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The Revolving Door at Boston Legal

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The start of the television season is a few weeks away, and already promos are being aired. For those shows new to the lineup, this makes sense. After all, viewers are more inclined to watch something if they believe they will enjoy it. Heavy hitters such as Desperate Housewives and The Office do not have this concern. No matter what else may be available, fans are setting their TiVos so they do not miss a minute.

However, another group exists. These are the shows which have a fan base no matter what. All words are sacrosanct, and every theme is worthy of attention. Even cast changes will not affect whether or not somebody flips the channel.

For me, Boston Legal falls into the last category. Throughout their run, a revolving door has ushered several attorneys out of the firm. Sally, played by Lake Bell, was the first. A good lawyer, she was sent packing by Shirley Schmidt (Candice Bergen) for not being good enough ("Schmidt Happens"). Being involved with Alan Shore (James Spader) only helped prove her guilt.

Tara Wilson (Rhona Mitra) and Lori Colson (Monica Potter) were next, although both left of their own accord. While either could have returned, neither did. Sally would oppose Alan in court, and end up in bed with him. Before she left for good, Brad Chase (Mark Valley) shared her bed too ("Whose God is It Anyway?").

Garrett Wells (Jusin Mentell) and Sara Holt (Ryan Michelle Bathe) disappeared into thin air, and hardly anyone noticed. The lawyers who replaced them however shook the firm to its core. Marlene Stanger (Parker Posey) transferred in from the New York bureau and quickly made her exit ("Couldn't We All Get a Lung?"). Jeffrey Coho (Craig Bierko) made a name for himself by acquitting a law clerk accused of murdering a judge. Claire Simms (Constance Zimmer), who came with Coho, found herself without a cohort when he left ("Fat Burner"). However, she quickly became involved with Clarence Hall (Gary Anthony Williams).

Now it's time for season four, and changes are in the air again. Brad and Denise Bauer (Julie Bowen) had a baby, which sets the stage for her maternity leave. Both Mark Valley and Craig Bierko will be appearing on other shows this fall, Denise should find work elsewhere, because Julie Bowen won't be back in the fall either. Paul Lewiston (Rene Auberjonois) has a granddaughter who deserves his time and attention. He hinted more than once his priorities are not with his work. I wouldn't be surprised if he makes new arrangements.

To make up for the departures, two attorneys are about to join Crane, Poole, and Schmidt. John Larroquette, who most people remember from Night Court , has signed on. At one point, he did a memorable guest stint on The Practice . Why am I not surprised to see another connection between the two shows? Tara Summer is also part of the team. While I am unfamiliar with her work, viewers are going to be seeing a lot more of Jerry Espenson (Christian Clemenson). Apparently, his work impressed the founding partners so much that he got promoted from recurring guest star to season regular.

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About NancyGail

  • Ty

    “Why am I not surprised to see another connection between the two shows?”

    Actually there have been too FEW connections between the Practice and Boston Legal. We’ve had several YEARS of this Practice spinoff but NONE of the Practice lawyers besides the ones that stayed on to do BL have made anything close to an appearance on BL. Sure we’ve seen a judge here and there, a DA, but not Bobby, Eugene, Lindsey, Jimmy, hell even Rebecca or Jamie!

    AND NOW Laroquette returns to the Practice/BL universe AS A DIFFERENT CHARACTER? BLASPHEMY!!!!

  • Spinoffs aren’t supposed to be carbon copies of the original. Why is this so difficult for people to grasp? Larroquette’s character on The Practice went to prison for murder as I recall. So, he could have gone to law school while paying his debt to society…

  • Christopher, that commment could use some clarification. However, I assume ou are referring to the last thing I said. Larroquette’s character on BL is a lawyer. He played a murderer on The Practice . My point was that he could have taken law school classes while in prison and passed the bar upon release. This sets up his getting hired at CP&S.

  • No ma’am. I just stuck that in there so, in response to your earlier message, I could find the comments to your article in the comments admin tool and then deleted it.

    I presume you were responding to the automated message you received rather than by seeing the actual comment on the page for look, poof, it is gone!