Friday, February 17, 2006

Boston Legal rocks!

Can I just say that one of my favorite shows on TV these days is Boston Legal and I feel it incumbent upon myself to defend it from the NYT. Alessandra Stanley writes that David E. Kelley should drop the "liberal talk show" bit and work on his writing skills. If you've seen the show, you'll know that Allen Shore's "uninterrupted" rants are extremely eloquent and well written. I don't know much about entertainment criticism, so I'm not going to attempt to go toe to toe with Stanley in her realm of expertise, but in this case, I don't think her article is as much of as a critique as it is a hatchet job. Her problem with the show seems to be that she doesn't think a sitcom should have characters calling the credit card industry a "pack of Hyenas crunching on the bones of the poor" or cutting the fingers off priests who protect child molesters.

Too bad. If David E. Kelley thinks he's carrying the "torch" for liberal ideology in one of the only places where it still thrives, then so be it. Should he just write mindless babble for the "masses" instead, would that make Stanley happier? Now more than ever we need Allen Shore to let the insurance industry and the Pharmaceutical companies have it. Sitcoms have always been a way of getting the message out to the masses. Back in the 50's a lot of TV writers were forced to work behind phony names because they were black listed. They got their message out by hiding it in Sci-fi stories in the Twilight Zone or by cloaking it in Grandpa's cape in the Munsters. This idea that Allan Shore shouldn't be sacrificed on "the alter of politics" is nonsense.

And if she actually watched the show she might know that Denny Crane (played by William Shatner) has lost most of his mind to Alzheimer's, not mad cow. The mad cow thing is just his way of dealing with his fears of losing control. Alzheimer’s is going to effect millions of Americans in the coming decades and it’s a theme Kelley uses again and again. Is Alzheimer's a liberal issue now, too?

And one more thing: Stanley sort of misses the point that Crane the right winger and Shore the liberal are "soul mates;" there's a message in itself, we can all get along. Pretty radical stuff.


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