A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
The brainchild of producer David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal), BOSTON LEGAL is a wry, sharply written comedy/drama about the personal and professional lives of a group of talented, emotionally flawed lawyers. The hour-long show, which debuted in 2004 after being spun off from another Kelley creation, The Practice, is led by an Emmy award-winning cast featuring James Spader as morally challenged lawyer Alan Shore. At the wealthy, powerful firm Crane, Poole & Schmidt, Shore takes on complex moral and social issues in the civil cases he tries, and disregards honesty and integrity in his drive to win. Past cases have included a suit in which an African-American mother accuses the producers of Annie of not choosing her daughter for the lead because she is black, and a case in which Shore defends a man who was fired from playing Santa because he is a transvestite. Working alongside Shore is his friend and mentor, Denny Crane (William Shatner), a partner in the firm who is just as ethically corrupt as his protégée. Also employed by Crane, Poole & Schmidt are ex-Marine Brad Chase (Mark Valley), a straight-shooter who helps keep an eye on the unconventional Crane; Shirley Schmidt (Candice Bergen), a founding partner who has returned to the firm to help keep the unruly office in order; Paul Lewiston (Rene Auberjonois), a partner who must deal with the consequences of Crane's mischievous behavior; and Denise Bauer (Julie Bowen) a diligent associate on track to making partner.
Is it any good?
Thanks to engaging storylines and witty writing, adults will find Boston Legal entertaining. Each episode takes viewers through several unexpected twists and turns and is skillfully acted by a top-notch cast that is often joined by popular guest stars (in the past the list has included Dana Delany, Heather Locklear, and Michael J. Fox). That said, this show is definitely not for kids. Almost all of the jokes will go over their heads, and the parts that they can absorb will surely be wholly inappropriate.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about proper workplace behavior and the importance of maintaining boundaries in personal and professional relationships. When do you know if you are making someone uncomfortable? If you are on the receiving end of harassing behavior, how can you put a stop to it?