Thursday, January 20, 2011

Harry's Law

David E. Kelley returns to television with yet another show about crazy lawyers. The brain behind Boston Legal, The Practice, and Ally McBeal gives us a talented but disgruntled patent lawyer who finds new life by starting a criminal practice run out of a shoe store in the worst part of town.

Kathy Bates stars as Harriet "Harry" Korn who is fired from her lucrative practice and decides to go into business for herself. Though not as good as the recent Eli Stone, Harry's Law relies quite a bit on coincidence and fate to set up the initial plot lines of the series. Harry's first client is a man (Aml Ameen) who jumped off a roof and landed on her, and her junior associate (Nathan Corddry) ran her over with his car. Brittany Snow also has a small role as Harry's secretary who spends as much time selling the remaining shoes from the previous owners as she does helping out her boss.

Kelley's latest show is full of the kinds of antics and oddball characters fans have come to expect, but something here just feels off. The cast is solid, and Bates makes an intriguing central character, but Coddry's antics in the courtroom are a far cry from the brilliance of John Cage, and Snow, at least so far, is mostly wasted in a rather thankless role.

It may just be the rough edges of a Pilot episode, but Harry's Law feels a little too forced and not nearly as fun as it should. Maybe Kelley is losing his touch. Although I enjoyed William Shatner in Boston Legal, I felt the show itself was a pale shadow of the glorious insanity of Ally McBeal. And, at least so far, Harry's Law is no Boston Legal.

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