Friday, November 07, 2008

Keepin' with Kelly

After last month's viewing of the first season of Picket Fences, I found myself craving that Kelly fix. But, alas, there is no second season of Picket Fences out, yet anyway, and no seasons of Chicago Hope (except on Hulu, which I would watch if I could get it on my TV and not just my laptop or desktop).

So it was on to the first season of The Practice. Wow. Much better than I remembered, and much, much better at portraying the messy, paper-work-stuffed, scrambling, pizza box-strewn, shaving-in-the-office chaos and grunge that is (I imagine) a typical defense attorney's life. The pilot does an outstanding job of getting us into that milieu in its opening minutes, with Bobby and Eleanore rushing to court, and with the lawyers in their office juggling piles of files and manila folders, or holding files with their teeth so they can pick up another.

But I particularly love the design on the courtrooms. Courtrooms on TV today seem stately and grand, like austere libraries, with lots of wood and beautiful architectural touches. The Boston courtrooms in The Practice are old, peeling and, most importantly, echoey. I love the sound design here, the attorney's speeches sound like they are being given in old VFW halls, flat and tinnily echoed.

And, as with any relatively older show, I love catching all the actors I didn't know back then but do now. John C. McGinley as an oily defense lawyer, sounding like a more-serious version of Dr. Cox. Hermann Edwards as a patrician big-firm lawyer. That Kelly regular who played the transvestite on Picket Fences appearing here as a judge.

I'm only three episodes in but I'm very surprised at how much I like this show. And a bit dismayed at the fact that Season Two is not out.

Until Whenever


Roger Owen Green said...

I liked the Practice, though less and less after about season 4. the penultimate season was the worst, then it ended with the major revamp, dumping half the cast but adding the oily Alan Shore who would end up at another law firm, one headed by the wacky Denny Crane)

Tosy And Cosh said...

I still remember the genius of that first John Larroquette episode, where he completely plays the lawyers. Good stuff.

Roger Owen Green said...

Oh, nuts. Should have noticed back on your Picket Fences post - it's David E. Kelley.