Harry's Law Season Premiere Review: Changes Abound!

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The Harry's Law season premiere ("Hosanna Roseanna") marked a triumphant return for the underdog show that many thought wouldn't make it back. If you're like me, you've been waiting months to hang out again with tough-as-nails Harriet Korn.

Harry in Court

However... the show we enjoyed and rooted for back in April underwent several major unexplained changes since we last saw Harriet.

First, there was the new office directly above Harry's shoe store/office. There was no elevator in their office before, so it was a little strange to see her walk in and press a button to be taken to her digs.

Before you say it could have been built, it’s not new; it's clearly as old as the building. But I'm willing to concede that they could have remodeled/expanded the shoe store office and absorbed an elevator from the rest of building, so I'll let this one go.

But I draw the line at the sheer number of no-name extras roaming around in the office when Harry came out on the second floor. There is no reason Harry would suddenly hire dozens of people she hasn't met. Harry said it best when she asked, "Who are all these people?" I want to know the same thing, Harry. How did you go from a struggling team of five to whatever the heck that was? 

That’s when the biggest change landed and Tommy Jefferson walked out of his office. HIS OFFICE?!?

Why does Tommy have an office at Harry's? Oh, Tommy and Harry are sharing an office space, but not practices. Huh? Really? REALLY?! 

Come on! I know Tommy was a fun recurring character last season, but he wouldn't have been my first choice to become a series regular. Actually, I'm not sure he would have even made my list at all. 

At this point, either we have all been sucked into an alternate dimension or David E. Kelley has decided that for the sophomore season he would reshape the show into what he envisioned the show to be originally. I'm going with choice number two.

That being said, I have to give Mr. Kelley credit. He got all the really big shockers over in the first five minutes of the premiere. It was the TV equivalent of pulling off a band aid. With the unexplained changes out of the way, let’s look at the additions that were explained.  

First, there was at least one new lawyer, Cassie Reynolds. I like her. Watching her break the rules to help Bennett get the painting of his daughter back reminded me of something Harry would do; she and Harry are going to get along very well. 

Then there was Ollie Richard, played by Mark Valley. Having watch Valley on the first season of Fringe and then again on Human Target, I think he may be a hunky addition to the show. Where Adam has a tendency to go flying around the room like a sparrow looking for a window out, Ollie strikes me as the cool and collected type.

Then you have Jean Smart and Alfred Molina, set for multiple episodes as the Eric Sanders' case takes center stage. Did anyone know that Smart could play a despicable bitch so well? I wanted to slap her so many times my wife threatened to turn it into a drinking game.

She is going to make a very good adversary indeed. Of course, Molina is always amazing, so any screen time he gets is going to be golden. I swear I could just listen to him read a grocery list and I would be mesmerized by it. 

As announced during the summer, Jenna and Malcolm aren't returning as series regulars. While sad, their story was awkward and clunky at the best of times, so I'm fine with them being gone; however, it appears that Jenna will be in the same episode arc that Smart and Molina are in as they are written out. 

In the end, I’m not sure I saw the same magic in this episode that I did last year. However, if Kelley will be willing to avoid jumping on his soap box and beating us with a message about how bad the legal system is, I'm willing to give Harry’s Law 2.0 a chance. 

Finally, I will leave you with a few random questions I had at the end of the episode:

  • Who is Lisa Swartz (Tommy’s assistant) and where did she come from?
  • What happened with Rachel and Adam? 
  • Has Harry used Vinnie before (did we see him)?
  • Will Tommy be the same force of nature he was last season, or has he been relegated to comic relief?
  • What did you think of this episode? Did the changes surprise or shock you as much as they did me? 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.1 / 5.0
  • 4.1 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 2.8 / 5.0 (239 Votes)

Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention this in my previous post. What's up with the stilleto shoe in the opening where they mention the name of the show? If you take away the shoe store downstairs....uh...duh? Good grief, who writes this stuff? Bonnie

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I agree with most of the comments. The show was better season 1. I too liked the "homyness" of the show. I like the thug as that could make for so many different scenarios...endless actually. I like the quirky secretary, (why did she leave?. I liked that the office was down on the street with the community and just anyone could walk in. I was different and people loved to watch. I love Kathy Bates in this and now I too may not stay a fan. To bring the old back they could have Harry decide that this "big business" law firm is not what she thought it would be and although she appreciates the "help" she really, really, really, needs to do this herself. She doesn't agree with the "way" business is conducted in a "fast" law office, that she was trying to get away from this before and she really doesn't work well with an entourage. Please go back or I won't watch.
Bonnie

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At a Super Bowl party the discussion turned to TV shows. Harry's Law was a unanimous disappointment. We all missed the down to earth feel in the neighborhood and shoe store. It was the first season that captivated all of us. Then came the 'new and improved' show. Like so many of the other courtroom / law firm series that are out there, Harry's Law lost its identity and allure. TOO bad...SO sad!!! Will the execs and staff writers get it fixed before it is too late? Or is it too late already? I am crossing my fingers.

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I really want the original Harry back without all the big law office changes.The shoe store/law office worked and Kathy Bates is great. No need to glam it up!

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I really dislike what they did to a very fine show...........Bring back the Old Harry

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Either David E Kelley is an idiot or when they do those mid/end of season audience reviews they interviewed about 3 people and found the only ones who didn't like the show as it was. The transition to the new offices and regular cast members being replaced was done so badly as to be laughable. So far there's about 100+ comments on here and about 96% are negative. Lots of people are saying bring back the old format but to do that they'd have to do a "Dallas" and write this season off as a bad dream and that would kill it off completely. Mind you they should try it because as it is this show is dead.

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Thanks for this. I finally sought an answer to all the head-scratchers. I liked the show just fine before. It was different. I liked the thug being Harry's bad-ass go to. I liked Harry packing a gun and being her own bad ass. I finally remember the new season is here--sit back to watch--and wonder what happened while they were gone. This is too white bread for me. I don't care for Molina. He messes up every show or movie he's in. Especially Spiderman! He creeps me out. Not sure I'm gonna be a loyal fan. The old Harry's Law was fresh, if a little speechy/preachy on summations. Thanks for catching me up. Very nice.

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tommy's assistant was on last year, and we never saw vinnie before. I love this salon same as last, Hopefully they will explain what happened with adam and rachel. I do hope that malcom, jenna, and the rest of the season one-rs will be back in recurring or guest roles.

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To answer your question about Lisa, Tommy's assistant, she was in at least 2 episodes of season 1. She was the one that hit on both Adam and Rachael. That being said, here's my biggest question: Where is Rachael!!! Season 1 ended with Rachael and Adam pretty much getting back together and Rachael said she had some things to do, meaning breaking up with her fiance. But season 2 is now 11 episodes in and there has only been 1 mention of Rachael when Adam said she called a senator to get the clown his purple heart. That was it. Nothing else. They cleared up the absence of Malcolm, he went off to college, and Jenna got a new job. But not a single mention of Rachael and Adam's relationship or anything??? Come on Kelley, you got to at least give us something! I really liked Rachael, I thought she was played by a strong actress who could play a lawyer very well!

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I hate the show now.. I love the last season, and i could not wait to see the new season. Can someone tell what happen to the cast of last season. I want them all back.