Boston Legal Season 1, Episode 1: 'Head Cases' - Review

First off, I'd like to start with an honest statement - I was not an avid fan of The Practice, watching it only occasionally for its fantastic writing and formidable cast. But it was always too serious for me; too dramatic. I understand that was the nature of the show, and I can still appreciate it. That said, I fell in love with the new characters introduced in the final season - and I'll be the first to admit that The Practice ended with Season 7's finale. Then the show became Alan Shore's. If you were looking for a continuation of The Practice you've come to the wrong place.

OK, I'll start now. I just needed that to be said.

In an overexerted effort to distance itself from The Practice, Boston Legal employs deliriously fast camerawork, even faster delivery of lines, uptempo music and practically hyperactive characters. In some situtations it works; in others it can be harsh, or overly humorous. Depending on your personal inclinations, you may or may not like certain aspects of the new show's tone and mood. Hopefully, the crew will dial it down a bit to an acceptable level or I might have to concede and watch this show in slow motion just to make sure I don't miss any dialogue.

James Spader as Alan Shore, while still lovably unethical, is not featured as prominently as he was in the final season of The Practice, and, while he is still the undeniable center of the story, it allows for the supporting cast to come into their own and to find their niche in the plot. It would be easy to call his character 'different...not like he used to be.' But you have to examine his environment. Around Eugene Young and Ellenor Frutt, Alan Shore is a much different man, comparatively speaking. In a law firm where everyone is just as nutty, if not nuttier, than he is, he seems almost sane. (Did I just say that?)

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