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Boston Legal - Season One

271 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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.

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.

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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

Special Features

  • "Court Is Now In Session: How Boston Legal Came To Be" featurette
  • "An Unlikely Pair: Alan Shore and Denny Crane" featurette
  • Deleted scenes from pilot episode with introduction

Product Details

  • Actors: William Shatner, James Spader, Candice Bergen, Mark Valley, Rene Auberjonois
  • Directors: Allison Liddi, Arlene Sanford, Bill D'Elia, Charles Haid, Daniel Attias
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: May 23, 2006
  • Run Time: 739 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (271 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,836 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Boston Legal - Season One" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

104 of 108 people found the following review helpful By The People's Judge on April 12, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've been a Judge for the past 12 years. Often when selecting a jury the attorneys will ask the jurors "who watches Boston Legal?" Attorneys laugh and say "well this is not TV this is reality." I want to jump off the bench and yell "so is much of Boston Legal", but I can't. Boston Legal is a real hoot. For any attoney who has worked in a large law firm you can see many of the same people you work with in the Boston Legal characters. Denny Crane is the man and I can assure you that many of his likes exist in the legal system. They are a royal pain to Judges. You either love them or dislike them. Great story lines and wonderful casting keeps this Judge smiling.
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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Some Guy on March 29, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This show gets better and better and better each week (each minute). And that's a frightening thought, since it started out so good in the first place. In each episode, they find a way to touch you intellectually and emotionally - culminating in the brilliant balcony epilogues with Denny and Alan. I'd love to see a feature on the dvd sets where you can play all of those balcony epilogues in a row. This show is a creative milestone and deserves to be rewarded as such. (and thank God somebody finally figured out how to write for Shatner. Denny Crane is his crowning achievement, the best work he's ever done -- and yet he makes it look so easy.) Buy the dvds, catch up, and then get in on this show now, before someone stupid cancels it.
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94 of 102 people found the following review helpful By operamaryc on April 7, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A Peabody award for 2nd season and rightly so!! I'm 65 and beside West Wing and Commander In Chief (both going off the air, I guess) this show is always a don't miss and if it's a repeat, watch it again. I often fall asleep before I can finish it due to the many commercial interruptions so I gave up and tape all the shows now and watch again with the fast forward button for those annoying commercials. GREAT SHOW!!! The entire cast is superb but Spader and Shatner are the stars just because of their chemistry and the GREAT WRITING!! Can't wait for the second season to come out on DVD as well! I don't buy TV shows, except for the British "Keeping Up Appearances" but this is a definite purchase!!! Can't wait to get it and watch the entire first season without interruption!!
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Jv3 on March 3, 2006
Format: DVD
Some TV shows over the last few years have reached great heights in drama, comparable to what's been achieved in the world's best literature. Boston Legal is the top of the current crop.

There's a competition going on between the big media companies to attract that group of people who used to enjoy the West Wing and the Sopranos. Boston Legal catches us with bringing political debate down to the individual level at which it plays. It brings a new type of drama especially in the relationship between Crane and Shore. The talent of its actor pool is of such quality that the script can rely on their non verbal skills to make the critical points. Despite their extravagance and eccentricity these are solid and very convincing human characters, they shine through their flaws so much more than through traditional polish perfection.

Boston Legal has set a whole new standard in television excellence. Whatever comes next has to exceed Boston Legal, has to take all this forward. We live in this absurd, dangerous and crazy world in which our fate in progress has been undermined, but not when it comes to literature, drama and art. If there's anyone left alive a thousand years from now they will sit down for a showing of Boston Legal and enjoy it as the Cicero and Vergil of our times.

Think I'm too "laud"? You might not have watched this show.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By geode2000 on February 13, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I absolutely love "Boston Legal" but I won't feel like I'm getting the whole story until the studio releases the final season of "The Practice." That's where James Spader originated the Alan Shore character and made it his own. Spader, William Shatner, & Betty White all were nominated for Emmys that year for the characters we've come to love on "Boston Legal." (Spader & Shatner won). Come on, studios! Give us the prelude to the greatest show on TV!!!!
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129 of 148 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Thompson on February 10, 2006
Format: DVD
Denny Crain. That's all that really needs to be said, but I'll add a few comments. Boston Legal is a show that everyone in my extended family just LOVES, from my 14 year old neice to my 88 year old father. It gets taped every week for those who had to miss an episode for one reason or another. The reason, I believe, is that BL talks about big ideas/issues of the day, but not with an obvious slant. Further, the show exhibits an offbeat sensibility which is refeshing and rare on network television. Finally, most of the characters (and the actors portaying them) have a lot of charm and an easy chemistry between them.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Clubb on February 12, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Finally, the 1st season of Boston Legal arrives on DVD! This is something that my co-workers, friends, family, and I have been looking forward to for quite awhile. Boston Legal is easily one of the best shows put together. The acting, writing, and visual production far exceeds 99% of anything else out there... current or past. The characters portrayed by James Spader and William Shatner are the best 1-2 combo around, and they are followed up by a tremendous supporting cast. I only hope more people will continue following the show so that more and more seasons are signed up for and produced!
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Subtitles. Do you know?
Hi, there. The three Seasons have Spanish subtitles.
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Music of Boston Legal
You probably mean Billy Valentine. Other info here:
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