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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Sorry, Marc, for mis-spelling you as "Mark"!

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Mark is absolutely right about it becoming "Cincinnati Law"!
I was really rooting for this show last season: The quirkiness of the whole "Law & Shoes" set-up was unrealistic, but that allowed everything else to be unrealistic, too -- and thus fun.
I'll still keep watching it to see Kathy Bates, but I'll be less upset when the show is cancelled.

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What the hell happened to one of the best lawyer shows on TV?????
All of the new people, the all of a sudden elevator that has appeared, and no explanations, jut throw it in and the viewer will get use to it!
Well I don't know what to say, you know have Cincinnati Law!!!!
Whom ever MESSED UP a good show, the urban neighborhood, the shoe store, the interracial romance that was, or was not going to happen, the building of a intercity law practice, and making it work.
you guys (Only males could f____ __ a great little breath of fresh air of lawyer shows, so, so long!!!!!!!!!!

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I am so sad at losing the people and story line that made me love Harry's Law. Why? I know shows have to evolve but really-must it be this fast?

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Not liking the new version of the show ! All the Afican amaerican characters are gone (all , there were 2). The office is no long intimate there are too many extras roaming around and she is no longer representing the underdogs of her innercity neighborhood, just caucasian yuppies. Not impressed.

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so sad to see the new route this show has taken. I thought I had missed episodes when I saw this show. Nothing was explained about the new characters or the new offices or where they all came from. A terrible disappointment since last season this show was fresh, funny, interesting, and extraordinary. Now it's just another law show. Sad, sad, sad.

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Wow, I am totally surprised at the changes I see in Season 2. The new office, all the additional staff, Malcolm and Damien now gone, Jenna only appears every now and then, Tommy Jefferson on board (haven't we seen that character before ... hmmm was it Denny Crane on The Practice??) and adding Cassie, which was a good move. I was in their corner when I thought the show would not be renewed for another season, but now that the 2nd season has started, I am not impressed ... not one bit. I do not like that Malcolm and Damien are gone, don't like the new office and don't like the Tommy Jefferson character. Oh well, I have options and I've decided NOT to tune in any longer. But I do love Kathy Bates! Sorry Kathy.

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How disappointing to see these grotesque changes to Harry's Law. It started with the elevator and went down from there. The whole premise is off the mark. It looks like money took over. Good characters are missing and too many new ones added, for what reason? Harry and her small staff could bring it off. Now it looks like Goldman Sachs bought them out. Another example of bigger is better. Not. Fire the bloat squad and get back to what worked.

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Just rename it Cincinatti Legal and be done with it. We'll still watch, but its all be done already.

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I really miss the previous premise of the show. This now seems like a real David Kelly show but not in a good way. Change is not always a good thing!

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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