Monday, January 17, 2011
Previewing "Harry's Law": The shoe doesn't fit
The show, from the mind of David E. Kelley (he of the respected series "The Practice" and "Ally McBeal," as well as less respected shows like "Snoops" and "girls club"), focuses on Harriet "Harry" Korn (Kathy Bates), a successful patent attorney who wakes up one to discover that patent law is boring. She gets fired from her job and starts on new career as a criminal lawyer. Oh -- but first, she's knocked by a man attempting to jump off a building. Oh, and, once she recovers from that injury, she gets hit by a car while crossing the street. Oh, and, for her new law firm, she's picked the site of a former shoe store, from which the previous owner has apparently bolted without bothering to take any of the shoes.
This is a delight to Harry's assistant Jenna (Brittany Snow), who follows Harry to her new job not because of a commitment to the law, but because she'd really like a crack at selling all those shoes!
The problem is, "Harry's Law" offers little more than hijinks. The pilot's courtroom scenes make no attempt to even pretend to have any connection to how law is practiced. One minute, the judge is annoyed by Harry's tactics and, the next, he's allowing her to interrupt the opposing counsel's questioning with random observations about legalizing drugs.
And, though her office is supposed to be in a poor neighborhood in Cincinnati, it looks less like an actual ghetto and more like a soundstage. Truth be told, it resembles nothing so much as "Sesame Street" with hookers and drug addicts.
Despite the presence of the reliable, Oscar-winning Bates, "Harry's Law" is one of the more bizarre and wrong-headed shows to float across the screen in a while. I'm not entirely sure what Kelley was going for here, but his end result is a complete mess. That's too bad, because Bates does give a decent performance and Nate Cordry is amusing as a fellow patent lawyer who absconds for Harry's firm because...well, I'm not sure why he does that, exactly.
However, all their efforts are wasted. "Harry's Law" is like those shoes hanging around Harry's new office -- silly and unnecessary.