Harry's Law TV Poster Image

Harry's Law



Courtroom dramedy takes on morally complicated cases.
  • Network: NBC
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2011

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The overall message is that the law can be used to help people, not merely punish them. That said, the show takes on some morally complicated cases that don't easily boil down to matters of "right" and "wrong."

Positive role models

For the most part, Harry and the lawyers she works with embrace shades of gray when it comes to the law and passionately pursue lesser sentences for their clients who've committed crimes. That said, in the pilot, she was fired from her firm for smoking pot at her desk at work ... so she isn't perfect.


The main character opened her law firm in a rough part of town that's become more gentrified -- and safer -- over time. As a result, there are fewer violent crimes in the neighborhood and very little violence onscreen.


Some sexual innuendo and relationship drama, with characters occasionally mentioning sex, etc.


The strongest audible word is "a--hole." You'll also hear "damn," "hell," "bull," "pissed off," and "douchebag."


Brands/products are occasionally mentioned by name, including iPhone and Prada.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Regular social drinking (in the form of meeting for a drink after work), in addition to some cases that involve drug use and/or drug-related crimes. The main character occasionally smokes pot.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this drama series' overall message is rooted in compassion but doesn't always boil down to clear cases of "right" and "wrong." And while Harry is an obviously skilled lawyer who passionately advocates for her clients, she isn't perfect (and sometimes smokes pot). There's audible language (including "a--hole") and light sexual innuendo, too, along with some social drinking and a little name-dropping when it comes to name brands.

What's the story?

In HARRY’S LAW, Harriet "Harry" Korn (Kathy Bates) tires of her life as a hotshot patent lawyer and decides to open her own firm in one of Cincinnati's roughest neighborhoods -- first, inside a shoe store under the banner of "Harriet's Law and Fine Shoes" and, later, in a much larger law office in an entirely different part of town. Her new army of attorneys includes cocky attention-seeker Tommy Jefferson (Christopher McDonald), rising star Adam Branch (Nate Corddry), level-headed legal mind Cassie Reynolds (Karen Olivo) and Oliver Richard (Mark Valley), a lawyer who once worked at Harry's old firm.

Is it any good?


Talk about a makeover. After premiering to a chorus of critical boos in its first season, Harry's Law underwent major changes in casting and concept for a second season that feels like an entirely different show -- one that's more in line with executive producer/writer David E. Kelley's impressive list of legal hits (including L.A. Law, The Practice, Ally McBeal, and Boston Legal). That's bad news for fans of the old law-firm-in-a-shoe-store shtick but great news for those who wanted better things for Bates and her talents.

Along with a revamped line-up of lawyers (including Broadway star Olivo, who won a Tony for her performance as Anita in the 2009 revival of West Side Story), the firm boasts an impressive roster of higher-profile cases that take Harry and her associates into more complicated legal territory than ever before. And while the firm's new cases are a far cry from those they used to champion, Bates at least tackles them with the same no-nonsense frankness that won audiences over the first time around.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the way the law (and the legal system in general) is portrayed on the show. Would Harry's methods work in an actual court of law? Is the law set up to punish people or to help them?

  • Why was Harry fed up with her former profession as a patent attorney? Is there something to be said for walking away from a lucrative, secure job that doesn't excite you anymore to pursue something you're more passionate about? What are the risks involved?

  • Does the show reinforce any negative stereotypes about the kinds of people who commit crimes? How does it compare with other shows about criminals and lawyers on TV?

TV details

Premiere date:January 17, 2011
Cast:Brittany Snow, Kathy Bates, Nate Corddry
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:Streaming

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 17 years old Written byjohnthemon February 2, 2011

Great show, lots of promise

This show is not nearly as bad as the main reviewer thinks. There's basically no sex, language is no worse than any other show and violence is tame. It encourages kids to think for themselves and not just take society's answers. It might give some kids mixed messages, but the kids who think that way probably won't sit through the show anyway, so it's a win win.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 10, 13, 15, and 17 year old Written byklords March 27, 2011

Had Great Potential...

Another TV show that starts of really well and then goes to garbage. The last episode we started watching (and turned off) was about adultery, and multiple sexual partners. A huge disappointment.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Parent Written byDuke7734 October 8, 2011

Law and Disorder but funny and intelligent

Good show with regard to her living in a low income part of town and gaining respect in the community.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex