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Reviews & Ratings for
"The Practice" More at IMDbPro »

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34 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Non-Courtroom Fans Take Note

Author: slayemail-interest from United States
3 June 2005

I don't watch medical thrillers. I don't watch courtroom dramas.

Until now.

Fine acting, dialogue, and interesting legal situations--not to mention a slight sense of humor, perfectly blended with intense conflict--has hooked me into watching The Practice. I can't get enough of it. I never would have thought I'd get into a series about law.

It doesn't matter how you feel about courtroom dramas. This show is good television. I find myself glued to the TV on a daily basis, brought to tears on occasion. There is a humanity that runs through The Practice.

Since I'm not a law show buff, I can't say whether this one is better or worse than others. I'm simply a layman who finds himself tuning into FX every morning at 9:00 a.m.

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34 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

The Practice NEEDS to be on DVD !!!

Author: plkcsk from United Kingdom
12 November 2005

Please - When are all 8 series of that fantastic programme, THE PRACTICE, going to be released on DVD?? When? When? When? For those who do not know the series, the following is a summary: Set in Boston, The Practice centres on a firm of passionate attorneys to whom every case is important and every client worth a fight to the end. Legal manipulations are the firm's modus operandi, and they have it down to a science, making even the most questionable arguments convincing. And while they can't — and don't — win every trial, the pursuit of justice remains the priority until the final verdict is announced … and sometimes afterwards. Pursuing justice, however, often confronts them with serious ethical and moral issues of conscience. But please - when is it coming out on DVD??

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28 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Very interesting

Author: bas rutten from Eindhoven, the Netherlands
1 December 2002

Along with "X-Files" and "E.R.", this is one of the very few TV series that has consistently been able to keep my attention for more than a couple of episodes. The combination of good acting, nice storylines and intriguing court cases makes this series very interesting to watch.

Basically, "The Practice" is a drama about an unlikely group of lawyers that run a small law firm. Most remarkable is that these lawyers aren't all played by the usual super-handsome actors, but by people that might actually pass for lawyers in real life. This group of lawyers undergoes the usual array of romances, personal setbacks, and quarrels like in any drama serie. Nothing special, but certainly entertaining, and more importantly, almost always believable (as opposed to soap opera's where the most implausible things happen to the most implausible people all the time)

The real meat of the series, however, are the court cases, of which there are usually two to three in one episode. These are almost always creative, believable (nothing like the nonsensical cases in "Ally McBeal") and intriguing and often really make me think: "what would I do if I were the lawyer, judge, or juror?". Any series or movie that makes me actually think about ethical dilemma's (or anything else, for that matter) scores bonus points in my book. OK, so maybe the small law firm wins a little too many cases, and maybe they take the "moral high ground" a bit too often, but this doesn't really detract from the enjoyment.

"The Practice" combines enjoyable drama elements with some well thought-out and intriguing court cases into a formula that doesn't get old fast. Splendid !

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26 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

"Riveting, Life-Changing, A Triumph!"

Author: Jasper van Zyl (jaspervanzyl@usa.net) from Gansbaai, South Africa
2 February 2001

The Practice is a magnificent triumph created by one the most ingenious masterminds of the nineties, David E. Kelley. The Practice features the most incredible cast that a law series could hope for. My first impression was: "There is no way that these people aren't real lawyers, I mean, it's just not possible!" Dylan McDermott is fantastic as Bobby Donnell, Steve Harris riveting as Eugene Young, The beautiful Kelli Williams is exquisite as Lindsey Dole, and the rest of the cast (leading and guest) doesn't fall far behind.

Overall, The Practice has not only created brilliant entertainment for every television-owning family in the world, it has also inspired me to become a criminal defense attorney.

If you're not watching the Practice yet, wake up!

Thank you, Mr. Kelley, you make Monday nights in South Africa a pleasure!

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25 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

The best television series of all time.

Author: Jasper van Zyl (jaspervanzyl@usa.net) from Gansbaai, South Africa
18 March 2001

"The Practice" is the best television series of all time, hands down! It has brilliant writing, excellent directing, fantastic filming, and most of all: the best acting ensemble ever in a television series. Let's start by reviewing the actors one by one:

First and foremost, Dylan McDermott is Bobby Donnell, a young, ambitious, complex lawyer and senior partner in the firm Donnell, Young, Dole and Frutt. McDermott portrays this part with pure excellence, and nothing can contradict this.

Steve Harris portrays Eugene Young, the ruthless, yet sensitive lawyer in the firm. He puts his clients before his believes of right and wrong. He has an 11'year old son, Kendil and an ex-wife Sharon (Aunjanue Ellis). Harris is absolutely incredible in his role and is the best performance ever by an actor in a television series.

Lindsey Dole is portrayed by the beautiful Kelli Williams, who gives everything she can to insure that only the best comes from her acting skills. Lindsey is a fighter, an expert at constitutional law. She isn't easily distracted by anything other than the love of her life, Bobby.

Camryn Manheim is brilliant. And not only that, she also makes an excellent statement for bigger women. Her performance deserved an Emmy, without a doubt. Her character, Ellenor, is a sensitive, yet strong person who will help her clients no matter what.

Lisa Gay Hamilton portrays Rebecca Washington, and does it very good indeed. "Beck" is a simple person, who fails to begin a social life because she is too caught up with her work. Rebecca enjoys her work, but pests wacko judges. She is a valuble addition to Donnell, Young, Dole And Frutt, and is the kind of lawyer you would like to have on your side if the need arose.

D.A. Helen Gamble is played beautifully by the excellent actress Lara Flynn Boyle. She is a lawyer who believes in doing what's right. Because of this she despises greatly of defense attorneys and the people they sometimes have to defend. Boyle perfectly portrays the heartless, and somewhat hate-filled person Helen is.

Michael Baddalucco is fantastic as Jimmy Berluti, the sweet, father-like lawyer of the firm. Berluti has no special knowledge of the law system, but his strength lies in the fact that he can come through to juries as a normal, regular guy. Baddalucco won an well deserved Emmy in his respect for his portrayal.

And last but not least, Marla Sokoloff plays Lucy Hatcher. She is the secretary of the firm, and is a quirky, fun person who can't keep her opinion to herself. This has created the firm some problems in the past, and will quite possibly continue to do so in the forseeable future. Sokoloff, although not yet a Hollywood veteran, handles the part as if she's played it for a long time.

The Practices' creator, David E. Kelley has once again created a masterpiece, and shows that he will make a success of whatever he does. None of his former productions can live up to this series. "Ally McBeal" is totally overshadowed by this exquisite television triumph. Guest appearances are top class, especially John Larroquette's excellent portrayal of Joey Heric. You will never, ever, in your entire life find another show like this one.

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14 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Missing this show should be a crime

Author: Scream-11 from The Woodlands, Texas
14 February 1999

The Practice is the only show on television that never fails to make me reconsider my views on some of the controversial issues in society today. The writing is the best I've ever seen on television, and I love the characters, but the best thing about the show is that it deals creatively with important topics, like euthanasia and attorney/client privilege. As long as The Practice continues to take my breath away every week, I will be a devoted fan.

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17 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

One of the best series on TV

Author: raysond from Chapel Hill, North Carolina
14 May 2002

If you're not watching "The Practice",you're missing out! Don't sleep on it. One of the best series ever devised for television and it shows. This is one of the most riveting shows around today and for good reason. The actors are first rate,the writing is astounding,and the production is brilliant. What other show can topped it? None. Riveting courtroom drama at its very best. Not since "Perry Mason" has a show held its audience captive and keeps them in suspense until the last minute. This series ranks up there with David E. Kelley's "Boston Public",Dick Wolf's "Law and Order",and John Wells' medical drama "ER",and the paramedic drama "Third Watch". Kudos to all!!! Catch it Sundays on ABC-TV,and weeknights on FX.

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17 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

WHO DID THIS!

Author: pedroandnomar99 from Oregon - pedrocy2000@yahoo.com
23 December 2002

I have seen David E. Kelley's other shows. Ally is OK. Picket Fences was good. Chicago Hope was OK. And now the Practice. The Practice is without question the greatest show put together through 6 seasons. I am dissapointed with season 7 (2002-2003) but the show has shocked me before, and I am not giving up.

The reason the Practice is the best show ever is 3 areas: Acting, Writing, and Casting. The main actors are superb with Jimmy Berlutti being the best. However, the most impressive is the casting and acting of the guest actors. I have never seen James Whitmore better as Raymond Oz. Michael Emerson as William Hinks. WOW Where did they find that amazing actor. John Laroquette as Joey Heric. WOW. I hated Night Court, but he is splendid in his 4 episodes of the Practice. I will never forget the judge that told stories and increased your sentence if you laughed. Who thinks of these stories? Michael Monks as the Podiatrist George Vogelman. WOW. Great choice there. I cant look at him anymore without believing he is a cross dressing killer in real life! And Richard Bay. WOW. The list goes on and on. And the writing. So many examples, but the final John Laroquette episode as a lawyer defending his gay lover to bury him, WOW. I clapped once that episode was over and sat stunned. I have a creative mind, but couldnt come up with that story in a million years. It is also the only show that I have seen that continues to bring back guest actors in the same role later in their lives. I wish they would bring back James Whitmore as Raymond Oz, but that may be too much since he lost his mind. And Judge Hiller, Kittleson, and Swackheim are so great.

The Practice may never recover from a poor start to the 7th season. If they don't, they still gave us the greatest 6 years in television history and I will always thank them for that.

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14 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

One of the best dramas yet!

Author: shadow-54 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
26 April 1999

It's even better than Dick Wolf's Law & Order. The Practice is David E. Kelley's masterpiece. The man behind Chicago Hope and Ally McBeal is a genius when it comes to television.

This show portraits a view of a corrupted world, which we must always face. Bobby Donnell is Kelley's most complex character yet. His life is a hell as well as the lives of all these lawyers who have messed them up. It's my second favorite show. Second only to Steven Bochco and David Milch's NYPD Blue. I like seeing Lucy along with the cast. This season is being incredible. Kelli Williams is putting one hell of a show as Rebecca Washington. Lara is also doing a great job like Helen Gamble and finally Camryn Manheim and Steve Harris are the two best of the show.

Congratulations to both David E. Kelley and Jeffrey Kramer. May The Practice win even more Emmy Awards and Golden Globes. I hope the networks don't even think about canceling it.

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11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Great villains, some great twists and Kelley's trademark sensationalism put the fun in "The Practice"

Author: liquidcelluloid-1 from www.liquidcelluloid.blog.com
13 March 2005

Network: ABC; Genre: Legal Drama; Content Rating: TV-14 (for language, adult content, and occasionally strong violence); Available: syndication; Classification: Contemporary (star range: 1 - 4);

Season Reviewed: Complete Series (8 seasons)

"The Practice" started humbly on Saturday nights and creator/super-producer David E. Kelley built it into one of the most unique legal dramas on TV. Courtroom dramas where, and still are in many ways, a popular thing, but "The Practice" deviated from the norm with a more intriguing concept. It is the story of, not just lawyers, but defense attorneys who struggle to do their job for the greater integrity of the legal system even if it means setting a guilty murderer Scott free. It puts some intriguing moral questions in the lap of the audience and lets us sort them out.

As the show progresses, these moral dilemmas take their toll on the characters. Bobby Donnell (Dylan McDermott) and Eugene (Steve Harris) become beaten down, intentionally getting the life literally pounded out of their once lively personalities. Jimmy (Michael Baddallucco) goes from grunt to whiner and Eleanor Front (Camryn Manheim) gets on her angry soap box and lectures everybody, on screen and in the audience, more and more. Helen Gamble (Lara Flynn Boyle) and DA Walsh (a good Bill Smitrovich) also appear on the edge of collapse by loosing to the firm. Lindsey (Kelli Williams) is increasingly driven mad, stalked by one client after another. Her mid-series marriage to Bobby brings about one of the most unhappy and chemistry-less unions in recent TV memory. Then there is Rebecca Washington (Lisa Gay Hamilton) whom I never cared for and Lucy Hatcher (Marla Sokoloff) whose perky act becomes refreshing the duller the main characters get.

No, "The Practice" may not be remembered for its protagonists, but there is a good chance it will be remembered for the villains that walk through the door as clients. Henry Winkler as a bug fetish dentist, John Larroquette Emmy-winning terrific as egomaniacal, homosexual serial killer Joey Heric, Michael Monks as the classically meek George Vogelman and Michael Emmerson as the series' creepiest character, William Hinks. The sheer nastiness of the defendants are where this show shines.

The longer it went the more tired of itself the show got. A season 7 client who thought he was Superman found a new low. I loved it sometimes and hated it others, but I kept watching. It kept dragging me along, through its improbability, recycled twists, deflating characters and Kelley's trademark political posturing. But it was a fun antidote to the dryer "Law & Orders" of the world. With Kelley's mountain of TV legal experience behind him and his trademark sensationalized execution. Kelley is also not above lengthy outbursts of psychotic violence to shock the audience. It is pot-boiler, melodramatic fun.

It is not hard-and-fast with the law, more of a laymen's "Law & Order", but some wild stories and ending twists give it an edge other shows don't have. "Practice" specializes in the shocking twist. There is an unforgettable, brilliantly set-up, dozy of a shocker at the end of the 3th season. There is a shocking, unsettling, death of a major character at the end of the 5th season. Both are series high seasons. I may not see a nun the same way again.

I swore I would never watch again after Kelley through a fit and a massive "budget cutting" round of firings gutted all but 3 members of the regular staff, including stout series star McDermott. In the 8th and final season Kelley seems to have lost interest entirely in this show and these characters. James Spader joins the cast to pump some life into it and pump he does. The show becomes must-see TV again following Alan Shore's (Spader) over-the-top antics and, constantly threatened with termination, wonder how far he will go next. Kelley refocuses and Alan Shore becomes his new love and Spader is larger than life.

The final few episodes of the series, including a drab finale, serve merely to set up Kelley's Alan Shore spin-off series, tentatively titled "The Practice: Fleet Street". If what we've seen already is any indication the new show is a logical transition from a dying one and something worth waiting for.

* * * / 4

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