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Having received a major facelift from last season (which was a 12-episode mid-season replacement), with better exterior sets, a new, modernized office, less emphasis on the "shoe store," and the addition of lawyer Tommy Jefferson as a regular cast member, Harry's Law has come a long way after it's summer hiatus.
The show is a combination of the gravitas you found with The Practice and the silliness of Boston Legal, and it should move ever so quickly toward being more like The Practice and tackle tough cases as it did in the three-episode story arc that kicked off season two.
Anyone familiar with David E. Kelley's other shows (like the two mentioned above) and his writing style, Harry's Law won't be that much of a departure from his previous efforts. He created and wrote most of the episodes for Picket Fences, Boston Public, and a few others that lasted 4+ years. I'm hoping Harry's Law's ratings give it a chance to continue a good 5-year run (at least) if the writing/plots remain top-notch.
Character casting this second season has been superb, with Jean Smart and Alfred Molina guest starring in the first three episodes. Having just left as a regular cast member of L&O: Los Angeles as it was prematurely canceled and was doing great as far as ratings were concerned, even the repeats, it was good to see Molina again in a character-driven role.
Kelley's writing is top-notch as usual, with only the occasional stumble, though I think that has more to do with editing the show down to 40 minutes as Kelley is a proficient writer who's characters can have five-minute polemics at a stretch. Maybe one day they'll release uncut versions of Harry's Law before the network editors took an ax to them.
I gave it 8 stars because I really can't stand the music as it reminds me too much of Boston Legal and '70's porn. :) I also knocked off another star because Tommy Jefferson is basically a clone of Denny Crane (William Shatner) of Boston Legal. He even introduces himself and says his name repeatedly just like Denny Crane used to do (and which grew tiresome after a few episodes) on the aforementioned show.
I hope the writing continues to be great, and that we get to see Harry spend more time in the courtroom where Kathy Bates is at her best (as is Kelley's writing). And if Jean Smart comes back, that would be icing on the cake as her character was pure evil cloaked in a genteel southern accent.
I also hope they get rid of the B-roll shots of Cincinnati after every commercial break. They are a waste of time and most shows don't use them and just jump back into the episode. This gives the viewer more actual story time and dialog.
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