Since Harry’s Law premiered last season I have come to the conclusion that you have to know and understand David E Kelley in order to like his style of writing. As much as a critic may like him, he or she still thinks that his shows, especially the ones about lawyers are too similar. My relationship as a viewer of the series created by Mr. Kelley started with the second or third season of Chicago Hope but I didn’t become a true fan until the first episode of The Practice.
The Practice was a show about a small law firm run by Bobby Donnell (Dylan McDermott). The firm would defend just about every type of “criminal” and some of the ways they did this were let’s say not as legal as they should have been, like using what they called "Plan B". The way the series was written was so new and bold to me. Not only did the amazing ensemble of actors play characters that believed in what they did for a living but every time they spoke I found myself wanting to talk back. What I liked most were the issues and arguments they had outside and inside the courtroom. Whether they were defending a murderer or an assault victim I felt like I was right there with them and usually, on their side. There were even times where I would find myself yelling at the TV and arguing with them. By the time the series ended I could, most of the time predict the jury judgment. The fact is all of Mr. Kelley’s series have me wanting to be more invovled in the characters lives then I should. This brings me to why I love and have learned a lot from him.
When The Practice ended it was fallowed by Boston Legal or as some called it The Practice 2.0. YES some of the cases and characters felt familiar but that’s the thing about David E. Kelley his compassion as a writer and being able to take on the issues full throttle. He is not afraid to look at the news of the day, especially those 24 hour channels, and then comment on what’s going on. From politics to entertainment. From the craziness of balloon boy to the seriousness of bullying. Mr. Kelley has put it all out there for us to see and make up our own opinions. So yes the court cases from series to series may sound the same but there are always new topics to discuss and that is, to this writer, David E. Kelley’s style. From the absurd and creepy murderer to the sweet old man with alzheiner's. Mr. Kelley writes for them ALL. His preference may be law but from Picket Fences to Boston Public he has tried everything and I have watched (Including The Wedding Belles and Snoops which each only aired a few episodes) I tune in because if it has David E. Kelley’s name and logo it will be worth my time. There are just a couple of other TV creator/writers that I can say that about. In the end if an actor like Fyvush Finkel or Camryn Manheim are willing to come back and guest star on Harry’s Law after spending past TV years playing one of his characters then he can’t be all bad and the least I could do is watch.
Lesson learned, write what you know, be yourself and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!
Those of us who have very little to say in person, have a lot to say on paper and enjoy watching our characters say our words.
Cheers and thank you David E. Kelley!
I say keep them coming and watch Harry's Law Wednesdays at 9 on NBC.