Boston Legal : Season 1

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  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 3, 2004
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Boston Legal Image
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 27 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Led by an Emmy Award-winning cast, "Boston Legal" returns for its fifth and final season to tell the professional and personal stories of a group of brilliant but often emotionally challenged attorneys. Sometimes irreverent and funny, sometimes intense and moving, "Boston Legal" pridesLed by an Emmy Award-winning cast, "Boston Legal" returns for its fifth and final season to tell the professional and personal stories of a group of brilliant but often emotionally challenged attorneys. Sometimes irreverent and funny, sometimes intense and moving, "Boston Legal" prides itself on being at the forefront of issue-oriented television, often addressing issues that are underreported by the media. Fast-paced and wildly comedic, the series confronts social and moral issues, while its characters continually stretch the boundaries of the law.

    Back-to-back Emmy Award winners James Spader and William Shatner play Alan Shore and Denny Crane, unlikely kindred spirits among the brigade of high-priced litigators at Crane Poole & Schmidt. In addition, Shirley Schmidt (played by five-time Emmy winner Candice Bergen), a founding partner of the firm, continues to help bring order to the chaotic office. She keeps a vigilant eye on all, particularly on Denny Crane, with whom she shares a checkered past.

    Continuing to keep the office staff in tow is no-nonsense senior partner Carl Sack (Emmy Award winner John Larroquette), yet another ex-boyfriend of Shirley's, who has a newfound respect for the quirky team. Added to the mix are Jerry Espenson (Emmy Award winner Christian Clemenson), Shore's friend and fellow lawyer who suffers from Aspergers syndrome; and Katie Lloyd (Tara Summers), a young associate who is proving that she can run with the big dogs in the Boston offices. US Broadcast History
    Oct 2004 - Mar 2005, Sunday at 10:00 PM on ABC and CH (Canada)
    Sep 2005 - Apr 2008, Tuesday at 10:00 PM on ABC and CH (Canada)
    Apr 2008 - May 2008, Wednesday at 10:00 PM on ABC and E! (Canada)
    Sep 2008, Monday at 10:00 PM on ABC and E! (Canada)
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  • Genre(s): Drama
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. Boston Herald
    Reviewed by: Sarah Rodman
    Jul 23, 2013
    100
    Even if you weren't in the practice of watching ABC's 'The Practice,' you might find its spinoff, 'Boston Legal,' habit-forming. [3 Oct 2004]
  2. San Diego Union-Tribune
    Reviewed by: Robert P. Laurence
    Jul 23, 2013
    88
    As was "Ally," "Legal" is rated "Q" for quirky. Wacky characters abound, clients look askance at the goings-on, usually with good reason. One lawyer appears in coat, tie, shirt, and nothing else. [2 Oct 2004]
  3. Detroit Free Press
    Reviewed by: Mike Duffy
    Jul 23, 2013
    80
    [James Spader's] raffishly amoral Shore is the most enjoyable thing to happen to courtroom drama in years. [1 Oct 2004]
  4. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Jul 23, 2013
    70
    Oddly entertaining. ... If you're a fan of Spader's ability to make creepy characters watchable, if not likable, then this solid hour is worth your time. [2 Oct 2004]
  5. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jul 23, 2013
    70
    Provocative, hammy, absurd, and irresistible—so far. ... [But] Boston Legal would do well to limit the narrative hocus-pocus and concentrate on its strength—the chemistry between the two fine main actors.
  6. Reviewed by: Gillian Flynn
    Jun 17, 2013
    67
    If [James Spader's] Shore seems a bit off, the show's tone is even more so. ... Despite these weaknesses, there's hope.
  7. Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    Reviewed by: Melanie McFarland
    Jul 23, 2013
    30
    The most unfortunate victims of Kelley's sad attempt at recapturing the funky fun of his past and mixing in what gravitas he can scrounge up are two otherwise fine characters, Spader's impishly amoral Alan Shore and Shatner's extroverted nut case Denny Crane. [2 Oct 2004]

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. Jun 3, 2014
    10
    THE BEST SHOW AND ACTING I HAVE EVER WATCHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!If we look at the acting of James Spader as Alan Shore,itTHE BEST SHOW AND ACTING I HAVE EVER WATCHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!If we look at the acting of James Spader as Alan Shore,it was remarkable,truly impeccable, seeing that lovely ending i was forced to give it 10/10,on the other hand,Denny crane's character was interesting and it was well performed by William Shatner,the small characters like Jerry,Shirley,Katie and Carl also added the fun to the party,I LOVED IT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Expand
  2. Jun 4, 2012
    10
    One of the best shows of the last decade, David E. Kelly and his cast of characters deliver an amazing Emmy award winning performance. JamesOne of the best shows of the last decade, David E. Kelly and his cast of characters deliver an amazing Emmy award winning performance. James Spader and William Shatner play so well together, along with Candice Bergen and the other great characters. It was awful of ABC to cancel this show. A must watch for law show fans and a very informative (yet liberally biased) show that can be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys current issues. Expand
  3. Nov 26, 2010
    9
    A fun introduction to our lively cast of lawyers. There is something about the chemisty of the actors that really draws you in. A littleA fun introduction to our lively cast of lawyers. There is something about the chemisty of the actors that really draws you in. A little flighty, but always entertaining. A good watch, especially when you are in an ethical mood, Al Shore's speeches are pretty awesome. Expand
  4. Jul 24, 2015
    1
    This either delights or annoys. For me it annoyed. To be honest, I am not a lover of courtroom drama; however, as this was billed a darkThis either delights or annoys. For me it annoyed. To be honest, I am not a lover of courtroom drama; however, as this was billed a dark comedy and starred James Spader, I thought I'd give it a go. First the positive: both Spader and William Shatner are brilliant - they play their roles beautifully. Both have screen presence and fill their scenes with their charisma. Unfortunately, the characters they play so well are just too annoying. Spader plays a smarmy wisecracking know-it-all, gleefully gurning at all before him. Shatner playing a buffoon who we are constantly reminded never lost a court case - also a smarmy wisecracking know-it-all. Plot-wise let me again start with the positive: the ethical conundrums that unfold in the court cases and clients they take on, are inventive and cleverly thought-out. Unfortunately, it falls into the unbelievable far too often. The mistake the plot writers make is insisting the aforementioned pair never lose. So it becomes a tired cycle where the opponents change each week, but the result is the same - more smarmy self-satisfied back-slapping for the perennial victors Alan Shore (Spader) & Denny Crane (Shatner). What are they victorious in ? Whatever - court cases, office politics, personal disagreements, relationship issues. The result of this insistence on Omni-victory means the plot writers have to produce increasingly ridiculous twists to perpetuate it. Easily half of the cases Shore (Spader) is involved in, would never go in his favour; many of the stunts he pulls would never actually happen. Wholly against the will of the Judges he brings into the courtroom loud-mouthed political activists of dubious character, camera crews and even on occasion: Judges' own mothers! The result: the Judges crumble before the all-conquering one ! Hoorah ! --
    Sorry, no, no, no - that is rubbish television: annoying, grinning, wise-cracking, ever-triumphant characters, repeatedly annoying, grinning, wise-cracking, ever-triumphant rolling over and over again. I just couldn't take anymore of it !
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