LA LAW – Season Three
Corbin Bernsen, Jill Eikenberry, Alan Rachins, Michael Tucker, Richard Dysart, Blair Underwood, Larry Drake, Susan Ruttan, Susan Dey, Jimmy Smits, Harry Hamlin, Michele Greene / Created by Steven Bochco & Terry Louise Fisher
Justice with an attitude
With the recent mini-resurgence of the Legal Tv genre, thanks to such hard hitting and creative UK TV shows as period drama ‘Garrow’s Law’, and British city suited ‘Silk’, the release of Season 3 of LA Law is certainly in good company. Since the show closed it’s offices back in 1994, ‘Judge Judy’ too has kept her gavel and ‘Justice with an attitude’ in healthy viewing figures. Beyond fiction, legal matters have been the staple of the news channels with back to back real-life dramas that mirror, compliment or downright parody anything that TV can conjure up in it’s wildest dreams. The Michael Jackson trial stretched on and on with a succession of suited attorneys and Jackson himself attending in his pyjamas and slippers.. The Levison Inquiry made for every bit as tense a tale of comical twists and turns as any Hollywood comedy, complete with attempted pie-in-the-face for it’s arch villain Rupert Murdoch.. televised and eaten up by an unquenchable public brought up on Tom Cruise yelling ‘I want the truth!’, in ‘A Few Good Men’, and Grace Van Owen putting her career on the line for what is right and good in the world, in LA Law. Okay, after the interim between our last helping of LA Law there’s been a pronounced roughing up of the American drama series thanks to ‘The Sopranos’, and ‘Deadwood’.. leaving the 80’s Law polished and cuddly in comparison.. but it still has teeth to grind, and a bold sentiment for what is good and honest at heart.
Each week, the law firm of ‘McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney & Kuzak’ serve up the now familiar menu of professionals balancing the pursuit of wealth, with personal moralistic crusades. Dealing with such contentious matters as abortion, racism, sexual discrimination and the tobacco industry. We all like a good dramatic courtroom battle, and have our central Lawyer archetypes clearly defined as existing somewhere between the savvy-cool, jazz playing Jimmy Stewart in Otto Preminger’s ‘Anatomy of a Murder’, and the selfless, all American idealist Gregory Peck in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, but there’s something quite refreshing to the palette in having the full range courtroom styles and motivations presented before us. We have playboy, ‘take ‘em for every penny’ divorce specialist Arnie Becker (Corbin Bernson).. fighters for honour and justice : Mark Hamlin (Perseus from ‘Clash of the Titans’) and Grace Van Owen, played by the exceedingly attractive Susan Dey (‘Partridge Family’, and the full gamut of iconic Tv shows, from ‘Hawaii-five-O’ and ‘Pettrocelli’ to ‘The Streets of San Francisco’).. green newbies Abby Perkins (Michele Greene), and Jonathan Rollins (Blair Underwood), out to prove their worth and make partner.. Victor Sifuentes (Jimmy Smits) fighting the working man’s corner, whilst carrying a fiscal chip on his shoulder, and trying to remain ‘street’ in a $1000 suit.. all conflicting and complementing each other in equal measure.
Watching Season three again after almost two decades is a snug, warm TV experience, akin to putting up your feet with a hot mug of tea and your favourite packet of biscuits. Few drama shows that stretched to multiple seasons quite hold up beyond the 2nd series after a few decades have trundled past the track (St.Elsewhere and ER being notable exceptions), but LA LAW somehow doesn’t lose it’s warm, fuzzy appeal. Grace stills looks exceedingly attractive.. Michael Kuzak still irritates (poor sod, he’s just such a bloody do-gooder, and way too handsome.. let him fight it out with the Calibos in Clash of the Titans).. Roxanne & Benny still make us agitated when put-upon.. and Abby STILL needs to grow a backbone and get an LA hairdoo. Admittedly Ann & Stuart Markowitz and their fertility storyline makes me both queasy and bored to tears.. but it did the first time around, and it’s almost pleasant to have those feelings all over again. They’re family, these people.. and we forgive them their shortcomings, even love ’em all the more for their frailties.
SEASON THREE – EPISODES:
Hey, Lick me Over/ The Son also Rises / Romancing the Drone / Sperminator /
The Princess and the Pea / Dummy Dearest / To Live and Diet in LA /
I’m in the Nude for Love / Victor Victorious / The Plane Mutiny / Izzy Ackerman,
or is he Not? / The Accidental Jurist / Barstow Bound / Leave it to Geezer /
The Unbearable Lightness of Boring / His Suit is Hirsute / America the Beautiful /
Urine Trouble Now/ Consumed Innocent
~ Season 3 of LA Law is now available on DVD from Revelation Films ~