Harry's Law Review: Where's the Direction?

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Harry's Law made a valiant effort to start 2012 off right, but "Gorilla My Dreams" wasn't the best way to achieve that goal.

Between Harry and Tommy's attempt to legally qualify a gorilla as a person, and Cassie and Adam's fervent defense of a vigilante Wonder Woman avenging the domestically abused, it was hard to see through to the bigger picture of the episode.

I mean... I have yet to determine what that bigger picture was.

Erica Durance on Harry's Law

It's clear that consistency in the writers' room is a luxury that Harry's Law does not enjoy. From episode to episode it seems that different characters get emphasized and increasingly more random cases become focal points.

As an Ohioan, I can appreciate that David E. Kelley and company felt it necessary to flagrantly point out the states' rather poor handling of the exotic animal escape that made national headlines last fall, but to then connect that to this heavy storyline about personhood was too much.

I never saw the Planet of the Apes movie franchise, but I can imagine that this storyline was the highlights version of that series lacking some details.

There is also the issue of Harry and Tommy's sudden attachment to Wentworth. I didn't understand it, nor was it explained to me. Suddenly Harry and Tommy developed some kind of kinship with the gorilla?!? I expected Harry to give the girl a hard time about it, but that simply wasn't the case.

Then we go from an escaped gorilla to a severely traumatized former classmate of Adam's that exacts revenge on abusive husbands and boyfriends under the guise of Wonder Woman, a psychological response to her own horrible abuse by her former husband.

While the psychology lesson embedded in this episode was enlightening, it also felt overused and sincerely forced.

I am sure this episode will get a boost in the ratings simply because it featured the Smallville-faithful fan favorite, Erica Durance. She deserves an award for playing someone who is the complete opposite of the bubble-gum happy Lois Lane. It was pretty powerful and I wished she had gotten more screen time and more background.

This felt especially necessary to make the connection between Annie Bilson and Adam, which barely made its way into the episode.

There is a severe lack of foundation taking place in this season of Harry's Law. Everything appears out of the blue, from characters to relationships. It gets exhausting to try and keep it all straight.

Harry's Law is in desperate need of storytelling and depth. It sacrifices character depth for the depth of the case message. While I recognize the prerogative of the writers of this show to turn everything into a social issue, this show cannot and should not be expected to hold its own on this premises alone.

This series is more than capable of building deep and convincing character development while still achieving its social issues agenda in the courtroom.

I just wish they would pursue this course of action before this show becomes another NBC cancellation. It is dripping with potential. I am desperate for the show to own and capitalize on it!

What did you think of this week's episode? Sound off below!

Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
  • 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (105 Votes)

C. Charles is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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I loved this series when it started, it was so refreshing as Harry became the neighbourhood watch lawyer. There were characters from a less than priveleged homes who needed help and Harry was there. Adam was a perfect fit. As soon as the new series started it was as if series 1 never happened, all the characters except Adam disappeared. The show went "all white" with a bog standard law firm looking to make money. I thought gorilla episode was a joke. There are far too many lawyers and none of them now get enough exposure, Casey's character is just there for visual pleasing. Oliver started strong but then nothing else is happening for him and Adam's and Tommy's character seems to be disappearing altogether. The stories are still fun to watch but they have completely moved away from the roots of the show from series 1 which was honest and sincere. Having said that I still find the show entertaining, just lacking in real depth and direction.

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KB
KB, I agree with you. I have said for years that many animals are so much better than most humans could ever want to be. Personally, I got caught up in the emotion of Wentworth and it tore me up. Now, to the show. I love this show as many do. I understand many of the view points here but I am really happy that David E. Kelly has always had the guts to bring these cases out. He may be far left as I am not but I like the fact that he makes me think. I like that he brings things out that we all think are wrong and as this episode did, bring peoples awareness to subjects that are often neglected or even ignored. I am glad he came out with another law show. Anyone that was a Boston Legal fan, as I so was, will see the same. Some of the cases on these show may be ridiculous but many are real eye openers for a lot of people. As far as Wonder Woman goes, maybe men that beat and rape their wives or others would be less apt to do this if they knew that someone may show up and kick their face in. They deserve to have this done if they do it to others. I know we cant have vigilante justice going on but what ever happened to an "eye for and eye"???

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It looks to me like this series is moving in a different direct and it isn't ethical, moral nor inspiring. It's just the same old jaded, self serving pablum that most crime/law shows have. I was hooked on this series because the always stood for the right and the moral. Now it seems they are sliding into "the end justifies the means" mentality. Last week it was Harry's selfish revenge and this week Danny capitulated the temptation to take the easy road and not the moral high road. He was no better than the other sleazy lawyer. It is getting harder to tell the good guys from the bad guys. I had hoped this series would show lawyers in a better light. Shame, shame, shame-------

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I am so disappointed in the outcome of tonight's episode. I agree with Matt her behavior was despicable. I am disturbed to see her not repent and to seek revenge. I feel it was out of character. The end did not justify the means. I've loved this show because of her moral backbone. Slipping is human but not to repent? Not acceptable----wrong message. It is so hard to find shows that give a moral message. Harry has let me down. I'm done with her.

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I just saw this episode as a rerun and I am kicking myself for being duped again by David Kelly. Why can't I remember that everything is a platform for Kelly's left wing agenda? I am speaking of the gorilla storyline in which we are led to believe that a Presbyterian zoo (Did you EVER hear of a zoo being defined by a religion?) was totally heartless in keeping a gorilla in solitary confinement. All the plaintiff had to do was get the SPCA or any number of animal rights groups involved and the publicity would have improved the living conditions of this noble beast. The other issue I find equally galling is the unwillingness of Kelly to recognize the concept of personal property, ‘tho I'm sure he expects to be paid well for his work. If the young woman wanted to really help rescue the gorilla, she could have launched a fund drive to buy the gorilla and then send him to a nature preserve. What right did she have to just demand his removal from the original owner without recompense?

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I believe David Kelley is a genius at his craft. His series are always very well written and use fiction to touch on the issues of the day. I am always attracted to anything he does. However, I agree with other comments that Harry's move uptown was a mistake. It was the deteriorating neighborhood and the off-beat characters that made the series very attractive. That the series is very low in the ratings says something about the quality of today's TV viewers who obviously prefer reality shows to those that are more mentally challenging..

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This episode just aired in Australia. I've enjoyed Season 2 but I pretty much agree with the reviewer on this one - much of this episode lacked proper characterisation, especially in the gorilla plotline. And while David E. Kelley likes making points, they need to be made within a convincing story.
One of the biggest problems is that Harry didn't behave that much like Harry. For the sake of moving straight to sympathy for the gorilla within the time constraints, she became an utterly generic lawyer. Even Tommy barely retained his usual quirks. On the other hand, I'm not familiar with Erica Durance and she was easily one of the best things in the episode. The only other actor to really get anything out of this was the woman playing the prosecutor.

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I have just watched the first two episodes of season 2 and what a joke. Whhere are the actors who made the first season so special. Why fix something that is not broken? I wish they will eat the humble pie and bring back the old office and the guys.

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This episode missed the point in so many ways. The gorilla for instance. There are already many laws on the books for the protection of animals that they should have enlisted the aid of PETA and the ASPCA. Instead of trying to grant the gorilla personhood, they should have had the court compel the zoo to either provide a mate or transfer it to a facility with other gorillas. As for Wonder Woman, the type of mentality of a man who abuses his wife is not the type of person who will go into court, and admit under oath, that a woman kicked his butt so severely as to send him to the hospital.

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I enjoyed the show. The whole idea of a domesticated gorilla may be farfetched coming from a zoo, but not from a research institute. Additionally, there are mentally ill people who take on personas of super heroes. Tying in the escaped zoo animals with the intervention of lawyers and a alternative custody was quite grand. People taking on crime, while wearing super hero uniforms are "what's happening now." The show was interesting!