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David T. Cole

Boston Legal

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Alan Shore (James Spader) and Denny Crane (William Shatner) lead a phalanx of pricey litigators in a Boston law firm in this series that examines the professional and personal lives of brilliant (and often emotionally stunted) attorneys. For perspective, Brad Chase (Mark Valley) joins the firm to keep an eye on loose-cannon senior partner Crane. Monica Potter, Rhona Mitra and Rene Auberjonois co-star. (Description via TheTVDB.com)


Oh yeah, one of my favorite David E. Kelley shows!  I am so psyched we have a forum now.  Anyone interested in a re-watch?

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The following is more "Bill Shatner" than "Denny Crane", since he's talking about ABC and their affiliates, but of course it's Shatner with a Denny Crane filter over him. Over the top glorious.

 

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Alan Shore is a lawyer with and Counsel at Crane, Poole, & Schmidt; he is also best friends with firm co-founder Denny Crane in the series Boston Legal. The part of Alan is played by actor James Spader. (Description via Boston Legal Wiki)


Let's talk any favorite Alan moments?

 

One of the other mods reminded me of the Scientology episode and Alan's closing arguments.  Funny as heck.  Spend two and a half minutes and watch, if you got the time.  You will come out the other side cracking up.  Well, at least I did.

 

One of my favorite episodes is "Finding Nimmo":

 

"Oh, my God. This book – A Stain Upon the Sea – it's all about these sea lice."
"Interesting."
"They call them 'cling-ons.' "
"Did you say Klingons?"

 

HAHAHAHA

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Denny Crane (played by William Shatner of Star Trek TV and films and T.J. Hooker TV series fame) is a founding partner (and was chief rainmaker) of Crane, Poole & Schmidt, along with Shirley Schmidt and Edwin M. Poole on ABC-TV's Boston Legal TV series. In his prime, he was a legendary litigator; his reputation amongst lawyers is long and fabled, and Denny himself insists he is the greatest lawyer in history and has never lost a case, stating that his record is 6,043-0. ("Loose Lips") This record is debatable, however, as Denny shifts the blame away from himself in lost cases he was involved with, saying that it was, in fact, his colleague who lost, not him. Paul Lewiston once observed that Denny is like Muhammad Ali late in his career, relying more on his past reputation than his current skills.  (Description via Boston Legal Wiki)

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I posted in the Alan Shore thread that one of my favorite episodes is "Finding Nimmo" - so since I did that there, I will site another one that I love that features Denny.

 

I love William Shatner, in ANYTHING, so it's hard to place something in particular that I like the best.  I looked forward to every single episode just to watch both he and Alan on the balcony.  Those were my favorite parts.

 

The day that Denny shoots the guy that was holding a gun on Alan, I LOVED it.  He came to Alan's rescue.  I can't remember the episodes name, just remembering the scene right now.

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One of the other mods reminded me of the Scientology episode and Alan's closing arguments.  Funny as heck.  Spend two and a half minutes and watch, if you got the time.  You will come out the other side cracking up.  Well, at least I did.

I loved the hell out of this show for taking this on at the time.  This aired when it was a fairly new thing to risk the wrath of the cult by doing so.  I guess South Park had beat them to it, but even still it was glorious.

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Alan: Shirley? [sighs] What about senior partners? There would be nothing wrong with me...lusting, say, after you? Would there?

 

Shirley: Go subscribe to National Geographic. Make a list of the places you'll never get to visit. Add to that list, Schmidt.

 

he he

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Let's talk about Tara Wilson.

 

Am I the only person that didn't like her, and think that she was a horrible fit for Alan?

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I've said for a long time now that one of the many reasons I love William Shatner is that he figured out that he was becoming a joke, transcended it, and then turned back to seize control of the joke, and become more amazing than ever.

 

His work on BL could be OTT, completely outrageous and even hammy. But he always knew when to pull it back, and could be astonishing - moving, deep and resonant.

 

There are a lot of great actors in this world, but I can't think of anyone who could have turned those two words - Denny Crane! - into something so iconic. His chemistry with Spader - and with every other actor who ventured onto the set - was palpable, and he was always watchable.

 

The funniest moments are preserved in the above montage. The touching moment I cherish most is when Donny Crane (who thought Denny was his father, but found out he isn't) comes to see him and explains that he found his 'real' father, but the guy was kind of disappointing, perfectly nice, but, well, not Denny. So he asks, "Will you be my fake father again?" and Denny, very seriously, assures him, "I never stopped being your fake father."

Ok, it's kind of funny, too.

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I just saw that it is on Ovation network on my cable system. Forgot how clever it was and how good James Spader was in it. They are still in Season 2 and it is really good and not as "out there" as it became in the later seasons.

While some of the cases were "ripped from the headlines", many dealt with issues ahead of their time.

Denny Crane!

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Yayyy, we have a thread. I just started a series recording of the show. Looking forward to hearing people's perspective.

Edited by TVWithPity
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Just started watching and am back in love with Alan Shore. But with this show and The Blacklist, I realized that Spader has been type cast as the good badguy....the one who you may not want to go anywhere near, unless your life depends on it. What an excellent character to have stick to you.

It's so nice to have worthwhile TV to watch again. It's too bad I have to back 10 years to get it.

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Just saw the episode from Season 2 where he and Denny are dancing the rumba as Denny practices for his wedding, all while discussing the cases. H Y S T E R I C A L!!!!

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Shirley: When I was a child I had a cow.

Denise: You?

Shirley: Noooot sexually.

I love this show.

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I enjoy the show, but I had forgotten how many episodes were devoted to Alzheimers/dementia issues, with and without Denny's mad cow. Just saw the episode from the 2nd season with the assisted suicide...and Alan should have lost the case.

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Recently saw the one with Megan Mullally as the Bloody Bride. Bizarro even for this show, but how many times in the series for Alan Shore threaten to break privilege and turn in his client.

By the way, did like that Brad Chase had a clip-on tie!

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I'm with you. I look forward to watching it whenever my DVR catches it. I wish it was a little more regular with the scheduling. But I'm glad it's on. James Spader is great in every role, but I really miss him in this one.

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I've been watching reruns all summer long. I really enjoy this show overall. It's a shame some of the minor characters didn't last longer but overall I really liked the storylines and the main characters. It has always held my attention.

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I really love this show, and rewatch episodes all the time. Just finished watching Rowe V. Wade The Musical. Missy Tigg is a rapist, the way she fucked over Terrance and impregnated herself. She deserved to be brought up on criminal charges.

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I lament not feeling that way about anyone! It really was one of the best friendships in TV; willing to marry at the end to protect one another's destiny! ;-)

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On ‎5‎/‎2‎/‎2014 at 5:40 PM, BizBuzz said:

Alan: Shirley? [sighs] What about senior partners? There would be nothing wrong with me...lusting, say, after you? Would there?

 

Shirley: Go subscribe to National Geographic. Make a list of the places you'll never get to visit. Add to that list, Schmidt.

 

he he

He won out though when saving Shirley embarrassment by capturing old nude shots at an estate auction! As much as she couldn't stand Alan, he was a necessary evil in cases they needed to win! The episode where they were defending a cop who used excessive force and torture of an innocent brother to save a kidnapped/molested child comes to mind! ;-)

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On ‎5‎/‎3‎/‎2014 at 6:57 AM, BizBuzz said:

Let's talk about Tara Wilson.

 

Am I the only person that didn't like her, and think that she was a horrible fit for Alan?

I just couldn't believe how she picked up and left with an "ex!" I thought Tara and Alan were a great match going back to when she betrayed Eugene and Eleanor giving Alan access to their records when he was fired from the firm for cause! ;-(

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On ‎3‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 6:04 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Taraji P. Henson, Tyler Perry, & Lyriq Bent discuss their new film Acrimony:

 

I still haven't watched anything new with Taraji, but to this day I have a question! WTF was up with that bad wig/bangs she was sporting in her stint in the series of "BL?" She has hair! ;-)

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On ‎1‎/‎13‎/‎2016 at 5:39 PM, AriAu said:

Recently saw the one with Megan Mullally as the Bloody Bride. Bizarro even for this show, but how many times in the series for Alan Shore threaten to break privilege and turn in his client.

By the way, did like that Brad Chase had a clip-on tie!

Alan doesn't practice law for money anymore so he's always above the rules in his mind! This goes back to "The Practice" doing and saying things that would get an attorney disbarred if not prosecuted and jailed! ;-)

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On ‎6‎/‎1‎/‎2014 at 3:12 PM, TudorQueen said:

I've said for a long time now that one of the many reasons I love William Shatner is that he figured out that he was becoming a joke, transcended it, and then turned back to seize control of the joke, and become more amazing than ever.

 

His work on BL could be OTT, completely outrageous and even hammy. But he always knew when to pull it back, and could be astonishing - moving, deep and resonant.

 

There are a lot of great actors in this world, but I can't think of anyone who could have turned those two words - Denny Crane! - into something so iconic. His chemistry with Spader - and with every other actor who ventured onto the set - was palpable, and he was always watchable.

 

The funniest moments are preserved in the above montage. The touching moment I cherish most is when Donny Crane (who thought Denny was his father, but found out he isn't) comes to see him and explains that he found his 'real' father, but the guy was kind of disappointing, perfectly nice, but, well, not Denny. So he asks, "Will you be my fake father again?" and Denny, very seriously, assures him, "I never stopped being your fake father."

Ok, it's kind of funny, too.

Funny, I'm watching "The Tudors" on Showtime now! It coming up on the last few episodes before the finale! It has been playing nightly on "Ovation" & SHOWX for the last couple weeks or so! It's very well done even though many things historically incorrect! I wrote a paper or 2 on Henry back in HS & College! I love Middle Age History and marvel how these countries survived on the whims of one nut; sorta like today with Trump I guess! ;-)

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Watching the show for the first time on Ovation channel. Don't remember why I didn't watch it first run. 

The friendship between the two was stupendous and a stroke of genius. I have been fortunate to have two of those in my life. One since the age of ten ( I'm fairly old so that is quite the blessing), and one for thirty odd years. I am grateful for both. 

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I was without internet for 7 long days due to a cut cable and holidays, so I was stuck watching over the air channels only. On New Year's Day, Escape went from being all true crime all the time, except for a couple of hours of Without a Trace daily, they added that a few months ago, to being half true crime, mornings and late, late night and scripted law shows in the afternoon & evening. Now they are running a couple of hours of Law & Order, Without a Trace & Boston Legal, and Scandal in prime time. I never cared for Scandal, but where has Boston Legal been all of my life? I guess when it was on it's original run I had scheduling conflicts and I don't have Ovation channel, so I've never managed to see it before. I think I'm falling in love. I was late to the party with NYPD Blue too, now I'm addicted to it.

And I agree about Shatner. He is a much better actor than he is usually given credit for and Denny Crane is a much more nuanced character than Kirk ever was. I'll probably be sticking around to see more of this show. I haven't quite got all the characters and actors sorted out yet, I didn't have internet for a week and I need reference guides when I watch some shows.

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On 1/4/2019 at 9:51 PM, friendperidot said:

but where has Boston Legal been all of my life? I guess when it was on it's original run I had scheduling conflicts and I don't have Ovation channel, so I've never managed to see it before. I think I'm falling in love. I was late to the party with NYPD Blue too, now I'm addicted to it.

And I agree about Shatner. He is a much better actor than he is usually given credit for and Denny Crane is a much more nuanced character than Kirk ever was.

Ditto. I know my parents watched it when it was first airing. Right now 1.10 "Hired Guns" is airing, in which "Shore finds himself in danger when he helps a woman whose ex-husband kidnapped their children and took them to Peru" and Denny Crane shoots the shooter. 
I kind of love that Shatner will always first be Captain Kirk to me, and Spader will always first be Dr. Daniel Jackson from Stargate to me. 

Edited by shapeshifter
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On 1/7/2019 at 10:00 PM, shapeshifter said:

Ditto. I know my parents watched it when it was first airing. Right now 1.10 "Hired Guns" is airing, in which "Shore finds himself in danger when he helps a woman whose ex-husband kidnapped their children and took them to Peru" and Denny Crane shoots the shooter. 
I kind of love that Shatner will always first be Captain Kirk to me, and Spader will always first be Dr. Daniel Jackson from Stargate to me. 

 

SQUEE!!!! There IS a topic for this show! I remember watching it off and on, but especially once Candice FUCKING! Bergen joined the cast, which was toward the end of the first season. Escape is airing both seasons 1 and 2, the latter on different days, so I let all the episodes queue up and watch them in order! I don't know if it's worse that I work in the legal field/in a law firm, so I'm constantly 🙄🙄🙄🙄 at the shenanigans in the office! Or how things actually work. Like last night, I watched episodes 11-15? I think of Season one, and I have a couple of issues with the case Shirley and Monica defended Creationism. It was what the judge said--about how "Under God" was in the Pledge of Allegiance, and all the "In God We Trust" on our currency, etc. I can't remember the latter, but I DO know that originally, The Pledge did NOT have "Under God" in it. That was put in by President Truman, I think, in 1954. I wanted to bang my head against the wall.

"Smile" was one that was heartbreaking. And kudos to the actress who played the little girl who couldn't smile due to nerve damage. And the teenager who was morally against abortion, but sued the Catholic medical center for not giving her the after rape contraceptive after she'd been brutally raped. Why didn't they just transfer her to another hospital? But what had me 🙄🙄🙄 was her saying she wanted to go to Court! And voila! The next day, a jury has already been selected and they're at trial! Who needs to worry the little pesky details about discovery, depositions, checking the court docket for when they can schedule the trial? But Shirley was awesome, with how she read the passages from the Bible about working on the Sabbath.

Oh, hey @shapeshifter! Did ya recognize Cassidy? *snerk*

Then there was the episode from season two, where that woman who ran the shelter, protested sans bra and the DA decided to charge her with lascivious and lewd behavior that would have her be registered as a sex offender. LOVED, LOVED Shirley's closing statement.

And this weekend I'll find out how Alan will dispose of his stalker, played by Elizabeth Mitchell.

I see they got rid of all three at the end of season one: Monica Potter (Lori?) who is just so...bland. We saw Shirley fire Stephanie for not pleading negligence in a brief, which, well, pure PLOT, because a PARTNER would have reviewed that brief, and it's the PARTNER that signs off on it, and so since they should have plead negligence, would have caught that, and added it in. But I didn't like Stephanie, so no tears. But Brad is SUCH AN ASSHOLE and Alan is RIGHT: He IS A KEN DOLL.

Wonder how they'll get rid of Porter and Rhona Mitra (Tara).  I also see in the credits of season two, that there's an African American actress, but in the five episodes I've seen, I have yet to see her character.

I'd forgotten that Betty White was a recurring character!

And as much as Denny Crane comes off as a buffoon, he's wily and crazy like a fox!

Edited by GHScorpiosRule
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So watching the tail end of Season two, and in particular, "Squid Pro Quo" I can't believe that the show couldn't do better with the Kavita story line. She was the young Indian mother whose child died because the U.S. had taken back the foreign aid to the clinic in Nepal, because they had a poster of a woman promoting reproductive rights. And apparently the rule was they couldn't say the word abortion, or funding would be withdrawn.

The issue for me was the languages being spoken. Kavita, the plaintiff, was clearly NOT speaking Hindi. And closed captioning didn't help because all it provided was "talking in foreign language" or "talking in native language." But the translator? She was speaking to Kavita in HINDI, so clearly Kavita understood it, but she didn't speak it? I'm Indian and speak Hindi and a few other dialects and languages, but couldn't make out what language/dialect Kavita was speaking. Show should have done BETTER.

And I just discovered that this show is available on Amazon Prime Video, but BOO! It's not free!

It's amazing how many of the plots on this show, which are 13-15 years old, still happen today in real life. Yet I know that this show would never make it past the first season if made today.

Edited by GHScorpiosRule
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On 1/9/2019 at 3:01 PM, GHScorpiosRule said:

and I have a couple of issues with the case Shirley and Monica defended Creationism. It was what the judge said--about how "Under God" was in the Pledge of Allegiance, and all the "In God We Trust" on our currency, etc. I can't remember the latter, but I DO know that originally, The Pledge did NOT have "Under God" in it. That was put in by President Truman, I think, in 1954. I wanted to bang my head against the wall.

 

 

I'm watching for the first time (on Hulu). I just watched the above episode, and I think the show is deteriorating a little, starting around this ep. The judge's reasoning in that case was horrendous, but I think the writers thought it was heroic and good. Bad writing I think. Alan's affection for that comical man who killed his mother and a neighbor with a skillet seems out of character.  The dress Sally Heep was wearing when talking to Brad, near the end was unbuttoned and very revealing, which is fine with me -- I wish women dressed like that wear I have worked. But it seemed strange to show so much to a guy she should hate for what he said. There were other problems too. I just have a feeling the show is on a downward spiral where things make less sense than they used to, but I will see.

Edited by Pat Hoolihan

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On 1/9/2019 at 2:01 PM, GHScorpiosRule said:

That was put in by President Truman, I think, in 1954. I wanted to bang my head against the wall.

Eisenhower was elected President in 1952. Truman was president when I was born, and I grew up in a town next door to his home of Independence, MO. I'm a fan. But you're right, "under God" was added to the Pledge and to money during the McCarthy commie witch hunt years. As Les Nessman said, something about those godless commies, er tornadoes.

Show topic, I'm still enjoying, I went back to watching streaming for a few days after getting the internet back, but I decided last week to try to follow this program. Some very interesting characters. Spader's is very strange, but he does follow his own mind ab out things he feels strongly about. I thought he was a partner, is it explained why he's not? But after interrupting the partner's meeting to defend the one lawyer, I don't think he will ever be. And he's probably a little old to be on partnership track, from what I remember of my brief stint in a law firm, you're either on partnership track or your not and if you're not you probably won't be anywhere unless you start your own firm.

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I'm used to talking to myself on some topics and it's been a few days since I posted. Alan is fast becoming my favorite character on the show with Clarence/Clarice/Cleavant/Oprah being a very close second. I love the storyline between Clarence/et al with Claire, so very sweet, I don't really know exactly where it's going but I hope it goes well. 

I am confused about the building they are in. Always before the final scene on Denny's balcony, there's a shot of the outside of the building with the arched window front and center. But then on the balcony, that window is stage left of where the actors are sitting. 

There are so many good actors doing smaller recurring roles. I love Meredith Eaton as Bethany, Delta Burke as Bella, but Currie Graham is such a great villainous character no matter what show he's on. Too many others to name. 

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Most of the balcony scenes are of Denny's office balcony.  But there were was an episode where they were in New Orleans, and that balcony was from there.

Alan and Shirley are by far, my favorite characters on this show. With Paul (played by the awesome Rene Auberjonois, who I've loved ever since Benson). Denny is okay. But Shatner will always be Kirk and TJ Hooker for me. I can't ABIDE Brad, played by the very wooden Mark Valley. He's a sanctimonious, holier than thou, hypocritical ASSHOLE. I'm not a fan of Craig Bierko (Jeff Koho).

What astounds me is how many partners and associates play musical beds with each other. I'm rather surprised that Denise went back to a Friends with Benefits with not only Brad, but Jeff, who are BOTH partners, and the named partners and Paul discovering she'd slept with Brad was the final nail on the coffin to her possibly, maybe becoming partner herself.

I adore Clarence. But again, the whole power dynamic with him and Claire==supervisor/underling.

I love the actor who plays the judge who constantly tells the lawyers "No...JIBBER! JABBER!" and gets flustered himself, at times.

I'll probably get the series on dvd ONCE the price comes down! $70? I don't think so.

ETA: Oh! I did love the reunion with Shatner and Heather Locklear, though! I had to laugh how Denny lusted after her, considering that she played his surrogate daughter when they were both on T.J. Hooker.

And so far, in three seasons, only two L.A. Law alumni have shown up: Corbin Bernsen (Arnie) and Susan Rattan (Roxie).

Edited by GHScorpiosRule
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Oh, I agree about the boss/employee and partner/associate relationships, there's a reason why those are frowned on in real jobs and why there have been law suits. For me, personally, I've quit jobs to avoid them because I come from a different generation than now and you simply didn't challenge the male authority. And, as the employee with the least amount of power, it was better to just go. I'm old now and less tolerate of bs in real life than I used to be. But, being old has different disadvantages in jobs, good thing I'm retired. But, back to the on show relationships, I still enjoy the Clarence and Claire relationship - and he did leave as her assistant...stayed in the firm with Alan, but I think he also found his voice as an attorney under Alan, however Claire did lead him to it.

I know the balcony scenes are outside of Denny's office, I'm just confused as to the layout of the balcony. In the shot of the building, that arched window is front and center, seems to have no space behind it, it appears to be flush against the building. But in many of the balcony scenes, there is an arched window stage left of the actors. It's sort of like the layout of the radio station on WKRP.

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Another big fan of BL here. In fact, I'm pretty much a huge fan of all the legal shows by David E Kelly starting with the amazing Picket Fences. 

It's been many years since I've watched BL but some of my favourites include the finale of season 1 "Death not be Proud" which had Alan flying to Texas to defend a prisoner on death row played by Sterling K Brown. Then there's a season 2 episode called "Finding Nimmo" where Alan and Denny go fishing together.  This episode has one of my favourites Gags where Denny Crane unable to catch a fish using a pole decides to use his gun instead !

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18 minutes ago, Thomas Crown said:

Then there's a season 2 episode called "Finding Nimmo" where Alan and Denny go fishing together.  This episode has one of my favourites Gags where Denny Crane unable to catch a fish using a pole decides to use his gun instead !

I saw this for the first time recently. They don't make TV like this anymore. </old geezer rant>

 

1 hour ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

I did love the reunion with Shatner and Heather Locklear, though! I had to laugh how Denny lusted after her, considering that she played his surrogate daughter when they were both on T.J. Hooker.

I only saw a few episodes of T.J. Hooker, but I figured it was something like that, so it was driving me nuts in a half-amused way.

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Holy Mackerel, but this show has the highest cast turnover I’ve ever seen! No explanation for why Paul was gone after season three. He just showed up for one episode this week. I miss Rene Auberjonois! We see that asshole Brad is now working in the D.A.’s office, but no explanation why he left. And then he’s just  gone after two episodes. No explanation for where Claire disappeared to and no explanation from Clarence, since both were dating at the end of season three. And UGH. They hired Saffron Burrows, who I can’t stand. Was the actress unable to maintain an American accent so revealed how she was actually British and now she’s speaking in her English accent? But YAY! Taraji Henson! BOO! To that horrible wig! Mainly those short sharp bangs.

Oh, and David Kelly? Hindus don’t pray to a cow. They believe the cow is sacred because it provides milk and other things. 😒😒😒 No fucking excuse for the lack of research if he or his writing staff didn’t know.

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David Kelly did with this show, what he always ends up doing after the first three years of any of his shows, so it's par for the course. But I don't like it.

First, how in HELL Lorraine is still an employee and not in jail just astounds me. We learned in last night's episode, Season 4:17, that she's still a fucking MADAM. In Boston, New York, hell, all across the nation. She just closed her London offices. While prostitution is a victimless crime, it is still illegal, and how she still has a job just makes me want to bang my head against the wall.

The actors they got to play Justice Ginsberg and Chief Justice Roberts was spot on. But the rest? Especially Scalia? FAIL. While I love John Ramsay, who played recurring judge on original recipe Law & Order (he was fair and just and apolitical), looks-wise, he would have been a better choice to play Scalia. And I've been to Oral Argument before the Supreme Court. Back in 2003, when Rehnquist was still Chief Justice. Justice Thomas SLEPT through the entire thing. And none of the justices are combative like they were shown to be here. I only nitpick because they were supposed to be portraying the actual Justices.

And one thing that saddens me is that Candice Bergen is in less and less episodes in the fourth season.

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Aaaand we're in the final season, and the show dropped Saffron(Thank goodness. I'm going to believe she was shuffled off to jail or on the lam because she's still a madam), Whitney (Boo!) with NO EXPLANATION, and Clarence, which, to be honest, he was just there. But still, no explanation.

Season 4 was a short season because that was the year of the Writers strike, so we only got 20 episodes. The Final fifth season is only 17 or 18 episodes, so we'll be back to the first season airing in the afternoon in a couple of weeks.

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