Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Television Review: Harry's Law

Cast of Harry's Law (left to right): Brittany
Snow, Kathy Bates, Nate Corddry, Aml Ameen.
I’ve been a fan of Kathy Bates every since she broken James Caan’s ankles in Misery. So I’ve been looking forward to Harry’s Law for just that reason. I think she’d be perfect for a David E. Kelley series since he goes for that mix of quirky and dramatic.

So I went into Harry’s Law with high hopes, but were those hopes dashed? Before I answer that question, let me give you the premise of the show. Harriet “Harry” Korn is an accomplished patent attorney but not for long. As she leans back in her chair in her cluttered office, smoking a joint, a frustrated partner comes into her office and asks what’s happened to her. She replies that she’s bored and with that she’s fired.

Then we veer into quirky Kelley territory. While walking out of the office, she breaks the fall of a young man attempting suicide (Aml Ameen). Miraculously, she survives virtually injury free. Once again, Harry’s walking (through a rough neighborhood) when she sees a shoe store for rent. She’s so taken by it that she starts walking across the street toward it when she’s hit by a car. Of course, not just any car but the car of a young lawyer who idolizes her Adam Branch (played by Nate Corddry). Once again, she emerges unscathed.

She buys the shoe store and keeps the shoes. She also gets to keep her perky assistant Jenna (played by Brittany Snow). Soon, partly out of guilt and partly out of a desire to work with a legal legend, the lawyer who hit Harry takes a leave of absence to come work for her while she gets her new practice off the ground.

On the legal front, the suicide victim seeks her help on a drug charge and a neighborhood thug who offers his protection for Harry’s business soon find he needs her help as a client.

In promotional interviews, Bates has described the character of Harry Korn as a curmudgeon, a crabby older woman who speaks her mind. And Harriet Korn is that but you can tell that the woman is much more than that. She has layers and I can’t wait to see more of them in coming episodes.

My hopes were not dashed. However, while I enjoyed Harry’s Law, I am worried that it could take an Ally McBeal-esque turn and become too quirky for its own good.

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