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December 22, 2014

Boston Legal: The Chicken and the Leg

by Paul Goebel, posted Oct 11th 2007 2:08PM

John Larroquette(S04E03) "The heart can be a bitch." - Alan Shore

I cannot begin this review without addressing how shocked I was with the opening scene. The very idea of a fifteen year old girl who contracts HIV made my jaw drop. I was shocked that a school would teach children that abstinence is the only effective way to avoid unwanted pregnancy and STD's. When I was in school (many years ago) we were taught that while abstinence is the best way to avoid the pitfalls of teen sex, condoms are a close second, especially when it comes to avoiding disease. As a parent, it concerns me that my daughter's school might actually teach this sort of thing. Thankfully, Alan pointed out where the blame actually lies...in the lap of the U.S. government. In an effort to please the conservatives who elected them, the Republicans refuse to give schools an option that would teach teens a realistic way to have sex responsibly. I know it's only a TV show but only a fool would think this kind of thing isn't happening in some parts of the country.

I also need to point out the brilliant acting job done by young Kay Panabaker. For such a young girl, she presented a character who was strong and sympathetic at the same time. I was very impressed by her.

The other guest actor I was happy to see was Currie Graham. I have missed Graham since he left Desperate Housewives. His portrayal of the District Attorney who is completely over the outrageous tactics of Denny, Alan and the others is perfect. I really hope they use him more.

When I heard John Larroquette was joining the cast, I wasn't sure what to think. I was concerned about what his character would be. Was he going to be a pompous boob like Dan Fielding or a psycho like Joey Heric? I must say, after seeing him, I am pleased that he has turned out to be the ying to Denny's yang. While he is clearly more in control of his libido and mental faculties than Denny, they are evenly matched when it comes to immaturity. I really like him.

On the other hand, I'm not too crazy about Saffron Burrows. I am usually all for hot ladies on TV, but her acting has underwhelmed me. Moreover, the storyline between her and Alan does not interest me at all. Are we really supposed to believe that this woman affects Alan more than Rhona Mitra or Dana Delaney? If they can't do something more with Burrows, they need to ship her out.

As for the cock fighting storyline, I had a few problems. First of all, leave the "cock" jokes to Family Guy. They're really not funny since everyone can see it coming and a show like BL should really be above that kind of thing. Also, am I the only one who had a problem with Carl's defense? Wasn't it The Practice that taught us jury nullification is not an accepted defense? The guy broke the law and Carl never denied it. He should have been found guilty. More importantly, there are plenty of chickens who never get slaughtered in the way Carl described and don't end up as fighters. Carl made it sound like those were the only options for fowl. Ever heard of free-range chickens? I just thought the writing was a little sloppy.

In closing, I'd like to address those people who thought James Spader didn't deserve his Emmy this year. Go back and watch his closing and you'll see why he did.

Which new Boston Legal associate is your favorite?
Carl Sack65 (41.9%)
Katie Lloyd75 (48.4%)
Lorraine Weller15 (9.7%)

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Aaron

Who played the girl Abegale? I am sure I have seen her before and possibly playing a different character on Boston Legal.

October 14 2007 at 4:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lee

The administration's "abstinence only" policy has been the norm for years - how, as a parent, one wouldn't know about that is curious.
Just a quibble: it's "yin" not "ying" as in yin and yang.
I too think Spader is excellent in this role and deserves the Emmy as much as other nominees although the whole Emmy thing is rather tired and dull - to me.
I love the soapbox speeches because that is a hallmark of the show and DK winds up writing speeches that I would love to hear a politician actually give - but, few are so articulate.

October 13 2007 at 8:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
baj

I agree with the Saffron Burrows comment. Spader has zero chemistry with her. His best stuff was with Rhona Mitra - who they should bring back NOW!

October 12 2007 at 4:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akbar Fazil

Sorry to have to correct you Toymao, but Currie Graham HAS been on Desperate Housewives. I don't watch the show but a simple look at imdb proves this to be correct.

October 12 2007 at 3:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Toymao

Excuse for correcting you, (btw I absolutely agree with this review and the statement that BL rocks :) ), but there's a little factual mistake that I'd like to draw your attention:

While it's really good to see Currie Graham as the looser-like DA (wonder how's working with Brad Chase suites him - if you recall the scene when Alan threatened him with to have Brad running for DA by parading him and a hilarious poster in his office), but he hasn't been on DH but House, as the new wheelchaired (or somehow disabled) new husband of House's great and lost love interest. (Well, you weren't completely wrong, he was int the 'ouse' part of Desperate Housewives.)

October 12 2007 at 11:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ekkostar

Boston Legal has been a real disappointment for me. You couldn't be any more wrong about John Larroquette. He is really out of place on this show and Carl Sack sucks. Carl Sack will NOT be a classic like Dan Fielding, Joey Heric or to a lesser extent John Hemingway. Carl Sack is everything he shouldn't be. A lovey dovey wishy washy mess of a character. I can't believe that Boston Legal diehards are so gullible and eat this crap up. They really are no different than Mariah Carey fans and they constantly kiss the asses of David E. Kelley and James Spader and will love the show unconditionally, no matter how horrible the show may get. Up to this point, the show is up to Sliders Season 4 level. Why not throw in Charlie O' Connell as a rival to Alan Shore while we're at it!!!

October 12 2007 at 8:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
matthew m. barnes

you started off with a quote that...

"the heart is a bitch."

the line was actually, "the heart is a bastard."

giving Denny Crane a new rival in Carl Sack was an awesome move.

October 11 2007 at 10:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MissouriMe

Thanks, Paul, for covering this show. It is apparent that it's not easy to get someone to do so. The show is uneven, but I love it, and I hardly watch tv.

Oh, yes, and I believe the blow-up doll (or whatever she is) is named Shirley Schmidt Ho, not hole!

Can hardly wait to see Shirley take on the next case!

October 11 2007 at 8:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akbar Fazil

Bob Jones,

Hole? I am pretty sure Denny's doll is called Shirley Schmidt-Ho. (or just -O, never can tell when he says it.

October 11 2007 at 6:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Jones

One problem I had with the HIV story was, well sure its wrong to teach Abstinence only - no condoms BUT the school taught abstinence, the girl didn't listen, if they taught condoms, would she really listen then?

I agree with all comments on this Lorraine character, if it even amounts to being a character ... I think "Shirley schmidt Hole" has more charcter than this.

October 11 2007 at 6:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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