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L.A. Law

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A place to discuss particular episodes, arcs and moments from the show's run. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

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Having just watched the DVDs of Seasons 1-4, taking into account that Society and laws have changed, most of the cases hold up extremely well. Arnie's family practice cases, Michael and Victor's litigation, Grace's prosecution, Jonathan's race related cases (who can forget when a courtroom was destroyed after a case?) Douglas' often more amusing causes of action (representing 100 kids against a cereal company over a prize in the box, with Benny as named client!) and Leland stepping in as the big gun when needed. Their handling of religion, AIDS, women's issues, divorce as depicted 25 years ago, is still entertaining and thought-provoking.

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Michael was SO committed to his clients. My favorite was the Earl Williams case that spanned a number of episodes. The way he dealt with opposing counsel, Margaret Flannigan was brilliant. I was so happy to see Earl with his family that I think I actually cried. Michael had other memorable cases, but this was my favorite.

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Favorite Brackman quote: Brackman tells the departed attorney Chaney's travestite secretary "You don't even have the guts to be a normal homo!" This is immediately followed by him eating a knuckle sandwich, courtesy of said secretary.

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Michael was SO committed to his clients. My favorite was the Earl Williams case that spanned a number of episodes. The way he dealt with opposing counsel, Margaret Flannigan was brilliant. I was so happy to see Earl with his family that I think I actually cried. Michael had other memorable cases, but this was my favorite.

Rarely has complete emotional exhaustion been portrayed so well than in Michael's final summation before the judge (after Williams' conviction had been overturned and the case sent back to LA court), which featured Michael breaking out the N-word in characterizing Flannigan's prosecution of the African-American Williams. Kuzak looked like he just couldn't take it anymore.

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My memory is that her character was introduced after the two-hour pilot. So I was thinking, "Great show! Solid cast with no weak links, can't wait!" And then the following week "Oh... her."

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Didn't the actor who played Leland recently pass away?  I thought this character was wonderful: steady and sure, a calming influence when tempers flared.

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I liked her. Not my favorite character, but I did like her.

I liked her too. She and Harry had the most amazing chemistry, that I was devastated when Gracie and Micky broke up. Hey! I was a teenager still!

I hated her with Victor. Didn't see any chemistry with them.

I won't lie: I was ecstatic when Grace and Michael got back together in that reunion movie- where Grace was now the District Attorney.

I so wish some channel would start airing this show again!

The Bull Semen case will never NOT be funny!

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The first four seasons are my favorite. Five? Not do much and both Mike and Victor are gone at the end of the season.

I plan to get the DVDs - I think the first three are available. But until then, I'm gorging on the episodes on YouTube! They are the one aired on A&E, so the quality is really good.

Mike and Victor are my favorite characters, I just love them both so much!

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Just started a rewatch from the beginning. Haven't really watched since they originally aired. 

This show stands up to time better than most. A few overly talky scenes, but, overall it moves pretty fast and is still a good watch. 

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I liked her, too. I thought she use to get the short end of the stick storywise because she didn't work at the firm....until year 5 or 6.

One of my favorite episodes with Grace is the second time she went up against James Earl Jones. She was still steaming from the first time where he royally kicked her ass.  She basically clubbed him like a seal and ran over him for extra measure, even putting him on the stand to challenge his summation.  The judge called a mistrial.

I was also excited when she joined the firm after not liking being a judge. I knew it would be messy.

Edited by vb68
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I do feel it's oddly structured she wasn't part of the firm for so long. Harry got this home-life B plot that none of the other characters really did. 

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For me, I was just glad that Susan finally got a decent part. It didn't matter if the part or the show was any good. 

Quote

 

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Is it just me, or was there a lot of liberty taken with courtroom process, especially in season 1? I think a few times it seemed a witness went up for cross examination before being questioned on direct. 

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Finished season 6, the "reboot" season. Weird how they quickly bumped up a lot of cast members to "series regular" status (putting them in the opening credits, and, presumably, paying them a flat fee for the season instead of per-appearance) then went a few episodes without using them. Susan Bloom disappeared for two or three episodes, as did her underling Frank. Her whole thing just kind of fizzled... she comes in on a whirlwind, shakes up the firm, makes it into the opening credits of the show, then, just once it seems she's firmly in place, the writers can't think of anything to do with her anymore and she disappears.

It was also weird how they keep shoehorning in a DA side to things, instead of just focusing on Mackenzie Brackman exclusively. This time Zooey Clemmons replaces Grace Van Owen and we spend the entire season taking mid-episode breaks from the law firm to follow her cases around.

And one episode into season 7, and it's a re-reboot. Grace Van Owen, Susan Bloom, and Frank are gone for good it seems. And CJ Lamb, one of my favorites off the bench, is gone too (much for the shows positive attitude toward homosexuality for the era, it was still and odd gag to say she left to join the LPGA). A Martinez steps in, and Sheila Kelley, who had been series regular for most of season 6 as a secretary/aide (again, why the promotion? Did they really think they would use her in every episode that year?) is now a clerk to Anne as she continues law school.

Also, Sheila Kelley became a quarter-answer to an obscure trivia question: What husband & wife have co-starred with John Spencer in a major NBC drama? In addition to Michael Tucker & Jill Eikenberry (the Markowitz's), Sheila Kelley and her husband Richard Schiff (Toby Ziegler from The West Wing) make up the other duo. In another slight West Wing parallel, season 7 of LA Law starts with real-life events impacting the show (the LA riots are in the first episode, but this will carry forward into future episodes, unlike the non-continuity "Isaac and Ishmael" 9/11 episode of The West Wing).

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Done with the series, going to tackle the movie next.

A definite drop-off in quality, and the shuffling of characters for little rhyme or reason certainly didn't help the tail end of things.

However, I swear, I must have re-wound and re-watched this little bit from S08E10 about a dozen times. That musical joke was so unexpected... the woman was suing the guy for "sexual fraud"... letting her believe he was a cop because she had a thing for men in uniform, when he really wasn't. After he shows his heroic side, she agrees to drop the suit and agrees to another date with him. Then, those three chords, blended so well into the normal "LA Law" 'light theme' music, had me laughing uncontrollably. Completely out of left field and so brilliant. Loved it.

Also, Debi Mazar used to scare me as a kid. Still triggers that a little watching again now.

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(Gotta say, very slick how you linked to a particular second of the video! I didn't know that was doable, but I just looked up how it can be done and will undoubtedly use it myself in the future. Thanks for tipping me off!)

More to the point, thanks for pointing out that musical joke. I must have noticed it on first viewing all those years ago (I watched the series to the end), but it had completely left my memory and it was a kick to re-encounter.

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On March 22, 2016 at 11:57 AM, GHScorpiosRule said:

I so wish some channel would start airing this show again!

The Bull Semen case will never NOT be funny!

Me too! I wish they had released the entire series on DVD. I'm surprised one of the many rerun based channels (METV, Cozi TV, Antenna TV) hasn't started airing it yet. What I loved about the  Bull Semen case is that both lawyers and the judge acknowledged how funny and silly the case was in private, but in public they acted like this was a super serious regular case.

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I am almost sure the characters debated mandatory minimums at some point, but I can't remember which episode. It's also possible that I am confusing this series with another TV series from the same era. Was there ever an episode of L.A Law that dealt with this issue? Thanks to anyone who can help. 

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I am almost sure the characters debated mandatory minimums at some point, but I can't remember which episode. It's also possible that I am confusing this series with another TV series from the same era. Was there ever an episode of L.A Law that dealt with this issue? Thanks to anyone who can help.

I don't know if L.A. Law had such a debate between characters, but that same debate was a West Wing episode subject and the title of the episode too. And Leo, who happened to have been played by a former L.A. Law regular, was at the center of the debate.

A dedication ceremony for the Fox lot's newly renamed Bochco Building united a shitload of actors from L.A. Law, NYPD Blue and Doogie Howser. THR posted a photo of the ceremony but didn't bother to identify the Bochco alums in the caption. It's almost like that recent Marvel Cinematic Universe class photo, except it's Phases Three and Four of the Bochco Televisual Universe and it's all people from the Bochco shows I grew up watching.

From left to right, here's who the Bochco alums are:

1. Dennis Franz

2. Jimmy Smits

3. Mark-Paul Gosselaar

4. James McDaniel

5. Gordon Clapp

6. Corbin Bernsen

7. I don't know

8. I don't know

9. Debra Christofferson from NYPD Blue and Carnivale?

10. I don't know

11. I don't know

12. Michele Greene?

13. Jill Eikenberry

14. Michael Tucker

15. Belinda Montgomery

16. Susan Ruttan

17. James B. Sikking

18. Kim Delaney

19. Peter Onorati

20. Lawrence Pressman

Can somebody identify the ones I couldn't identify? 

If that's Michele Greene, then that makes L.A. Law the show with the most alum/guest star presence in the photo.

nypd-blue-and-la-law-alumni-at-the-steven-bochco-building-dedication-ceremony.jpg

Edited by MusubiMyHomie

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From other articles, #7 seems to be Fox executive Gary Newman, who acted as MC.

The most recent Mrs. Bochco, Dayna, was present, so she must be one of the women in the middle. His son Jesse was there too; would he be the youngest man, #11?

Also present were another Fox CEO, Dana Walden, producer/writers David Milch and Bill Clark. The latter pair actually leaves us with too many men to fit into the photo.

I'm slightly surprised by some who didn't show up who live in the LA area. Like Michael Warren, who doesn't seem to be unmanageably busy these days.

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Is there anyone here who can help me find a particular episode? Near the end of it, Douglas is trying to cut costs and points out that Leland bills the fewest hours by far and suggests that he doesn’t deserve a full share of the money the rest of the partners carve up. Everyone comes to his defense and explains how he saves them time on their cases and displays how invaluable he is. Does anyone know what episode that’s in or have any suggestions as to how I might find it?

Thanks!

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11 hours ago, HawaiiThad said:

Is there anyone here who can help me find a particular episode? Near the end of it, Douglas is trying to cut costs and points out that Leland bills the fewest hours by far and suggests that he doesn’t deserve a full share of the money the rest of the partners carve up. Everyone comes to his defense and explains how he saves them time on their cases and displays how invaluable he is. Does anyone know what episode that’s in or have any suggestions as to how I might find it?

Thanks!

I think you're looking for "Slum Enchanted Evening", which is listed as either number 6 or 7, depending on how you count. Here's the scene (about 33 minutes in):

 

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