I am no fan of network programming. I rarely watch anything but sports, and the various news/ ‘non-fiction’ channels. (Don’t call me if Deadliest Catch is on- I won’t answer!)
Alas, I have sinned!
One night Sam rolled over on the remote, and changed the channel. It flipped the channel to NBC, where a show was winding down – some hefty chick making closing remarks on why a young man shouldn’t be convicted for dealing. Watching the last part of that show intrigued me. Whipping out my ever-present pad of little post-its, I wrote the time and channel down, and pasted it to the bottom of my TV.
Harriett Korn (played by Cathy Bates) is a fallen six-figure salaried former patent attorney, who became bored with patents- and was fired from her firm. Reality hits even harder when she finds herself leasing a former shoe store in a rundown neighborhood in Cincinnati- complete with abandoned inventory from the shoe store. “Harry'” opens her law office/shoe emporium.
Her staff: Jenna Backstrom (Brittany Snow) was her assistant at her former firm, and has taken on running the ‘Shoe Emporium’ as well. Jenna is the requisite blond, who loves ‘pretty things’ and displays her irritation with Harry, by slowly dropping law books off the shelf one at a time. She is the stereotypical blond but she is funny and expresses her opinion freely-(after an appropriate amount of time spent in a snit.)
Adam Branch ( NateCorddry) is a young attorney who ran into Harry one day- Literally He decided to join Harry’s staff, without Harry’s blessing. He refuses to leave, wanting to practice with Harry- driven probably by the lure of danger of practicing in the ‘hood’, and an elevated sense of idealism.
Malcolm Daviess (Aml Ameen) is a young man who is serving as Harry’s paralegal, after he fell on Harry- trying to commit suicide.
I am prepared to admit this is a formula show. I am prepared to accept that it is predictable. I am also prepared to admit that Christopher McDonald as Thomas ‘ Tommy’ Jefferson is a gold plated, arrogant pain in the ass. I willingly accept that it is rote, it’s been done before- (think Magnum as portly 60- something female attorney;) and the plot reaches for credibility sometimes.
I am a sucker for weird humor- tough old broads, semi-sappy plots, and a well written script. When Harry saw a rat just after moving into their ‘new’ office, she calmly shot it- without dropping a word in her sentence. It was almost slapstick in the presentation- and I loved it!
Harry’s Law is difficult to find because NBC keeps moving it around- this week it’s scheduled to be on Mondays at 10p. Fortunately, you can watch episodes online at NBC.com. It’s been a long time since NBC has had anything in their line up that was worth watching, but this is a pretty good place to start.
David Kelley is the producer, and he’s a bit of a squirrel. However I find myself falling into his trap every now and then. He has produced LA Law, Doogie Houser,MD, Chicago Hope, and Boston Legal, among others.
As I said before, I don’t watch MSTV but I find myself turning Harry’s Law on with regularity. The only defense I can offer is that several friends have confessed they are watching too!
So, load up and take aim- I’m ready for it!
- ‘Harry’s Law’ Review: An Imperfect Practice (buddytv.com)
- “Harry’s Law” is a crime against good television (reuters.com)
- TV: No defense for clichéd ‘Harry’s Law’ (boston.com)