Friday, February 23, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks #189: TMP Television Edition - Legal Dramas

Hello there and welcome to Thursday Movie Picks a weekly series where you share movie picks each Thursday. The rules are simple: based on the theme of the week pick three to five titles and tell us why you picked them. For further details and the schedule visit the series main page here.


This week's Thursday Movie Picks is TMP Television Edition - Legal Dramas


I used to watch a lot of legal dramas about 15 years ago...I suppose because there wasn't much else to watch and there were like 3 Law and Order shows on the air. Now not so much. Here are my favourites over the years.

A small unrelated TMP note: Going ahead with MBP (monthly book picks). Goes up first Monday of the month, if you're participating, with both Jan & Feb picks this March.

Ally McBeal (1997-2002)
So unlike any other legal series, this is just so quirky and funny. It's so memorable for so many things. Remember Ally's short skirts, the unisex bathroom, the dancing baby, the secretary's face bra, and just the overall madness of the office.

The Practice (1997-2004)
This was the other David E. Kelley legal series that was on air the same period...the more serious one. While I don't remember this as well as Ally Mcbeal, I remember liking it a lot.

Law & Order (1990-2010)
Its dual storytelling is one of the things that I like about Law and Order and the original Law and Order is the best at it and has a better cast as well I think. The first half of the show concentrates on the investigation of a crime by the police and the second is the legal side as we follow the district attorneys now presenting the criminal case in court. 

The Guardian (2001-2004)
Of my picks today, this is probably the one that is not as well known. I remember this being great and loving it a lot. Simon Baker plays corporate lawyer Nick Fallin who gets busted for drug use and is sentenced to community service as a child advocate for Legal Aid. Fallin has a sort of frosty emotionless manner which works for him when dealing with the corporate world but out of his depths with his new role.


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  1. I watched 3 of your 4 picks! I loved Ally McBeal and thought it was a fun show before it went off the rails the last 2 seasons. The baby is one nutty time and how skinny the women were on the show. The Practice almost took themselves way too seriously and needed to loosen up a bit. I loved the original Law & Order and my favourite was when Jerry Orbach was on the show. Law & Order is popular tis week

    1. Jerry Orbach is a lot of people's favorite on Law and Order. I like when he was paired off with Jesse L. Martin, they had good chemistry.

  2. We matched on Law and Order. This was a hard week for me.

  3. The only one I watched regularly of these four is Law & Order but I've seen episodes of all of them.

    Ally McBeal wasn't something I could watch often enough to get the rhythm of which I think was necessary for that show.

    The Practice just left me cold but I did like The Guardian quite a bit but in those pre-DVR days it was on the wrong night for me to catch all the time.

    Since the number of shows about lawyers is nearly limitless I did a small theme within the theme. We’re L.A. bound!

    Perry Mason (1957-1966)-Criminal attorney Perry Mason (Raymond Burr-in the role that took him from villain to hero) aided by his loyal, intuitive secretary Della Street (Barbara Hale) and investigator Paul Drake (William Hopper-son of famous gossip columnist Hedda) manages to save his client week after week with a last minute moment of revelation. Loaded with familiar faces including future stars like Robert Redford, Dick Clark, and in a guest shot when Burr was ill-Bette Davis. Based on the Erle Stanley Gardner series of novels.

    The Bold Ones: The Lawyers (1969-1972)-Venerated Los Angeles attorney Walter Nichols (Burl Ives) takes brother lawyers Brian & Neil Darrell (Joseph Campanella and James Farentino) into his firm and mentors them through their cases and lives. Part of an alternating series of dramas all under the umbrella title (The New Doctors, The Protectors, The Senator were the others) shown on rotating weeks. Again loaded with rising stars, Ellen Burstyn (just before The Exorcist), Martin Sheen, Richard Dreyfuss and Jack Klugman among others as guests.

    L.A. Law (1986-1994)-The trials and tribulations of the members of Los Angeles-based law firm McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney and Kuzak was a monster hit in its day. While it was highly glamourized rather than using the trials as a sort of mystery to be solved the series approach was more of one focusing on the nuts and bolts of the legal profession (torts, ethics, briefs etc.) at least in its initial seasons. It did however spend a great deal of time in the bedroom and actually created a huge buzz with a supposed sexual position called The Venus Butterfly that never failed to satisfy.

    1. I haven't seen any of your picks, they were before my time.

      It was the same with The Guardian for me, I liked it a lot but wasn't able to watch a couple of the episodes.

  4. We match Law & Order! I used to watch it all the time when I was a kid.


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