On the Return of Boston Legal

Last night Boston Legal entered its fourth season. And…?

It’s more of the same.

The cast is mostly different. There’s still Alan and Denny. There’s Shirley. And Jerry and Clarence. But Paul? Gone. Brad? Working for the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. Denise? Maternity leave. Claire? Gone.

In their places, we have Carl Sack, played by John Larroquette, as the new managing partner. We have a new associate, Katie Lloyd, played by British actress Tara Summers. (Summers reminds me a great deal of Jessica Capshaw, from the final two seasons of The Practice. Similar faces, similar approach to their characters. Just an observation.)

And we have the same sorts of cases. Denny runs afoul of the law. The firm takes on a major murder case. There’s some office hijinks. Alan has sex with opposing counsel in the courthouse elevator. Alan makes an impassioned closing argument trumpeting the rights of the individual over the moneyed and corporate interests.

The episode wasn’t as funny as years past. Yes, there were some humorous moments — like when Jerry head-butts the new managing partner because he misinterpreted a joke — but beyond that, it was a generally serious affair. And frankly, it dragged in places. It’s as if the rhythm weren’t quite there.

Still, it’s nice to have Crane, Poole, and Schmidt back for another season of legal goofiness. :)

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