• Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 17, 2011
  • Season #: 1 , 2
Metascore
48

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 21
  2. Negative: 6 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jan 17, 2011
    75
    An improbably entertaining outing that initially finds Kathy Bates' character reclining at her office desk while smoking pot and bemoaning her fate.
  2. Reviewed by: Paige Wiser
    Jan 13, 2011
    75
    Kelley's trademark whimsy feels awfully forced at this point, and Bates comes across as stiff and depressed (although that could have to do with her injuries).
  3. Reviewed by: Ginia Bellafante
    Jan 17, 2011
    70
    Harry's Law is lighthearted sanctimony.
  4. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Jan 17, 2011
    70
    What the show lacks in originality it makes up for in crisp, politically tinged dialogue.
  5. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Jan 14, 2011
    70
    Kathy Bates is just the person to deliver David E. Kelley's tart dialogue, and he surrounds her with enough quirky characters to make this Cincinnati-set spiritual companion to "Boston Legal" a breezy diversion.
  6. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jan 14, 2011
    67
    Odd, but not off-putting.
  7. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Jan 17, 2011
    60
    For all its flaws, there's something attractively amiable about Harry's Law. A little more grit, a little less speechifying, and a better verdict might yet arrive.
  8. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Jan 17, 2011
    60
    Since we like scrappy underdogs, and Bates has the skill to slide from exasperation to amusement to determination, she just might coax this hybrid into the race.
  9. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Jan 18, 2011
    50
    When the balance is off, as it is too frequently in Harry's Law, it undermines credibility. Bates is almost capable of making us overlook some of the show's problems.
  10. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Jan 17, 2011
    50
    Bates, who remains a recurring guest on the network's "The Office," brings heart and intelligence to a role that is not nearly so well-defined on the page, proof that casting can elevate any vehicle.
  11. Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    Jan 17, 2011
    42
    The pilot's accumulation of cute - oh, for the straightforward simplicity of bowling alley lawyer "Ed" - feels overbearing long before Kelley's courtroom summation turns societal sermon.
  12. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Jan 17, 2011
    40
    Her character, a hard-drinking, pistol-packing liberal with a lot to say about how the legal system is stacked against the average guy, is as outsized a figure as you'd expect, but Bates manages to ground her in reality. But she's surrounded by thinner-than-thin supporting characters: loopy coworkers, arrogant legal adversaries and clients who are the kind of caricatures of Troubled Urban Street Youth that, I guess, are supposed to not be offensive as long as your legal drama is taking their side.
  13. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Jan 17, 2011
    40
    It's a lead performance that's completely at odds with the tone of the rest of the show, and one that makes all the other goofy things even more uncomfortable than usual.
  14. Reviewed by: Cynthia Fuchs
    Jan 17, 2011
    40
    The show seems aware of the questions raised by this narrative dynamic, but hasn't sorted out a way to do more than note them.
  15. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Jan 17, 2011
    40
    Fans who've stuck with Kelley ("L.A. Law," "Ally McBeal") as his series became more outlandish (and yet repetitive) might enjoy seeing Bates in those inevitable scenes where she sways the court with the power of the writer's convictions. But there's a disconnect between Kelley's whimsy and his rhetoric here that too often leaves the cranky Harriet looking merely foolish.
  16. Reviewed by: Aaron Barnhart
    Jan 20, 2011
    30
    Unfortunately, neither Bates nor Kelley seems to have any heart in this show. Picking up pretty much where he left off with "Boston Legal," Kelley turns the courtroom into Air America.
  17. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jan 18, 2011
    30
    It's all cheap, easy, predictable and not very clever.
  18. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Jan 17, 2011
    30
    The show's pea-brain sociology is eclipsed only by its Dadaesque conception of courtroom drama.
  19. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Jan 20, 2011
    25
    Kathy Bates' surly gravity can't prevail over the silliness of this new series. [24 Jan 2010, p.43]
  20. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Jan 17, 2011
    25
    A show that feels like it's multiple terrible shows in one. It's like he pitched four bad ideas to NBC, and the network decided to pour them all into one hour.
  21. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jan 17, 2011
    10
    David E. Kelley hits rock bottom in the derivative courtroom cartoon Harry's Law, which makes last fall's defunct and equally ridiculous Outlaw look as noble as The West Wing.
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 50 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 24
  2. Negative: 4 out of 24
  1. Feb 18, 2011
    8
    The pilot was charming, wonderful and full of great acting. Kathy Bates proves why she got that Oscar. The sadly not so much utilized ShoeThe pilot was charming, wonderful and full of great acting. Kathy Bates proves why she got that Oscar. The sadly not so much utilized Shoe Store subplot is funny as hell. Full Review »
  2. Apr 6, 2011
    10
    I read that NBC was disappointed that this show is watched by so many 50+ people, 'a market no advertisers want.'

    Now I know what is really
    I read that NBC was disappointed that this show is watched by so many 50+ people, 'a market no advertisers want.'

    Now I know what is really wrong with the American ecomony- Advertisers! Americans 50+ control 70% of the money in the US. Brand loyalty is no longer cemented at 18-35, but the Ad trade continues to think that age group is 'where it's at' ! Loyalty today is a price thing and if Walgreen's make a cheaper copy iof Dove soap, This 66 year old will try it, after using Dove for years.

    Harry's Law is wonderful- a great combo of humor and serious issues, and an eye-opener to 'inside the poor 'hoods' of a big city. Bravo to Kelley, and Brava to Bates.
    Full Review »
  3. Mar 25, 2011
    10
    I love this show. It has been a long time since I have so looked forward a show. I do hope that it will be renewed and very sad that thereI love this show. It has been a long time since I have so looked forward a show. I do hope that it will be renewed and very sad that there are only two more shows this season. Full Review »