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"The Paper Chase" Hart Goes Home (1984)

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Southern Comfort In The North Star State

Author: cutterccbaxter from minneapolis, minnesota, on the planet Earth
13 May 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Minnesota's favorite law student heads back to the farm in this episode. Looming off in the distance are the famous Minnesota Mountains as noted in the "Goofs" section. This episode also features Cooper Huckabee's "Dooley" and his good ol' boy southern accent. I guess in the Hollywood scheme of things it just isn't the country unless at least one character has an accent that originates from below the Mason-Dixon line. Even the name "Dooley" conjures up images of hound dogs, moonshine and the Darlings singing on The Andy Griffith Show. Still, I like this episode because no one is named Sven and Hart proves that the kids of Minnesota really are above average.

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Despite a change of locale, Hart STILL is pretty annoying.

Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
9 October 2014

When "The Paper Chase" debuted on CBS in the late 1970s, James Hart was shown as a student who somehow maintained his humanity and decency in law school despite the pressures. However, the show was dropped after a season and was, oddly, picked up several years later and on Showtime. Not surprisingly, there was a huge change in cast and the show just wasn't the same. To me, however, the worst change was in Hart. He was no longer the nice guy he'd been in the original show and it was much more difficult to care for this now intense, often angry and often abrasive guy. He wasn't as bad as Golden, but was not among the most unlikable students in the cast. I think in hindsight this was a huge mistake--and "Hart Goes Home" is yet another example of how the guy has changed.

Hart's sister is getting married and he's planning on attending the wedding. However, around the same time he's been working on a project with Professor Kingsfield. And, when the two things he's working on come into conflict, Hart seems more interested in impressing the professor and family clearly takes a back seat. After all, it's only his sister's wedding!

While I didn't like Hart in this one (everyone was too nice to him-- someone should have dumped a pale of manure on his head when he went to visit his family on the farm), I did like how it illustrated how people in some lines of work slowly lose themselves and what they once loved. Well worth seeing--even if the guy was a major jerk.

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