Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Practice - Volume One|
Actors: Dylan McDermott, Kelli Williams, Lara Flynn Boyle, Steve Harris, Camryn Manheim
Directors: Glenn Lazzaro, Jonathan Pontell, Stephen Cragg, Steve Miner
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Set in Boston, The Practice centers on a firm of passionate attorneys to whom every case is important and every client worth a fight to the end. Pursuing justice, however, sometimes means crossing the line...
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The first baker's dozen episodes of David E. Kelley's "The P
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 07/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"David E. Kelley created "The Practice" to be the flip side of "L.A. Law," the show for which he wrote 67 episodes and won his first Emmys. Bobby Donell and his partners are not a prestigious law firm in Hollywood, they are scrambling to stay solvent in Bean Town and do it defending clients who are so obviously guilty it is painful. The series lasted eight episodes before it morphed into "Boston Legal," and the keystone for the series was how both sides were always passionate about their positions, and somtimes too passionate. Cold logic is rarely the key to courtroom success in this series, which is just as well because you have clients that run the spectrum from "Free Willy," who likes to expose himself in public, to Gerald Braun, who murders his daughter's killer with the approval of his rabbi. Not surprisingly, these cases take multiple episodes to resolve.
Pay attention to the fact that this is "The Practice: Volume One" and not "The Practice: Season One." The show was a replacement series that first aired on March 4, 1997, and the first season was just six episodes. The second season was a whopping 28 episodes, so the first seven are included in this set of 4-discs. That still leaves 21 episodes from the second season to make up "Volume Two" down the road. This line of demarcation strikes me as strange because 20 episodes on five discs would seem to make more sense, but once we see the next volume the rationale should become clear.
Watching these early episodes again it was interesting to see how Kelley takes advantage of what is a large cast for a "small" law firm. Having a favorite is problematic because they might not have a case go to trial for a while (Eleanor always seems to be second chair early on). But everybody pretty gets their chance to shine: Bobby defending Rachel Reynolds in the "Pilot," Lindsey takes on the tobacco company defended by her law professor ("Part IV"), Eugene making a bet with a prosecutor on the case of Steven Frenault arrested for armed robbery ("Part V"), Jimmy with a little girl bit by a dog ("Dog Bite"), and Eleanor sued by George Vogleman ("Sex, Lies, and Monkeys").
This is a show where the judges matter, with Linda Hunt as Judge Zoey Hiller clearly standing out along with Ed Asner as Judge Matlin Pratt in "The Blessing." One of the fun things is seeing familiar faces as judges, from Ron Glass to Armin Shimerman, but what the judges have to say about the lawyers (on both sides) is part of the equation. Sometimes the clients take over the show, of which there is no better example than John Larroquette as Joey Heric in "Betrayal," although I also remember John Carroll Lynch as Dr. Robert Larson in "Search and Seizure," the final episode in this collection. Obviously, those who caught all eight seasons watch these early ones knowing what is going to happen with Vogleman, Heric, and other memorable clients as well as with the lawyers who defend them. Kelley made sure his shows were always watchable, but I have a slight preference for these early episodes when the cases were smaller and not always at the nexus of a whole bunch of issues."
Finally, Finally, Finally!!!
Nora Lamy | Miami Beach, Fl | 03/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been waiting for the release of this tv show on DVD for a long time. This was one of the best-written, best-performed shows of its time.
Written by David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal, Boston Legal...) it was a very serious, thought-provoking series. All the actors were superb,and the story lines were well written.
I hope it doesn't take long to release the remaining seasons.
The Best of the Best...but where are the rest of the seasons
Movie Nut | New York USA | 04/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Practice is far and away one of the best courtroom dramas ever on TV. It is also has the smartest writing, storylines, dialogue, et al. I loved this show from the first episode until the last. Even when the cast went through an `upheaval', I stuck with the show for the remaining characters and also, to see how the new ones would turn out. I would love to buy the fist season on DVD, but I am afraid that what has happened to me with Cagney & Lacey, Here Come The Brides, Alias Smith & Jones to name a few. I have had the first seasons for quite some time now and the additional seasons are nowhere on the horizon. For those of us who loved these classic TV shows I wish the studios would just offer the entire series at once. In the long run it would save them money. I would rather pay $200 for an entire series of The Practice than wait years and have to keep handing over $30 or $40 for each season as they dribble out ...Now can someone explain why shows that are currently on TV have vastly more seasons out then the classic shows? Shows currently on: Two & a Half Men, Weeds, Friday Night Lights, Californication, The Closer, Burn Notice, Army Wives, Boston Legal, The Office, Rescue Me...That is 10 TV shows currently on TV with first run episodes, yet the past seasons are coming out on DVD at a very frequent rate but we must be made to wait a year or two, or in some cases (which it looks like for this great show) forever for additional seasons of the classic shows- If the studio heads are listening ...get with it guys & gals, don't make us wait a lifetime for great shows to be put on DVD!"
A great legal drama finally comes to DVD
calvinnme | 04/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This show was a fine example of successfully mixing torts with the titillating with a good balance that has eluded so many other courtroom dramas over the years. The premise of the show is that Bobby Donnell is the head of a law firm that is barely managing to keep itself financially afloat due to the kinds of cases that the firm takes and the fact that they have trouble collecting their fees from more than a few of their clients. However, these lawyers are the kind of people you would always want on your side. They have a can-do attitude and seem to relish an uphill fight. In fact, at several points in the show, they remind one another that the reason they took on the uncertainty and lesser remuneration of starting their own law firm was so that they could choose their battles rather than work for a big firm where the price of financial safety would be representing big corporate clients, right or wrong. Although this show has a large sexual component, it has several average looking and even outright plain looking folk as regular castmembers. Furthermore, these average looking people, with more than their share of physical flaws, are actually given meaningful personal lives. Creator David E. Kelley actually wrote five of the first six episodes of the first season, and it shows in the performances. Unlike many shows where the characters struggle to figure out who they are, these actors and actresses have their personalities down pat with their opening lines.
Since this DVD is recreating season one of "The Practice" as it was originally planned, we will be missing some of the highlights of season two. First off, the romance between Bobby Donnell and Helen Gamble has a long build-up, a short duration in season two, and a long period of reprisals before the two finally become friends. These episodes will be missing from this installment. Also, Joey Heric, a flamboyent defendant who makes several appearances over the years and is excellently played by John Larroquette, will be missing from this volume. He makes his first appearance in "Betrayal", which is not on this set. Joey always looks embarrassingly guilty of whatever homicide he happens to be accused and has a "I Dare You to Convict Me" attitude.
If you watched Ally McBeal, another David E. Kelley legal show also based in Boston, you'll probably notice that these two shows are sharing more than a few judges, which only makes sense if you think about it. Removing the seven episodes from volume one, that leaves 21 episodes remaining for the actual season two as it was broadcast. I hope this means future volumes of this show will end on actual season boundaries, since several seasons end with cliffhangers and busting up the seasons any further would rather ruin the continuity of it all."