Okay, I like David E. Kelley shows. “Boston Legal” was hilarious and I admired how he had them try cases way outside the realms of the legal system just so he could express his opinion on hot button topics. But a shoe store in a law office? That’s just stupid. Come on. Or maybe it’s a law office in a shoe store, but still.
Harriet Korn (Kathy Bates) is a burnt out patent lawyer. When a suicide jumper falls on her and then she gets hit by a car and lands on some mattresses in a moving truck, she decides to open a legal practice in the hood. The location she finds is a shoe store with a full inventory, and her assistant Jenna (Brittany Snow) wants to sell the shoes to finance their pro bono work.
Harry is a good character. I like Kathy Bates telling it like it is, tough talking back to a protection scam because she doesn’t need protection from them, they need her protection. Oh, she’s so rogue!
Her first case is Malcolm (Aml Ameen), the suicide jumper. He was going to kill himself because he’s on his third drug offense, so he’d go to jail and get kicked out of school. The prosecutor, Payton (Paul “Bad Guy Since The ‘80s” McCrane), keeps repeating himself two or three times. That’s Johnny Two Times from Goodfellas!
Harry also takes on an associate, Adam (Nate Corddry), the guy who hit her with his car. He represents Damien (Johnny Ray Gill), the protection scammer, after he shot someone in a Chinese laundry. Adam gets the gunshot victim’s blood on him and he’s told to get the victim’s blood tested. That’s an element of reality for hands on lawyers. It doesn’t go anywhere in this show.
Harry’s case argues the legalizing of drugs. The judge lets this go on until she basically says that what Malcolm’s on trial for shouldn’t even be a crime at all. At least on “Boston Legal,” Kelley worked his agenda into the format of a trial. This is just riffing on the vague subject of the case, drugs, when even the characters know it’s irrelevant.
Adam fast talks Damien’s plea hearing, which becomes Kelley’s rant on how society dismisses the poor. When the judge tries to get him to stick to the point of the hearing, he actually goes into, “You’re out of order, this whole court is out of order.” Maybe they’re getting all the legal clichés out of the way in the pilot.
Everything about this pilot was lazy. They actually play “Hit the Road Jack” when Harriet gets fired from the patent office. Really? The dialogue is weak. Harry calls something a “big bowl of steaming dog shut the door, Jenna.” Isn’t that clever, because you knew she was going to say shit? She actually does say asshole on NBC Prime Time.
Snow looks hot in leggy skirts, or wearing a maid apron. She makes Jenna seem sincere about the shoe thing, but the fact that they play the shoe store as serious and inspirational just makes it more ridiculous. If the rest of the show were good we could probably consider the shoe store a charming quirk, but the David E. Kelley magic is totally gone from “Harry’s Law.”