**** Harry’s Law can be watched on NBC WCMH Channel 4 for Time Warner and Insight Communications customers . For HD channel versions, check your local cable or satellite provider for more information. ***
What a difference an off-season and a mild-retooling makes. No longer is shoes a big deal for Harry (Kathy Bates) and her firm, at least in terms of the show itself. David E. Kelly reformatted the show, and to what I say, is a great success. If you read my thoughts on the show previously (the premiere and the finale) I was far from kind to the show. Now one never, at least in my opinion, ever wants a show to fail, especially one with such a talented cast, but Harry’s Law had a dreadful season one. Nothing ‘clicked’ for me, besides the character of Josh Payton (Emmy Winner Paul McCrane) and what was even more frustrating was that the show could have an interesting premise. And I’m not sure if Kelly tried to make something work that was too ‘muddled’ by executive interference or what, but it didn’t gel. Not for this reviewer at least. And so, I left it. But, when I heard Kelly was retooling the show, I had to find out if Harry’s Law stood up to further scrutiny.
And I gotta say, I wasn’t pleased that I watched another hour of this show, but at the same time, I was intrigued. The cast seemed to ‘flow’ better, and they had some doozy set of guest stars, the great Jean Smart, Mark Valley and Alfred Molina. But this series can’t have it’s cake and eat it too, so naturally there are some smaller gripes.
Despite my love of the new look and style of the firm which is, Harry makes her money with the shoe store but then, upstairs, uses the second floor as the law firm itself, is quickly thrown at us and not really delved in to further. While any fan of a Kelly show is there for the cases, at the same time, the shift is so different, and so quick, it’s hard for us to get a sense of our surroundings. Personally I love the idea of keeping Jenna (Brittany Snow) around even as a guest star, running the shoe store, amongst other things, but it just seems to ‘sudden’ for me to really appreciate it. Also, considering you spent an entire season building her up as a character (granted, a horribly underwritten character despite Snow’s amazing talent) you’d figure they’d throw a bit more her way. But, it gives the show a chance to by-pass the ‘shoe store’ as the plot point that holds the show back. We just focus on the law firm portion and by pass Snow and the store by just cutting to whoever comes and goes from the elevator into the lawfirm-portion on the second floor, although I sincerely hope that they don’t continue to do that to ignore Jenna all around. I just felt that she could be and would be better utilized in the series, if they decided to keep the shore store around as a plot point.
Overall, the real thing that made me want to watch the show for a few more eps though was the major case of the episode, now apparently apart of a two to three part storyline, involving Molina as a guy who murdered his wife, and Smart as the attorney gunning for him. And let’s be clear here folks, if you saw some of the evidence? Yeah, you’d be wondering how Harry is gonna get this guy out. Or heck, even if he’s guilty. And Molina gives the gravitas to sell the role, which is refreshing. Personally, I’m more than beyond glad that Molina has opened himself up to television more along with movies, as he is one of the best character actors out there. And again, nothing is wrong with Smart, and the rest of the Harry’s Law cast too, especially the wonderful Nathan Corddry. So despite the efforts of the first season, Kelly has reshaped Harry’s Law into something I’ll be sure to stay tuned the next few episodes.
But what do YOU think, examiners?
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