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Boston Legal Season 1-5 Complete Collection (2010)

William Shatner , James Spader  |  NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)

List Price: $169.98
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Boston Legal Season 1-5 Complete Collection + The Practice: The Final Season
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Product Details

  • Actors: William Shatner, James Spader, Candice Bergen
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: May 5, 2009
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0027CSMY0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,406 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Review of Season One
The classic combination of James Spader and William Shatner is just one of many reasons to savor the inaugural 17-episode season of Boston Legal. Making its highly rated ABC debut on October 3, 2004, this darkly comedic spinoff from The Practice looked like a formulaic reworking of creator David E. Kelley's previously successful series Ally McBeal, with similar plots and quirky characters enmeshed in personal and professional affairs of the heart at the prestigious Boston law firm of Crane, Poole & Schmidt. It quickly became apparent that Kelley, co-executive producer Bill D'Elia, and the show's magnificent ensemble cast were onto something equally fresh, funny, and infectiously entertaining.

Both Shatner and Spader won Emmys for their original roles on The Practice, and the priceless pairing of the erratic, egomaniacal senior partner Denny Crane (Shatner, doing the best work of his career) and ethically challenged attorney Alan Shore (Spader, likewise) signaled the arrival of one of the finest comedic duos in TV history. Waging a two-man war on political correctness, the boisterous has-been Denny loves the sound of his own name (the mere mention of "Denny Crane" qualifies as ego-stroking foreplay), unabashedly subjects female associates to his lascivious advances, and (in creator Kelley's words) "trades on the currency of his reputation" as an undefeated trial attorney. As the show's fascinating heart and soul, Alan Shore is a walking contradiction, and Spader plays him perfectly as a charismatic, self-loathing lothario who'll bend the law to suit his higher purposes. Deeply cynical yet fiercely committed to his own complex and compassionate moral code, he's brazenly open about his sexual appetites as he savors the affections of smart, sexy associates Sally Heep (Lake Bell), and Tara Wilson (Rhona Mitra), whose relationship with Shore grows strained as the season progresses.

While senior partner Paul Lewiston (Rene Auberjonois), senior associate and ex-Marine Brad Chase (Mark Valley), and junior associate Lori Colson (Monica Potter) struggle to maintain the firm's lofty reputation, the appearance of founding partner Shirley Schmidt (Candice Bergen) elevates Boston Legal to an even higher plane of serio-comic perfection. A former flame of Denny Crane's, Schmidt arrives in episode 11 (appropriately titled "Schmidt Happens") as common-sense negotiator with a rapier wit and a clanking pair of big brass cojones, fully capable of holding her own against the Crane/Shore juggernaut. And while "An Eye for an Eye" (episode 5) is a sublime example of Boston Legal's deft combination of lunacy and courtroom complexity, it's the deeper implications of episodes like "Tortured Souls" (15) and season finale "Death Be Not Proud" (tackling a dubious death sentence in Texas) that cast these rich and wonderful characters into sharper relief, baring their souls and the courage of their convictions.

With surprising departures (Lake Bell, in episode 13), new arrivals (Kerry Washington, as new associate Chelina Hall, in episode 15) and stellar guest stars including Larry Miller (as the eccentrically unstable founding partner Edwin Poole), Philip Baker Hall, Frances Fisher, Carl Reiner, Freddie Prinze Jr., Shelley Long, and late-season regular Betty White, Boston Legal gained a large and loyal following with exceptional writing, timely social relevance, and that rare quality of chemistry that guarantees long-term appeal. Nowhere is this more apparent than the now-famous Spader/Shatner "balcony scenes" that quickly became an episode-closing tradition, with staunch Republican Denny Crane and passionate Democrat Alan Shore reflecting upon their careers, current issues, and their own devoted friendship over brandy and cigars. With these two actors together, virtually every episode ends on a high note of pensive introspection, and Boston Legal becomes even greater than the sum of its parts. DVD extras are minimal (two featurettes with cast and producers, plus deleted scenes from episode 1) but enjoyably worthwhile. --Jeff Shannon

Review of Season Two

Impressive in quality and quantity, the 27 episodes of Boston Legal's second season (2005-06) are a dazzling showcase for one of TV's greatest ensembles. Everything that made season 1 so entertaining is refined here, often to the point of perfection: As the resident bad boys of the prestigious Boston legal firm of Crane, Poole & Schmidt, senior partner Denny Crane (William Shatner) and maverick attorney Alan Shore (James Spader) continue their campaign of rampant indiscretion, combining unabashed sexism and political incorrectness with Denny's egotistical fat-cat sense of entitlement (and a touch of "Mad Cow") and Alan's passion for justice and courtroom theatrics. The departure of his girlfriend Tara (season 1's Rhona Mitra) has left Alan pensively lonely, so his male-bonding with Denny becomes the series' emotional core, even as it reaches new heights of hilarity in episodes like "Finding Nimmo," an instant classic in which Denny introduces Alan to the pleasures of fly-fishing. Back at the office, semi-regular cast member Betty White turns from murder to robbery, only to find herself redeemed as the new "sandwich lady" at C, P & S. And while senior partner Paul Lewiston (Rene Auberjonois) juggles the firm's ethical dilemmas and a rocky reunion with his drug-addicted daughter (superbly played by Jayne Brook), founding partner Shirley Schmidt (Candice Bergen) dodges advances from her soon-to-be-remarried ex-husband (Tom Selleck) while suspecting Denny's soon-to-be-sixth-wife (Joanna Cassidy) of high-stakes gold-digging. In the midst of it all, Denise (Julie Bowen) faces threatening competition from a new attorney (Parker Posey) and elusive love with a dying billionaire (Michael J. Fox) while playing "friends with benefits" with colleague Brad (Mark Valley), who's only too willing to indulge their arrangement.

Expanded roles for Bowen and Valley are just two of this season's welcome improvements; along with Bergen and Auberjonois, they add engaging counterbalance to the Spader/Shatner juggernaut, while newcomers Justin Mentell and Ryan Michelle Bathe (as legal assistants) add youthful appeal in roles that necessarily remained marginal for most of the season. As always, series creator David E. Kelley (aided by a new writing staff) maintains a constant flow of outrageous behavior (most of it Denny's) and compelling courtroom trials based on hot-button issues including assisted suicide, the war in Iraq, private school discrimination, medical malpractice, tax evasion and a variety of other cases in which belligerent judges (played by Henry Gibson, Anthony Heald, Howard Hesseman, Shelley Berman, and others) play antagonistic foils to Alan Shore's impassioned defense. (It's here where Spader excels; Shore may be a lascivious lothario, but you offend his moral conscience at your peril.) A stellar array of guest stars, impeccable editing and cinematography, and glossy office production design make Boston Legal a constant feast for the eyes and ears, with breezy emphasis on the farcical goings-on at Crane, Poole & Schmidt. (The series' writing and production values are explored in brief but enjoyable bonus featurettes included on the final DVD in this seven-disc set.)

With Denny and Alan's season-ending visit to Los Angeles (where they defend a sexy celebrity played by Star Trek: Voyager's Jeri Ryan), it's delightfully obvious that Shatner and Spader are the heart and soul of Boston Legal, which is ultimately about the mutual affection of two men whose viewpoints are often as polarized as their friendship is compassionately co-dependent. Bolstered by clever allusions to Shatner's Star Trek legacy and throwaway references to their own status as characters in a TV show (as Kelley and his writers deliberately demolish the "fourth wall" of TV for comedic effect), Spader and Shatner quickly turned their episode-closing balcony scenes into an honorable tradition, where differences dissolve in the taste of fine scotch and slowly-savored cigars. They're bringing us the finest "dramedy" that primetime network television has to offer, and we'll gladly follow them as their crazy lives continue. --Jeff Shannon

Review of Season Three

In year 3, Boston Legal continues to toggle with ease between comedy and pathos. The season begins on a bittersweet note as Denise (Julie Bowen) gets engaged to the terminally ill Daniel (Michael J. Fox), who disappears to try an experimental treatment. Enter two new litigators, smart-talking associate Claire Sims (Constance Zimmer) and cocky partner Jeffrey Coho (Craig Bierko). Once Daniel exits the picture, Jeffrey and Brad (Mark Valley) compete for Denise's affections. The firm soon welcomes a third new face: legal secretary Clarence (Gary Anthony Williams)--also known as Clarice, Clavant, and Oprah.

As before, cases vary from minor to major. Story arcs include the murder of a judge's wife (with Ashton Holmes as the suspect and Katey Sagal as his mother) and an outrageous peeping tom (David Dean Bottrell) with a jones for Shirley (Candice Bergen). Denny Crane (William Shatner), meanwhile, finds love with diminutive attorney Bethany (Meredith Eaton-Gilden)--and her mother, Bella (Delta Burke). And Alan (James Spader, who scored a second Emmy to add to the one he received for The Practice) helps former co-worker Jerry "Hands" Espenson (Christian Clemenson) out of a few jams. By the end of the season, Jeffrey is gone, while Jerry returns to Crane, Poole & Schmidt.

Throughout the year, the firm tackles a variety of timely issues, ranging from religious freedom to immigration law. Reporter Gracie Jane (Jill Brennan), a Nancy Grace doppelgänger, also comes in for some ribbing. Aside from recurring characters, like Jane Lynch (as a sexual surrogate), the third season counts a few actors behind the camera, such as Eric Stoltz ("Dumping Bella") and Adam Arkin ("Nuts"), from David E. Kelley's Chicago Hope. The featurette Character Witness looks at the year's most colorful characters--turns out Spader and Clemenson are old friends--and Out of Order looks at the judges, notably Gail O'Grady, Howard Hesseman, and Shelley Berman. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Review of Season Four

As in Munchkinland, people seem to come and go so quickly at the law firm of Crane, Poole & Schmidt. Out the door as Season Four begins are cast members Mark Valley, Julie Bowen, Rene Auberjonois, and Constance Zimmer (a tough loss). But the more things change the more they stay the same. Introduced to sweet, pretty and capable new lawyer Katie Lloyd (Tara Summers), it takes Alan Shore (James Spader) all of one second to come on to her. It takes Denny Crane (William Shatner) five. The most stellar addition to the firm is Night Court Emmy-winner John Larroquette as Carl Sack from the New York office. He has come not to shake things up so much as to tone them down, and "wring out some of the madness." "We are in the business of law," he pronounces. "A law firm has to be discreet, conservative." Good luck with that, Carl, especially when one of the lawyers keeps popping up on YouTube dressed as his female alter-ego, and the senior partner is one minute arrested for soliciting a prostitute, and the next caught in his own Larry Craig bathroom incident, and the next courting a discrimination suit after firing a female associate for being overweight. That, of course, would be addled loose cannon Denny Crane, who seems to be more of a distraction this season, but who rises to the occasion in an excellent episode in which he and Alan find themselves on opposite sides in the case of a Massachusetts town that wants to secede from the United States. "Every time someone counts me out of the game, I surprise them," he tells Carl. Boston Legal is nothing if not surprising, as witness the story arc involving a woman (former Saturday Night Live ensemble member Mary Gross) with Aspergers whose budding romance with Jerry Espenson (Christian Clemenson) is threatened by her romantic love for inanimate objects (the condition exists; look it up). Another new addition to the firm, Lorraine (Saffron Burrows), herself an object of Alan's obsession, reveals explosive secrets from her past. But more compelling is the dramatic case of a woman (guest star Mare Winningham) who efficiently plots the murder of her daughter's killer, but wants Alan to plead temporary insanity. Spader, a three-time Emmy-winner as Alan, is at his best when he is on his (and series creator David Kelley's) "soapbox" ("Don't you get tired going on and on like that?" Denny affectionately chides him). His verbal smackdown of the United States Supreme Court justices in the episode, "The Court Supreme," is one of the season's most memorable moments. Carl Sack may not succeed in making Crane, Pool & Schmidt "a normal law firm," but as one is heard to remark, "It's not everyday you encounter compelling characters, is it?" --Donald Liebenson

Product Description

Season One
Led by an Emmy Award-winning cast (James Spader, Denny Crane and Candice Bergen), "Boston Legal" tells the professional and personal stories of a group of brilliant but often emotionally challenged attorneys. Fast-paced and darkly comedic, the series confronts social and moral issues, while its characters continually stretch the boundaries of the law.

Season Two
Created by television mastermind David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal, The Practice, Picket Fences) and featuring an Emmy Award-winning cast including William Shatner, Candice Bergen, and James Spader, Season Two of Boston Legal is socially relevant, wickedly funny, and infectiously fresh...It's an open and shut case!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So glad to have complete series!!!! May 16, 2009
By TC
Format:DVD
I was so sad to see Boston Legal end its series. However, I am very grateful to be able to own this whole set. This is the only TV series that I own or desire to own. The writing was well done. The topics were thought provoking. And it kept up with current events. In some ways this reflects the history of issues in our country during the period in which it was filmed. And what a better way to preserve history--through crazy, thought provoking humor. My favorite show was the last episode but I can't think of an episode I didn't like. For me, this series even made me sometimes view the world differently, even if i wasn't aware of it at the time. Just a couple of days ago, I was in a store where a man had a "tick" and made some kind of funny noise. I just turned to my friend and said, "he squeeks". It seems like a simple thing, but before I would have been uncomfortable or even made a joke at the persons expense. i guess some people might think that comment is a joke--but if they knew this series they would know it was much more of an acceptance and statement of fact.

One other thing that I love about this series is that it doesn't seem to matter which side of an issue you are on or what your political affiliation is. Or at least in my family. I have a sister who is polar opposite of me when it comes to politics--but we both loved this show. I think when a show can do that, it is magical because more people are able to listen to both sides of an issue when it is presented in a fun way.

If you loved this series, you will of course love this DVD set. If you haven't seen this series, I would urge you to at least rent a few of the DVD's and then if you fall in love with it, buy them.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great to see William Shatner in his perfect role! July 12, 2009
Format:DVD
I agree with everything Tami said in her great review, but wanted to add a few things I really like about this series. First, for me, the best part of this show is the great relationship between Denny Crane and Alan Shore. It captures for me what I value in my own favorite friendships, and constantly reminds me how much I value my own friends. Boston Legal does a better job of illuminating this friendship dynamic than any show I can think of. Second, as a kid who grew up watching the original Star Trek, I have generally been disappointed with most of what Shatner has done since....until this series came out! This is the perfect role for Shatner, and as a life-long fan it is a real joy to see how well he does with this role. To me this show is about friendship and the potential joy of everyday life, and for me Shatner and James Spader are the ideal actors for the roles, and both deserve the credit for making this show what it is.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much fun! June 29, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The series is wickedly funny--from the first episode--and better with no commercials. Buy the series if you like the show. It's like having the four pound box of chocolates; you can't stop at one episode! The ties tell a story as much as do the characters.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Boston Legal was a family favorite and I collected the full set when it was playing on TV. My grandson is now in the army and whenever he is home on leave and comes to visit me he always wants to watch it. He will be leaving to go back to base this weekend and is so happy to be able to take the full series back with him. It was the perfect gift which made my Christmas as well. I would certainly feel good about recommending your company to friends and family.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Boston Legal January 24, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I love Boston Legal but I've never seen all episodes. Now I can watch them one by one. The only problem I've had so far is that one DVD has a problem with freeze spots.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love It or Hate It, It's Brilliant May 3, 2013
Format:DVD
First of all, it's great to have the entire show in one box, because so much of the action
is based on the continuity of the relationships in the law firm. In particular, one should
follow the development of the friendship between the characters played by
James Spader and William Shatner, one of the unique ones in television history. But there
is a lot of action in the development of the lawyer with Asperger's Syndrome; he may drive
you crazy with his idiotic gestures and noises, but his journey is really quite touching.
Betty White's subplot--she's a serial murderess; and that's not a spoiler, because the show
is quite open about it from the start--is also interesting, though it's played for comedy.
There is a lot of sociopolitical material here, a lot of it extremely edgy. Most of it is
leftist-driven, but at one point a gay organization tries to stop two men from marrying
because their reasons "aren't good enough"--a shocking reversal of what one might expect
on the subject of marriage equality. Still, the show is very briskly paced and the scripts
are extremely smart, because so many of the characters are top-notch lawyers who can win
even difficult cases. There's even a lovable touch of meta-TV, in that Spader and Shatner
occasionally make references to the fact that they're characters on a network series.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two Words December 30, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is perhaps one of them most thought provoking, enjoyable character studies in the history of television. In an age where broadcast companies continue to dumb down their programming, it is both refreshing that a show defied it, and sad that it was canceled with only 5 seasons when it had so much more potential. Yet with all of this, their are only two words that can describe the hours that I spent watching, loving, and being wrapped up in the lives of intriguing characters and cases. Those words are spelled simply.

Denny Crane.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Denny Crane.
This is the part that William Shatner was born to play. He did great as Capt. Kirk, but when he stepped into this role of Denny Crane, he blew Capt. Kirk out of the sky. Read more
Published 5 days ago by DAVID
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't get enough William Shatner and James Spader!
After seeing James Spader on The Black List, I needed to see more of Mr. Spader. I missed Boston Legal when it was originally broadcast, so I thought that would be a perfect... Read more
Published 7 days ago by A. Goodman
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Legal Show
I was so sad when this series ended, and I am so happy to have the whole thing to enjoy again. No one is asgoodas William Shatner.
Published 8 days ago by Cornelia Gamble
3.0 out of 5 stars Weird
a few of the DVD,s will not play in my blue ray player, makes me wonder where they are copied from....
Published 14 days ago by Patricia
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Show
So far great. I really hate the way Amazon has a demand on how many I should use to review a product - What a bunch of horse pucky!!!
Published 19 days ago by Gary Arden Sellick
5.0 out of 5 stars Boston Legal
This is one of the best series ever - the writing is fantastic and the cast -- well -- what can I say? James Spader, William Schatner & Candice Bergman. Awesome. Read more
Published 22 days ago by kai
5.0 out of 5 stars Boston Legal Complete Collection
I love this show and have watched most of it again. I have enjoyed it more the second time than the first. One can laugh cry and get made sin each hour of this show.
Published 26 days ago by Miriam Matthews
5.0 out of 5 stars Boston Legal
This is 5 seasons....It is very good and funny and touching and serious....James Spader is excellent and Betty white Is funny. thanks
Published 27 days ago by Angela Magnano
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series.
I have always loved this series. Its great to see the characters and topics grow. Love the cast as well
Published 28 days ago by C. Lombardo
5.0 out of 5 stars Boston Legal
We had watched all five seasons of Boston Legal via Netflix. That is one of the most hilarious series ever. Read more
Published 28 days ago by KAT
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Does this serie have spanish subtitles?
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