Denny Crane - MY names on the door!
Publisher: 20th Century Fox
Mon, 12 February 2007
by: Australian Ninja
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Boston Legal. Mere words cannot hope to contain the sheer enthusiasm I have for watching this show. Not many shows can successfully combine serious issues, heartfelt drama and amazingly ludicrous comedy into one mega-delicious package.
Boston Legal does it flawlessly. In my mind, this is one of the best new TV shows by far in recent years. I've seen maybe two or three episodes on TV, so watching Season 2 on DVD came as a very welcome surprise.
The show was so enjoyable that I watched episodes back to back for several days. One night I even forfeited a few hours sleep just so I could have time to watch more episodes. Yes, I was up until 2 a.m. or later watching the show. The things I do for Buttonhole. But then look at that mugshot of me up there, clearly not the actions of a sane man.
The show is yet another co-creation of David E. Kelly, known for injecting his considerable creative talents into Ally McBeal, The Practiceand their brethren. Speaking of which, Boston Legal began as a spin off of The Practice with several characters first appearing on that show.
Personally I never liked those shows one bit. As for Boston Legal - it's a legal drama set in Boston about a bunch of kooky lawyer types who seem to break the law as often they defend it. So even if you really are not into crime/law/drama shows - like myself - don't pass up Boston Legal thinking it is more of the same.
On the other hand, if you do like the legal dramas etc Boston Legal is still of significant quality in the characterisation and story department so there is something to like for you too.
The real reason anyone watches this show is for the characters.
|Night terrors, that secretary, it's always SOMETHING with you! |
William Shatner in particular hams it up as the ego-centric narcissistic
"Denny Crane - MY NAMES ON THE DOOR!"
He comes across as a seasoned veteran, taking advantage of his ability to take the piss out of himself at every opportunity and over-acting all the way home.
Candice Bergen as Shirley Schmidt it at her career best, as one of the few 'sane' characters on the show, proving that there's still life and talent from the star of Murphy Brown.
James Spader portrays Alan Shore. The incredibly passionate, highly unconventional lawyer who seems to delight in his ability to piss off his co-workers thus alienating himself further from everybody in the workplace except Denny. While being a close friend of Denny, Alan seems to be following in Denny's footsteps with his increasingly bizarre behaviour.
Season 2 of Boston Legal is a non-stop entertainment extravaganza. Some highlights include; Denny Crane shooting a homeless man with a paint gun, the 'Jibber Jabber' Judge who will not tolerate 'Jibber Jabber' from Alan in his courtroom, Alan and Denny sleeping in bed together due to Alan's 'night terrors', Denny getting married for three hours and cheating on his bride while at the wedding reception, Denny shooting a variety of other people with real guns just for the hell of it, Brad accidentally chopping off a priests fingers with a fire axe, Denise dating a man who pretends to be a cop, and of course the impressive roster of guest stars.
The guest stars are frequent and all give fine performances. Michael J. Fox guests as the dying rich guy who buys his way into experimental Cancer medication.
Tom Selleck, ever the lady killer stars as a charming serial philanderer. Other guests include Wes Craven and Geri Ryan [well known for her role as 'Seven of Nine' in Star Trek: Voyager.]
The humour and events in Boston Legal are so wild and uncontained that you really just never know what is going to happen in any given episode.
The pairing of Shatner and James Spader is just inspired. Together they steal the show with their on screen chemistry and fruity behaviour.
This show just had me in stitches every time I watched an episode.
The episode when Alan and Denny start sleeping together is so damn funny. Just to be clear, Denny and Alan are two very heterosexual men who sleep with many different women. The reason they temporarily share a bed is because of Alan's 'night terrors' that one time almost resulted in Alan walking off the top of a tall building.
The strength of Denny and Alan's' friendship is clear when we seem them sleeping together and openly talking about it in front of others at work. They don't seem to care what people think, delighting in creating still more confusion in the always hectic law office of Crane, Poole and Schmidt.
In another episode, Denny is dancing to music in his office. Alan appears at the door, Denny invites him to join in. Without hesitation Alan responds with "Why not!" and the two semi-waltz together.
|It was the third round of Pocket Billiards and Denny was determined to win at all costs. |
While all the characters are well developed, Shatner's Denny Crane steals the show more than any other actor. In addition to being an absolute nut-bar, his wild behaviour leads us down the rabbit hole and then some. His comic timing and well placed lines of meta double speak lend a certain sense of the surreal to the show.
In response to what the neighbours would think of seeing Alan and Denny dressed up as other people dancing together on the balcony:
"Well, if they're regular viewers, they know by now anything goes."
Boston Legal is well deserving of the many, many awards it has received over its two seasons. The quirky stories [somewhat a trademark of David E. Kelly] and morally ambiguous characters come together to bring us a unique show with top-notch acting and paralysing belly laughter.
While I've ranted on about the main two characters - the other characters are all equally interesting. The sub-plot with the Paul Lewiston character sees him confronting his daughter about her re-emerging drug habit. He first sends Brad in to 'spy' on his daughter. The results are not pretty.
This is but one example of the other plot threads amongst the main drama of the central characters working at Crane, Poole and Schmidt.
No matter what I write about this show, there is just too much goodness to cover it all without going on and on, so lets finish here shall we?
After ravenously consuming this season, I am eagerly looking forward to the third season and will definitely buy Season 1 on DVD. If you're smart [like me, the watcher of this DVD in question] then you will consider picking up this excellent show. You'll be glad you did.
"That's Denny Crane - My names on the door!"
by: Australian Ninja
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Absurd comedy distilled and combined with well written drama, and kick-ass actors.