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<I>Harry’s Law</I>: Less <I>Practice</I>, More Dancing Babies

This show is terrible. It falls peril to all of the worst of David E. Kelley's bad habits, with oddly quirky characters and really bizarre happenings. However, I think it might be my new guilty pleasure. It's so embarrassingly awful for all parties involved that I can't help but stare at this trainwreck as it unfolds. Where else are you going to see a badly CGI'd Kathy Bates flying through the air after getting hit by a car? Nowhere. And frankly, while Ally McBeal was a really godawful series, this one has the capacity to be at least as bad, if not worse in some ways, and that's something that I'll regret not watching years from now.

The titular Harry (proper name Harriet Korn), is Kathy Bates. She's a bored patent lawyer who wiles the days away watching Bugs Bunny cartoons and just randomly attacking anyone in her path. See, she hates people, just like House. She gets fired from her day job and wanders through a less than favorable part of town, when a young man lands on the top of her head. He was trying to commit suicide, and was unsuccessful. After being released from the hospital she's out walking through the same unfavorable part of town, which looks about as dangerous as Sesame Street, and gets hit by a man driving an expensive car. Cue Bates flying through the air... which is naturally shown in slow motion replay at every available opportunity. She survives without any major injuries, because she landed on a mattress and this inspired her to rent a storefront and set up some local lawyering business.

In the course of what seems like the same day, her peppy assistant Jenna (Brittany Snow) arrives at the new office, and decides to work there (despite the fact that there is no income and/or salary) and makes a side business of selling the expensive shoes that were left behind by the former tenant. Now, why actual Prada and Louboutin shoes were being sold in a neighborhood that is supposedly filled with homeless people and hookers (according to the show) beats me, but I guess it makes sense that they went out of business. She's also visited by the guy who ran her down with his car. Adam (Nathan Corddry) is a fellow patent lawyer who admired Harry's way of solving cases and wants to work with her for two weeks while he's on vacation from his real job. And in the same day a kind young fellow named Damien comes in and offers to protect her business from some of the unseemly types in the area. Harry pulls out a handgun and threatens to use her PI contacts to go after his family, but they strike an unlikely deal.

In the meantime, on this seemingly same very busy day, the suicidal kid needs her help in court because he bought drugs from an undercover agent. Harry helps him and goes head to head against the legal prowess of Paul McCrane, an attorney who has a habit of saying everything twice. Such a typical David E. Kelley tick. She uses all the over-the-top tactics she can think of and gets the kid off (shocker) and Adam helps out Damien, and they all live happily ever after in a dysfunctional little unit running the practice known as Harriet's Law and Fine Shoes. Yes, really.

This show is even more condescending and preachy with its moral high standards that it makes Private Practice look practically wishy-washy in its high-standards of only caring for patients if they agree with their decisions. Wait until you watch episode 2, where they have to defend China's practice of only allowing people one child. And defend an elderly bank robber. And Jordana Spiro comes in with brown hair trying to make everything all about her. Just wait, because you ain't seen nothing yet. It's rather preposterous, really. And yet, I did at least laugh once in the episode (courtesy of Nathan Corddry) with the line, "I never had a mother. She died in childbirth with my older brother." If whoever wrote that could slip in some more bizarre non sequiturs throughout the course of the season, I'd appreciate it. Because I've got a problem ignoring law shows, even really bad ones, and I'm morbidly curious to see how it all turns out, so the occasional chuckle would be a nice reward for my continued viewership. But, dear reader, if you didn't watch, I suggest you ignore the existence of this show. I'll be tuning in, and on the off chance something notable happens, I'll let you know.

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