The Harry's Law season premiere ("Hosanna Roseanna") marked a triumphant return for the underdog show that many thought wouldn't make it back. If you're like me, you've been waiting months to hang out again with tough-as-nails Harriet Korn.
However... the show we enjoyed and rooted for back in April underwent several major unexplained changes since we last saw Harriet.First, there was the new office directly above Harry's shoe store/office. There was no elevator in their office before, so it was a little strange to see her walk in and press a button to be taken to her digs.
Before you say it could have been built, it’s not new; it's clearly as old as the building. But I'm willing to concede that they could have remodeled/expanded the shoe store office and absorbed an elevator from the rest of building, so I'll let this one go.
But I draw the line at the sheer number of no-name extras roaming around in the office when Harry came out on the second floor. There is no reason Harry would suddenly hire dozens of people she hasn't met. Harry said it best when she asked, "Who are all these people?" I want to know the same thing, Harry. How did you go from a struggling team of five to whatever the heck that was?
That’s when the biggest change landed and Tommy Jefferson walked out of his office. HIS OFFICE?!?
Why does Tommy have an office at Harry's? Oh, Tommy and Harry are sharing an office space, but not practices. Huh? Really? REALLY?!
Come on! I know Tommy was a fun recurring character last season, but he wouldn't have been my first choice to become a series regular. Actually, I'm not sure he would have even made my list at all.
At this point, either we have all been sucked into an alternate dimension or David E. Kelley has decided that for the sophomore season he would reshape the show into what he envisioned the show to be originally. I'm going with choice number two.
That being said, I have to give Mr. Kelley credit. He got all the really big shockers over in the first five minutes of the premiere. It was the TV equivalent of pulling off a band aid. With the unexplained changes out of the way, let’s look at the additions that were explained.
First, there was at least one new lawyer, Cassie Reynolds. I like her. Watching her break the rules to help Bennett get the painting of his daughter back reminded me of something Harry would do; she and Harry are going to get along very well.
Then there was Ollie Richard, played by Mark Valley. Having watch Valley on the first season of Fringe and then again on Human Target, I think he may be a hunky addition to the show. Where Adam has a tendency to go flying around the room like a sparrow looking for a window out, Ollie strikes me as the cool and collected type.
Then you have Jean Smart and Alfred Molina, set for multiple episodes as the Eric Sanders' case takes center stage. Did anyone know that Smart could play a despicable bitch so well? I wanted to slap her so many times my wife threatened to turn it into a drinking game.
She is going to make a very good adversary indeed. Of course, Molina is always amazing, so any screen time he gets is going to be golden. I swear I could just listen to him read a grocery list and I would be mesmerized by it.
As announced during the summer, Jenna and Malcolm aren't returning as series regulars. While sad, their story was awkward and clunky at the best of times, so I'm fine with them being gone; however, it appears that Jenna will be in the same episode arc that Smart and Molina are in as they are written out.
In the end, I’m not sure I saw the same magic in this episode that I did last year. However, if Kelley will be willing to avoid jumping on his soap box and beating us with a message about how bad the legal system is, I'm willing to give Harry’s Law 2.0 a chance.
Finally, I will leave you with a few random questions I had at the end of the episode:
- Who is Lisa Swartz (Tommy’s assistant) and where did she come from?
- What happened with Rachel and Adam?
- Has Harry used Vinnie before (did we see him)?
- Will Tommy be the same force of nature he was last season, or has he been relegated to comic relief?
- What did you think of this episode? Did the changes surprise or shock you as much as they did me?
Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.