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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No one can butcher a perfectly good show better than David Kelley. I have watched him for years completely destroy one show after another. He is brilliant at coming up with initial concepts but then makes changes that destroy- Ally McBeal, Chicago Hope, The Practice, ....the list goes on and on. I LOVED the show last season but this season leaves me cold. Kathy Bates deserves better. I read a David Kelley quote on another site that said that last season's show wasn't good enough for Kathy Bates, but that this season is. Totally disagree. There was absolutely nothing wrong with last season's shows. The show got great ratings and everyone loved it. To David Kelley - If it ain't broke, don't fix it!!!!!!!!!!! Somebody was right when they said that it would have been better for the show not to come back than to come back with this lame imitation. It's a shame.

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Why did they have to ruin such a great show. I miss the original actor's. I will no longer watch it, took it off the dvr. It is not the same as the first season. Another great show lost.

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I really love all of kelly's work. But I think that harrys law needs william shatner to pull them out of the hot water.

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Well, I gave it a good shot but now it's off my TiVo list. Loved last year. Now I'm bored. Sad since the originality is gone. Why was this necessary?

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How about a simple "BRING BACK THE OLD HARRY'S LAW". Would that work? If I want to watch The Practice, I'll watch The Practice!

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I am disappointed with the changes to Harry's Law. It has lost its original theme/flavor. The previous location of the law firm, story character and actors were key components. I have been trying to continue to watch hoping that I would begin to enjoy, for Ms. Bates is a fantastic actress. Nevertheles, not much hope. The writers need to return to the previous story line. Please!

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I agree with all the criticisms above - this season lacks continuity and the original quirkiness that made it worth watching .. I am extremely disappointed and ready to drop it from my DVR lineup.

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I loved "Harry's Law" last year and continue to Love it. The latest episode was awesome. Kathy Bates is a talented actress and the rest of the cast is very good as well. The writing is outstanding. The only problem is the it is in a very difficult time slot on Wednesday at 9 pm up against "Modern Family". They should move it to Tuesday nights or even Monday nights and it would have better ratings. It would be a shame to cancel a wonderful show like this because it was put in the wrong time slot. NBC really needs to move it into a different time slot.

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I loved everything about Harry's Law last year and I was really looking forward to(and hoping for)the second season. I loved Harry's story. I loved Harry's journey. Judging from previous posts, we all loved the show for the same reasons. Harry's fictional story is being played out in too many real lives nowadays. It was interesting to watch how she handled being cast out of her element, her little orb of existence; being forced to change and make something new. She didn't panic, she carried on. She learned she had friends in some very unexpected places - friends who would apparently follow her into a really bad neighborhood. She learned that there are good neighbors in bad neighborhoods. And, the most important lesson of all, Harry learned that gun-play, foot fashion and the law are not mutually exclusive (DUH!)
I didn't catch the season premiere - guess you didn't feel like advertising - so imagine my confusion when I thought I'd tuned in to a "Boston Legal" episode! Oh, yoohoo!! DEK? What's up with that? Don't get me wrong, I loved BL and mourned it's passing, but I loved it for completely different reasons. It would be like erasing the unique qualities of one dear friend so you can make a carbon copy of another.

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LEAVE IT TO NBC TO TAKE A REALLY FUN AND DIFFERENT SHOW AND MAKE IT A CARBON COPY OF EVERY OTHER LAW SHOW THAT IS ALMOST DEPRESSING. I WON'T BE WATCHING WATCHING.