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December 22, 2014

Boston Legal: New Kids on the Block

by Richard Keller, posted Sep 27th 2006 8:25AM

Boston Legal(S03E02) Oh please, if there were new guys they'd have shown up in the season premiere. -- Denny Crane

God bless William Shatner! In his role as Denny Crane he is a man of few words, and the words he does say would make Michael Scott of The Office cringe in embarrassment. However, what he lacks in verbiage he makes up in expressions. Denny can carry a whole conversation with one of his stares. And, he does alot of staring this episode, which could probably be considered the actual start of Boston Legal's third season.

So, since I can't stare at you through the computer screen, let's push on with this week's review.

I have to say that this week's opening scene was one of the funniest I've seen. It featured Denny's introduction to two of the newest members of Crane, Poole and Schmidt's Boston office and it was full of sexual innuendo and frequent breaks of the fourth wall. The quote at the beginning of this post is from that opening scene. Let's face it, even though many people think William Shatner is a hack actor, he certainly has the comedic chops.

Now, about those new members. The first is Jeffrey Coho, played by Craig Bierko (Cinderella Man). Coho is a transfer from the New York office and a favorite of partner Shirley Schmidt. He is also the new Alan Shore. If you remember from his time on The Practice and the early days on Legal, Alan was the smart, fast-talking attorney who wouldn't take crap from anyone. Lately he's mellowed a bit, became somewhat more mature. Coho seems to be the younger version of Alan, but not really any direct threat. He's actually more of a threat to attorney Brad Chase . . . well, at least in Brad's opinion. Whatever the opinion of the other attorneys, Coho is fun to watch in his first high-profile case; the murder of a prominent judges' wife.

The second person to be introduced, and someone already familiar with the law, is Claire Simms, played by Constance Zimmer? You've heard that name before? Of course you have, because she played another attorney named Brianna in the short-lived ABC drama In Justice. This time around she plays an associate attorney who isn't very friendly. Truth be told, I really learned to hate her character very quickly in the first few minutes she was on the screen. But, once she got paired up with Alan on a sexual discrimination case involving a transvestite (I don't write them, I just review them), she softened up a bit. By the end of the episode I had some grudging respect for her. Particularly because she wore a New York Yankees cap in the middle of downtown Boston.

Some other things to point out in this week's episode. I really like how the new attorneys were paired up with two of the originals. It gave us a nice perspective of how they would work with the veterans and setup future dynamics. I also liked Katey Sagal in the role of Barbara Little, mother to the murder suspect that Jeffrey Coho is defending. This was a very serious Sagal, not at all what I'm used to. Then there's Denny and his expressions. Some of the funniest moments were seeing his reactions to events going on around him. Oh, and a midget files a complaint against him after a bad date. Once again, I review them, I don't write them.

After the more subdued season premiere last week, this episode took off like a rocket right from the start. I am looking forward to more of these episodes in the weeks to come. Next week, Tom Selleck is back as Shirley Schmidt's ex-husband.

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keith

Love the show, and loved THIS show!! The breaking of the 4th wall was too good not to be noticed and appreciated!

I have looked at IMDB and TVWoP, and have STILL failed to ID the "dwarf". I KNOW she played a lawter on another show....any facts folks?

September 28 2006 at 1:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Derek

I detested both of the new characters almost immediately. As it stands the cast besides Spader is underutilized already. I think Brad has been in court only a handful of times and we never see Denny practice law anymore. I foresee these two unecessary additions to the show being phased out just like the two junior partners wwere last season.

September 27 2006 at 6:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jimmy

Why is it the writers of Boston Legal can't use the great talent they have. Shatner just shows up to be a comic foil, a waste; Auberjonois is barely present. Auberjonois is an especially good actor and it seems like he could get a little more screen time. Then there is Julie Bowen and Mark Valley, also great, but as usual they play second fiddle to the array of guest attorneys who appear and leave throughout the season. I did like seeing Constance Zimmer -- she's great and it would be nice if the girl could find a place on a hit show.

September 27 2006 at 1:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Jones

It was an incredible episode, I thought last weeks was a bit of a snooze and the show really lost it for the latter few of last season.

September 27 2006 at 12:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alberto

I've been a Boston Legal fan for a long, long time.. actually since the beginning, and I have to agree that the opening segment of yesterday's show was the best I've seen in years.

If I remember correctly there were three 'out of the show' lines Shatner says. The one quoted above, another one (can't remember it), and at the end he says 'quee the music'... and the opening credits rolled in (btw I love the music as well). Brilliant, simply brilliant.

For those of you that don't follow the show, sometimes Shatner's character alludes to the fact that they are in TV show and it is not real.

Boston Legal is a breath a fresh air in my weekly TV schedule as it is the one show that doesn't take each itself seriously. It is hilarious in its simplicity and execution.

Shatner and Spader are two of the best actors on TV for what they do in this show.

I can only guess how funny it must be to be present in the filming of an episode.

September 27 2006 at 10:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jessica

hooray to walt for discovering the show. (i've said it before, but it's the best on tv, currently).

September 27 2006 at 9:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Walt

Okay, I had this show turned on by accident, and was typing at the computer, heard the first opening line and HAD to turn around to catch the rest. My wife was in the other room and still doesn't know what I was howling in laughter so hard at.

September 27 2006 at 8:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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