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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I am so disappointed w the new Harry's Law. I love the old one. Not going to watch....

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I enjoy Kathy Bates & therefore will continue to watch. My question is this: By moving upstairs, can the neighborhood Harry once serviced not see that she is still there? She accepted a sock of coins for payment & now only high class clients? What the changes have done is removed the connection to real people. I thought she was helping Malcolm through school, & Damien was a fresh/fun player. Finally, the chemistry between Harry & Jenna was the heart & soul of the show. They complimented each other so very well. While disappointed with the casting changes, I still enjoy Harry's legal banter & liberal stance on justice.

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So disappointed this season. Bring back the first season of Harry's Law!! It doesn't work..T. Jefferson sharing an office...and a regular??? The small office, Jenna, Malcolm, and Damien gone. The folks in the neighborhood. The quirky, fun show, just not the same. This was not a regular legal show, it was different. Don't care if I watch it. :(

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please,please go back to what works,

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very disappointed in a show that had a great chance of giving me something to root for, someone to root..I desperately wanted that.

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I am very unhappy with the new show. The charm was the street connection and the small office with a few great people. Harry wouldn't have changed all that and Tommy wouldn't share space with her. Ridiculous! Sad to lose Jenna and I hope they don't lose Adam. On the one episode, Harry started to light up a joint in her office...that was totally unbelievable that she would take that risk. Maybe at home but not the office shared with so many others and legal opponents wandering in and out unexpectedly. Harry's Law was one of the best shows....but I emphasize "WAS". It sure didn't NEED fixing!!

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I forgot to mention, that along with Harry, I loved, Jenna, Malcolm, Adam and even Tommy Jefferson( a little of him goes a long way)......almost all of these characters have been ommitted this season...what the.....? I thought you were only supposed to fix it, if it was broke????????

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I LOVED Harry's law last year.........I loved "all" the characters....I loved the quirky shoe store/Law office plot....I loved everything about the show and so did all my friends. What a complete disappointment this year....1st show I was confused and sad....2nd show, I was mad and may not return as the avid fan I used to be. We have enough super serious law shows...Harry's Law was just plain fun as well as interesting.....I HATE the new show...of course, I still love the kathy Bates character....Soooooooo SAD!.

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am totally disappointed at the new show. what the hell happened???? I thought i was now watching Alley McBeal?!?!? I liked the old show where Harry was a part of the neighborhood. Why did someone rewrite this show, it would have been better to just let the show not come back on, because it is not the same!!!!

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TOTALLY AGREE with poster Marc! What happened to the best law show on tv??? My daughter got me into this show last year and I fell in LOVE with it from the get-go BECAUSE of it's quirkyness, because of it's originality, and because of all the characters and how they interacted with Kathy Bates! The idea of Harry as a lawyer working in a shoestore/office, and the cases she took and the approach to her cases - helping the down-and-out, etc - was just GREAT - it wasn't the same old "case of the week lawyer show" that we've had so many reincarnations of over the years. I liked her shabby little office and the street characters she dealt with, and Tommy Jefferson wandering in and out. I thought it was totally RIDICULOUS when the season 2 premiere opened up and she gets on this elevator, walks into a cookie-cutter tv law office, and goes "who are all these people?" From that first scene on....I was like - what the heck is going on here and what happened to Harry's Law? SORRY BUT THIS SHOW IS COMING OFF MY DVR LIST AND I WILL NOT BE WATCHING ANYMORE!

Harry's Law Season 2 Episode 1 Quotes

I recruited Harry, so I can package my unlikable client with an old lady who could sell ice to Eskimos

Ollie

What did we say about wet dreams in the common areas? Beat it! [sigh] Probably not the best choice of words.

Harry
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