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David T. Cole

The Practice

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This was the first role I ever saw Kelli Williams play, and it led to my watching Lie to Me (unfortunately cancelled way too soon...)

To me, the young woman, in her first job out of law school, was something of an ideal. She could be sweet and girl-next-door (as Pearson grumbled, "The jury thinks you're adorable!") but she could also be fierce in attaining whatever goal in sight (imagine taking on a huge tobacco company!) 

And of course, there was her relationship with Bobby! What a shock to find they'd been secretly involved for months, and then later when it came out in the open...honestly, I believe TPTB ruined them. They could have been a happy, strong couple, taking the legal world by storm. But instead, they fell apart with Lindsay's shooting and all kinds of contrived BS storylines.

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As a first generation American, and the first person in my own family to go to college, I could definitely see where Bobby was coming from. As Lindsay said, when she initially learned Bobby's father was a janitor, "This explains so much."

Handsome, intelligent and educated, Bobby had all the tools necessary for playing with the big dogs. Still, it's often hard to forget, deep down, those roots. It's easy to worry that it may all come crumbling down, in a way that the privileged never worry.

I LOVED Bobby and Lindsay as a couple, and firmly believe they had what it took to be strong and happy, a rare TV couple. But TPTB threw in too much fake BS drama and ripped them apart.

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I first got to know the actress from Ghost Whisperer, then went backward and watched The Practice because of her...

 

I loved how Ellenor was a mix of tough and soft. She could do whatever it took to get through, either in the courtroom or life in general. But she was also loyal to her friends and definitely sympathetic.

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I hated where they took Bobby and Lindsay's relationship! Presumably they broke them up after half the main actors didn't come back in the end, but seriously, why take a good thing and ruin it? Bobby and Lindsay were great for each other. They could be fierce, drive each other to succeed, but also very playful and supportive. They had a baby and essentially formed the family unit both seemed to crave so much. Why take that away??

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I always enjoyed the character overall - he was funny, and a lot smarter than people usually gave him credit for. However, you also had to feel bad for him a lot, because he was typically That Guy - the one who never got the girl (remember, he put himself right out there practically from Day 1 in regard to Lindsay, and she was pretty much like no way), never as effective as he wanted to be in court, etc.

 

As a person who deeply enjoys backstories, I would've loved to have known more about his and bobby's childhoods...

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See, I hated them together, because I always thought they were insufferable together.  I don't think they should've ever had them get married, even the episodes leading up to the wedding made them sound like horrible people to each other.  

 

I do wish they'd put this out on DVD, or at least continue to show the reruns somewhere.  I hated when FX finally stopped showing the episodes a few years back.

 

I also need to get this off my chest - I HATED Alan Shore.  Couldn't stand the character and hated that him coming around basically signaled the end for half the cast.  Actually, I disliked all the additions to the firm outside of the original core cast.

Edited by Princess Sparkle
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I think Kelli Williams got such the shit end of the stick with the role - the initial stabbing by George Vogelman was shocking, but they took it way to far with having basically the same thing happen to her again twice. And the more she got involved with Bobby, the whinier she got.  

Edited by Princess Sparkle
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Thought I'd start a topic for all the fabulous guest stars the show had over the years.  My all-time favorite will always be John Laroquette, since you can tell his just relished the role and the writers loved writing for him. But Michael Emmerson was also excellent and creeped me out for YEARS after his appearance on the show.  Alfre Woodard and Beah Richards were also excellent.

 

An under-rated favorite of mine is also Rider Strong - he played a character who's father murdered his mother and he was the only witness.  He gets scared of sending his father to jail, and changes his story to make it look like the murder was accidental.  Helen gets frustrated and charges him with felony murder.  Eleanor ends up being able to convince her she's being punitive because she's angry at the son for letting the dad get away with murder, so she ends up letting him plead to perjury. She and Eleanor are both sure the judge will be lenient since he's a kid trying to save his dad, but the judge ends up giving him the max (10 years).  Such a good episode.

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Holland Taylor also gave a great Emmy speech when she won for this show, opening it with "Overnight!"

 

Ellenor was a great character, but I must admit, when I hear of her, I think of Horatio Sanz in drag on Saturday Night Live during a Practice sketch when Dylan McDermott hosted!

 

I've forgotten so much about this show. I'd love to see it again, especially the first couple of seasons.

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First three seasons are on Hulu! Having so much fun watching them.

Me too. And i didn't realize it was only three until suddenly I was done. They must not be on DVD either. Amazon has only 1 and 2 and so does my library. If anyone finds more seasons, please let me know. 

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Hulu seems to be missing episodes 9 and 10 from season 3- I wonder why.  Those are the episodes where they're on trial for malpractice; I can't think there's any music issues (usually the reason some episodes are left off Hulu).  It's strange, because I like those two episodes - they're good ones for Jimmy.

 

As I'm rewatching it, I forgot how self-righteous Rebecca was.  I know it was because they planted her as the moral center of the team, but my god, there are times where I want to punch her in the face.  And once Lindsay hits season 3, she's not much better - I can't tell if that's the writing or the acting, but Lindsay went from being fine to insufferable, especially when they gave her that incredibly annoying tic of yelling "BITE ME" to people.

 

On the other hand, I forgot how much I liked Helen and Jimmy.  I forgot how much of a joke they tried to make Jimmy in the beginning, and I'm glad they finally shied away from that.

Edited by Princess Sparkle
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I like Helen and Jimmy too. I'm glad Jimmy made it into the last season (8)  (I got it from the library and am watching it now). I did usually enjoy the friendship between Helen and Lindsay. Helen had such a genuine sense of ethic. And I've always like Ellenor. 

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On 10/27/2015 at 6:56 PM, mbutterfly said:

Me too. And i didn't realize it was only three until suddenly I was done. They must not be on DVD either. Amazon has only 1 and 2 and so does my library. If anyone finds more seasons, please let me know. 

Replying VERY late:

The first season or two are on DVD together. My mom has it:

https://www.amazon.com/Practice-One-Dylan-McDermott/dp/B000O77SOK

ETA: You said that up there already. Never mind. :)

Edited by UYI

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Poor Jimmy.   Makes me wonder if his middle name was Job.  Speaking of Jimmy...there's a Jimmy centric episode I need help with.  Season 7, episode 19.  "Les is More."  His client, played by Andie MacDowell, threatens to kill CBS president Les Moonves on live TV in a statement on reality TV.  Does anyone have any screenshots of Andie tormenting Les?   Or better, video clips?  I would greatly appreciate it.

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Does anyone have screen captures of a Season 7 episode where Andie MacDowell has Les Moonves hostage?  My Trekkie friends and I have some issues we want to resolve....

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On 11/5/2015 at 3:07 PM, mbutterfly said:

I did usually enjoy the friendship between Helen and Lindsay.

Same here...but IRL I really doubt it would've survived having Bobby between them. People always SAY they won't let a guy ruin their friendship, but somehow it rarely, if ever, actually happens.

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On ‎5‎/‎6‎/‎2014 at 1:07 PM, SnarkySheep said:

I always enjoyed the character overall - he was funny, and a lot smarter than people usually gave him credit for. However, you also had to feel bad for him a lot, because he was typically That Guy - the one who never got the girl (remember, he put himself right out there practically from Day 1 in regard to Lindsay, and she was pretty much like no way), never as effective as he wanted to be in court, etc.

 

As a person who deeply enjoys backstories, I would've loved to have known more about his and bobby's childhoods...

Jimmy started out as a squish, not too swift, but by the end he's beating Helen who has everything on her side! When he walked out of court with that kid who accidently killed a woman dragged after a carjack, that was amazing! This was without a doubt one of my most favorite shows and it kept on going with "Boston Legal!" Loved Alan Shore and his secret compassion! ;-)

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Can anyone recall this character smiling- even ONCE?! One would think that with the birth of his son and his wife being freed from prison, that'd have done the trick but NO!

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Ms. Frutt was a brilliant lawyer, great orator but had absolutely the WORST bat sense and judgement calls re her supposed friends. I mean, I could imagine it happening that once or twice a friend might need her help and perhaps could be guilty of the crime accused. However; as the seasons wore on (before she became wallpaper with the rest of the cast for Alan Shore), it seemed she had an unending supply of 'friends' who needed someone to defend them and virtually every time it would turn out they were guilty and she'd do a 'how could you?' speech.  One would have thought after the 3rd or 4th time the firm got burned by these folks misusing her compassion, they'd have told her they were NOT going to go to bat for these folks and that her judgement was messed up.

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They had a riveting episode in which while she was unconscious, her Jehovah's Witness mother and Bobby engaged in several emergency court battles re to give her blood transfusions with EACH of them claiming to her know her  'real' beliefs and wishes. Well, she somehow woke up after all the dust settled- and never ONCE said what her actually beliefs and wishes were much less commented on her mother and boss having this fight over her.

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On ‎11‎/‎5‎/‎2015 at 9:28 AM, Princess Sparkle said:

Hulu seems to be missing episodes 9 and 10 from season 3- I wonder why.  Those are the episodes where they're on trial for malpractice; I can't think there's any music issues (usually the reason some episodes are left off Hulu).  It's strange, because I like those two episodes - they're good ones for Jimmy.

 

As I'm rewatching it, I forgot how self-righteous Rebecca was.  I know it was because they planted her as the moral center of the team, but my god, there are times where I want to punch her in the face.  And once Lindsay hits season 3, she's not much better - I can't tell if that's the writing or the acting, but Lindsay went from being fine to insufferable, especially when they gave her that incredibly annoying tic of yelling "BITE ME" to people.

 

On the other hand, I forgot how much I liked Helen and Jimmy.  I forgot how much of a joke they tried to make Jimmy in the beginning, and I'm glad they finally shied away from that.

What comes to mind was Rebecca in an episode backing a friend's right to a late term abortion, but the doctor delayed it until he was able to deliver the baby without consent in his office! Rebecca "read" him the riot act and was almost ready to go to the police even though the couple relented and took on the child emotionally! ;-)

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On ‎2‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 7:33 AM, Blergh said:

They had a riveting episode in which while she was unconscious, her Jehovah's Witness mother and Bobby engaged in several emergency court battles re to give her blood transfusions with EACH of them claiming to her know her  'real' beliefs and wishes. Well, she somehow woke up after all the dust settled- and never ONCE said what her actually beliefs and wishes were much less commented on her mother and boss having this fight over her.

That's how you remain fan and office favorite; keep your business to yourself! ;-)

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On ‎2‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 7:22 AM, Blergh said:

Can anyone recall this character smiling- even ONCE?! One would think that with the birth of his son and his wife being freed from prison, that'd have done the trick but NO!

OCO, you know Bobby smiled enough; esp. after the firm won a case! His biggest smile was reserved after his separation from Lindsey, left the firm in the hands of Eugene and Eleanor, and opened his own office! I think Eugene when to see him and Bobby was so happy; on the phone with a client and enjoying life! ;-)

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On ‎2‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 7:28 AM, Blergh said:

Ms. Frutt was a brilliant lawyer, great orator but had absolutely the WORST bat sense and judgement calls re her supposed friends. I mean, I could imagine it happening that once or twice a friend might need her help and perhaps could be guilty of the crime accused. However; as the seasons wore on (before she became wallpaper with the rest of the cast for Alan Shore), it seemed she had an unending supply of 'friends' who needed someone to defend them and virtually every time it would turn out they were guilty and she'd do a 'how could you?' speech.  One would have thought after the 3rd or 4th time the firm got burned by these folks misusing her compassion, they'd have told her they were NOT going to go to bat for these folks and that her judgement was messed up.

Eleanor was a great character, but could definitely be faulted for decisions made which would have gotten her disbarred! It just came to me that episode where she encourages a client to openly drink alcohol due to them driving drunk already; finding out later the person hit was Bobby! They did the same thing on an episode of "Judging Amy!" A shyster lawyer told his client to do the same; openly drink in front of the cops after an accident! ;-(

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On ‎5‎/‎30‎/‎2014 at 1:23 PM, Princess Sparkle said:

I think Kelli Williams got such the shit end of the stick with the role - the initial stabbing by George Vogelman was shocking, but they took it way to far with having basically the same thing happen to her again twice. And the more she got involved with Bobby, the whinier she got.  

Obviously the chances of Lindsey being assaulted by a psycho is more pronounced since she's a defense attorney who actually gets them acquitted like "The Nun Killer!" If anyone deserves to have a difficult life it's defense attorneys who knowingly go "all the way" to have a psycho killer released; more often than not Pro Bono! ;-(

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On ‎5‎/‎30‎/‎2014 at 1:37 PM, Princess Sparkle said:

Thought I'd start a topic for all the fabulous guest stars the show had over the years.  My all-time favorite will always be John Laroquette, since you can tell his just relished the role and the writers loved writing for him. But Michael Emmerson was also excellent and creeped me out for YEARS after his appearance on the show.  Alfre Woodard and Beah Richards were also excellent.

 

An under-rated favorite of mine is also Rider Strong - he played a character who's father murdered his mother and he was the only witness.  He gets scared of sending his father to jail, and changes his story to make it look like the murder was accidental.  Helen gets frustrated and charges him with felony murder.  Eleanor ends up being able to convince her she's being punitive because she's angry at the son for letting the dad get away with murder, so she ends up letting him plead to perjury. She and Eleanor are both sure the judge will be lenient since he's a kid trying to save his dad, but the judge ends up giving him the max (10 years).  Such a good episode.

I'm just trying to recall from years ago, but I think Rider kid got 20 years! Helen told Eleanor "he should be more afraid of her than his father!" I had little sympathy for the character who started this drama in the 1st place attacking his father, causing the death of his mom! To sabotage this trial, he couldn't get enough time IMO! Watching "Ties That Bind," it's hard to feel any sympathy for this person who killed her husband on camera during a stunt in a softcore porn movie! She supposedly hated him, argued a lot, then accidently kills him while they're at work! An accident is hitting a jaywalker with your car, not using sado-masochistic maneuvers to choke the life out of someone while you look into their terrified eyes! ;-(

- -

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Edited by Fiero425

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On ‎4‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 3:11 PM, Fiero425 said:

Eleanor was a great character, but could definitely be faulted for decisions made which would have gotten her disbarred! It just came to me that episode where she encourages a client to openly drink alcohol due to them driving drunk already; finding out later the person hit was Bobby! They did the same thing on an episode of "Judging Amy!" A shyster lawyer told his client to do the same; openly drink in front of the cops after an accident! ;-(

Ooops, that should have been "Picket Fences," not "Judging Amy!" ;-)

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On 5/27/2018 at 9:29 AM, Fiero425 said:

Ooops, that should have been "Picket Fences," not "Judging Amy!" ;-)

Douglas Wambaugh for the defense.  Plan B seems right up his alley

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On 4/22/2018 at 2:58 PM, Fiero425 said:

What comes to mind was Rebecca in an episode backing a friend's right to a late term abortion, but the doctor delayed it until he was able to deliver the baby without consent in his office! Rebecca "read" him the riot act and was almost ready to go to the police even though the couple relented and took on the child emotionally! 😉

I just watched this episode. The woman didn't want a late term abortion. She wanted to have a natural childbirth but her doctor, her husband and Rebecca were trying to convince her to have a C section. The umbilical cord was being crushed and would eventually kill the baby and there was a high probability he would die before she could deliver or if he survived delivery he'd be brain dead. The woman was relying on her faith in God but they never clarified what religion she was part of that it was ok to see a doctor on the regular but not have a c section. Anyway, the husband was using the law firm to try to force her into a c section but they lost. The doctor said he wanted to do an ultrasound to check on the baby but had her under a draped sheet and numbed her and all of a sudden was pulling a baby out of her. Rebecca wanted the csection but was rightly horrified that her friend was cut open in front of her without her knowledge or permission and considered it assault. I do think Rebecca could be self righteous but in this situation... I mean I thought the lady was nuts for refusing a c section and even I was horrified.

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I have been rewatching this on Amazon, and I remember now that I got to the point that I couldn't stand Lindsay, because she was so sanctimonious, self-righteous, and smug. And somehow her clients were ALWAYS innocent.

I'm into S6. It's still good, but the quality of the show went down after Season 5. 

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I've been rewatching the show on Amazon.  At some points, the show is just awful and really dated.  Lindsay basically sets the womens' rights movement back 50 years by throwing what can only be described as multiple emotional tantrums in front of Judge Heller when she is trying to get her former law professor's sentence reduced.

I also find it fascinating that in 1997, the show has Jimmy arguing in court to allow his lesbian mother to marry her partner in Massachusetts, approximately seven years before it was legalized there.  Mind you, Jimmy spends most of the episode saying horrible things to her about her sexuality, and the court entertains arguments with regards to gay marriage that would never pass muster today, but it's interesting the show was so far out there on the issue.   

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I’ve been watching on Hulu and having so much fun. I’m pretty far into S6 but I’ve come to the episode where Lindsay defends the Hannibal Lector wannabe and I know this is the point where the show goes off the rails. When it originally ran I always felt like Richard Bay’s murder was the turning point in the show. Watching it back now years later, I think the real mistake was putting Lindsay and Bobby together. Some of their storylines were just about giving their relationship some kind of adversity and it took away from the show. Also, all of the client is really guilty or client is really not guilty twists got to be predictable and annoying. 

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3 hours ago, healthnut said:

I’ve been watching on Hulu and having so much fun. I’m pretty far into S6 but I’ve come to the episode where Lindsay defends the Hannibal Lector wannabe and I know this is the point where the show goes off the rails. When it originally ran I always felt like Richard Bay’s murder was the turning point in the show. Watching it back now years later, I think the real mistake was putting Lindsay and Bobby together. Some of their storylines were just about giving their relationship some kind of adversity and it took away from the show. Also, all of the client is really guilty or client is really not guilty twists got to be predictable and annoying. 

I just finished S6.  Some of the storylines just became too preposterous.  The show always went out on a limb but the Hannibal Lector storyline was just ridiculous.

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I've been rewatching this show on Ovation.  Weekends they show season 2, and for some reason on Mondays they are on season 3.  Anyway, even thought I remembered liking this show a lot I also remember being annoyed with Lindsy most the time (and was pleasantly surprised to see similar sentiments here).  So I was surprised when in season one and part of 2 I found myself liking Lindsay, but we seem to be at the point where I really start disliking her.  Even when I agree with what she wants or wants to do, like having them buy into the practice and being partners, I hate how she approaches it.  She starts all the yelling and fighting and is so smug about everything.  Yes, the others have traits I don't like, too, but I still enjoy them as characters.  Lindsay - not so much.  I'm worried about my ability to enjoy this through the later seasons.  But I'll keep watching as long as I can.

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We are in early season 3 for the Sat/Sun episodes and Lindsy is just becoming more and more insufferable.  From insisting she's right with defending her professor - even after throwing files at the judge, being jailed for contempt, having her client/professor asking to go a different way, etc - and what's worse is then she ends of winning.  I thought that was insane.  And then to haranguing Eugene for "Plan B"ing someone in the Vogleman trial - even though she suggested they do that.  Apparently she would have done it differently.  Why did they start writing her so awfully?  Like I said above, I liked her in the first couple seasons.  I know it's going to get even worse with the relationship stuff.  

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Ovation is in season 6 of The Practice now and I'm onto episodes with that Hannibal wannabe.  And it really stands out more the issue I have with how Lindsay is written.  Every major story/creep is about her.  Even when it's not.  George Fogelman was obsessed with Eleanor, but he stabs Lindsay.  He does also attack Helen and Eleanor in their own home, but that's never brought up again  However, Lindsay's PTSD (although not called that in show) is.  Then creepy serial killer played by Michael Emerson is obsessed with her.  Then creepy wannabe Hannibal Lecter killer is obsessed with her.  It's all about her.  Even Bobby being hit by a car is al about her.  And while I like that they aren't shying away from portraying PTSD, they really didn't need to pile it on like this.  

 

ETA: and now that she's shot the guy, and likely to be arrested, she is yelling over everyone else that tries to discuss things with her.  As always, her way is is the highway, and while it may make sense here, with the PTSD and all, she has ALWAYS been like this.  And when she gets like this she is more often wrong than not.  She knows this, too.  Ugh.  I remember hating this storyline back when I first saw this show.  I may have to ffwd thru lots of this.  We'll see.

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