I recently finished watching Boston Legal for the first time. For a long time, I kept saying, “I’ll get to it eventually!” and now I’ve finally cleared it off my Backlog list!
Boston Legal was created by the great David E. Kelley and premiered in October of 2004 as a spin off of David‘s other legal drama, The Practice. The series ran for five seasons and finished it’s run in December of 2008. It took me ten years after the series ended to finally sit down and enjoy the talents of William Shatner and James Spader.
I hesitate to call it a courtroom drama, because while the courtroom was involved in several episodes it was not the main focus of the show. Set in the fictional law offices of Crane, Poole & Schmidt, the show’s main focus is on the characters of Denny Crane (Shatner) and Alan Shore (Spader). The bro-mance between these two is truly what makes this show a wonderful watch.
Who’s In It?
As I previously mentioned, William Shatner and James Spader are the two main stars of the show. However they had a wonderful and talented supporting cast surrounding them. As one of the other named partners at the firm, Candice Bergen portrays Shirley Schmidt. She is a former romantic partner to Denny Crane, but now is the woman who is trying to keep him in check for the good of the firm.
The senior partners at the firm include another Star Trek alum, in Rene Auberjonois as Paul Lewiston. He is the man who kind of runs the firms finances and also responsible for bringing Schmidt back from one of the firms other offices. Other than Shatner and Spader, my absolute favourite character is Jerry Espenson who was portrayed by Christain Clemenson.
Christian, William and James all won Emmy Awards for their roles on the show. Christian was originally a recurring character that had very few episodes. He was however a series regular for the final two seasons and definitely a fun addition to the dynamic.
What I Thought About It
This show was absolutely brilliant and I am only regretting the fact that I didn’t watch the show sooner. There are so many wonderful guest stars and recurring stars that the show really knew how to suck an audience in. The show was very self referential, including making comments about how the network would change their time slot. It was a tongue in cheek drama that could make you laugh one minute and then tear at your heartstrings the next.
The bro-mance between Denny Crane and Alan Shore was pivotal to the show’s success, and to my enjoyment. The fact that I honestly had to think about what lines William Shatner had to say other than ‘Denny Crane’ was very interesting. Now of course he did have more to say than that, but it was a gag that honestly worked for me a lot.
Star Trek Connections
The show managed to bring other members of the Star Trek universe on as guest stars. Besides Shatner and Auberjonois, you could also have seen: Scott Bakula (Star Trek: Enterprise), John Larroquette (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock), Michelle Forbes (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Ethan Phillips (Star Trek: Voyager) and Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager).
However, my two absolute favourite alums from Star Trek were recurring roles. They were Armin Shimmerman who played Quark in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and was a judge in several cases on the show. As was my other favourite, Henry Gibson who also had a role in DS9 and portrayed a judge on the show.
After watching all five seasons of the show, I wish I had watched it sooner. I thought it was a brilliant show that not only was enjoyable to watch, but dealt with MANY issues of the day. Heck, even watching it now in 2018, I was sitting there saying this is the kind of show that needs to be on the air.
They dealt with LGBTQ rights, gun control laws, racism and several other political hot topics. They weren’t ashamed of touching on something that other shows deemed as taboo. I wish more and more shows could accomplish what this show did. Even though the show has been off the air for ten years now, I would still go back and watch it again from time to time. It definitely deserves a spot in my rotation of shows that deserve to be rewatched.
Have you seen Boston Legal? What are your thoughts about the show? Let us know in the comments below!