series, there is an inconsistency in the proper courts for the proper cases. For example, there are certain criminal cases - which would be heard in state courts - in which the set being used was the Federal Court set with the seal that says "District of Massachusetts". In addition, several judges switch between the state court and federal court sets while state court judges and federal court judges are separate and independent. See more »

Quotes

Alan Shore: You know we have a little saying in Massachusetts, "Maybe someday you'll get horribly sick and die."
[Melvin looks startled]
Alan Shore: Until then!
Attorney Melvin Palmer: Oh!
[he starts to laugh]
Attorney Melvin Palmer: You. You dog.
[he leaves]
Attorney Melvin Palmer: Ah...
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Connections

Referenced in American Gothic: Madame X (2016) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Denny Crane and Alan Shore .... enough said !
24 August 2010 | by See all my reviews

Boston Legal is one of the best takes on a TV legal drama that I have seen. It manages to mix drama and comedy pretty well for the most part and introduces us to Alan and Denny who are magnetic characters, played to perfection by James Spader and an incredible William Shatner. To review this whole 5 season series (which i have steadily worked through on DVD over the last 2 months) would take forever, so let me highlight a few good and bad points as i see them.

Season 1 & 2 had a sharper edge and better dialogue than subsequent seasons. It felt almost as if they were searching for better ratings from season 3 onwards and chose to introduce characters and plots which would deliberately jazz things up a bit. In my opinion the show suffered because of this.

The characters Jefferey Coho, Claire Simms, Lorraine Weller and Clarence / Clarice Bell added virtually nothing to the show that wasn't there already (other than the cross dressing element) and as they failed to perk up ratings its almost as if David E Kelly thought "well... tried some new faces, didn't work, lets write them out and try something else."

I also felt that the writers seemed to ignore the more obvious direction that they could have taken, which would have been to flesh out the Denny and Alan characters even more. You are treated to some glimpses of their past when they are discussing their lives on the balcony, but Dennys brilliant former career is never seen first hand and Alans many previous painful issues are only represented in the narrative. Perhaps if even more screen time had been given to these two instead of trying to continually bolster up the supporting characters, the show would have been more successful.

The recurring theme of the lawyers in the show standing trial for their various indiscretions and always getting away with it was an over used plot and began to wear a bit thin. Similarly, I can only recall one trial verdict of any kind that didn't go in favour of Mssrs Crane, Poole and Schmidt.

There were flashes of poetry with this show that i felt genuinely moved by. To name a few .....

  • Alans closing argument to allow Shirleys father the right to a dignified death


  • Dennys dominant yet tender legal confrontation with his "son" Donny.


  • Alans arguing against the death penalty in front of the supreme court


  • Paul's fatherly approach to everyone at the firm.


  • Alans good and honest heart (which he tries hard to conceal)


  • The brilliant portrayal of Jerry Espenson by Christain Clemenson


  • The unbreakable friendship between Denny and Alan, and subsequently between most of the characters at Crane, Poole and Schmidt.


In summation (may as well use the legal terminology), despite the shows many lulls and obvious flaws, I absolutely loved it. William Shatner is a revelation in his role and James Spader is Perfect in his.

On a personal note, I have lost count of the times my wife has gone ballistic because I have responded to a situation or question by simply saying in the appropriate tone ................. "Denny Crane!"


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