16 October 2008

Boston Legal

I have been on a spate of online TV watching. Heroes, 30rock, Chuck. And now I've come to Boston Legal.

Let me start by saying this is not a show I ever thought I would watch before last week. If the only way available to watch BL was with commercials on TV (alt. univ. w/ no DVR), I'd just go without watching it at all.

Yes BL is absurd. Yes BL is funny. But it is also at least a little bit, about law. And that's where it runs into problems. You see, the juries in BL land are suckers for an emotional hook. I find myself sympathizing with the opponents of the Boston Legal team. The opposing arguments are often very compelling. In fact, if you were to decide the case based on the proceedings up to --but excluding-- the closing arguments, you'd think the show wanted you to go with the opposing side. The BL case is often not supported by the evidence!

But then the star BL lawyer saunters up to the jury and delivers an impassioned closing argument. I can't help but find the moment anti-climatic. It is clear that the audience is supposed to be swayed by this final twist, having appreciated the "human-side" or "spirit" of the law the BL lawyer has to remind the jury of (and us of). I'm sorry, but my verdict would be for the other guy in 4 out of the 4 episodes I've seen (season 5, episodes 1-4).