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Article

'Harry's Law' season finale: Is this show a lost cause?

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Harrys Law
Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Last night, the doors of Harry’s Law and Fine Shoes shut for the season. For those who missed it, Adam and Rachael finally made out and Josh got nearly nekked in public, again. And Jenna said this: “You were embarrassed of a public display of affection for me? Is it because I’m super white?” (Since the actress’s last name is Snow, I find this to be particularly poignant.)

A few weeks ago, EW’s Ken Tucker wrote a piece inquiring whether Harry’s Law is the worst David E. Kelley show ever. As last night’s season finale proved yet again, the show’ writers are seriously lagging. I mean, do they know they’re writing for Kathy Bates? Bearing in mind what she does to authors she does like, can you imagine what she’ll do to those giving her bad material?

The main problem with the show is that the characters all feel, well, very David E. Kelley. Having spent the last two months holed up in my apartment watching the first four seasons of Ally McBeal on HuluPlus, I feel qualified to make such an accusation. (I promised myself I’d stop after watching after the pin-thin, pouty-lipped lawyers of Cage & Fish stripped me of my self confidence by the third season, but then Robert Downey Jr. popped up and… sigh, I’m only a mere mortal.) Harry’s Law isn’t just guilty of shilling clichés like mini corn dogs at Costco; it’s guilty of perpetuating Kellichés. Complicated work romances? Check. Mid-court breakdowns? Check. Usual post-work watering hole? Check. Hey, look, there’s Camryn Manheim!

Despite (or perhaps because of) its failure to dodge these obvious Kellichés, Harry’s Law is gaining a steady audience. Why? Because it is appealing to my mother. (That’s a lie. When questioned about Harry’s Law, my mom said, “I’m old and I don’t even like it.”) But it is appealing to my roommate’s mother. (That’s not a lie. My roommate walked in on me watching the finale last night and exclaimed, “My mother loves this show!”) And there is understandably a large audience who wants to support a strong female character past Eat Pray Love midlife crisis stage.

So Harry’s Law has good ratings, although at this point it’s unclear if it will be renewed for a second season. I’m rooting for the series to get it together, but what do you think, viewers? Does Harry’s Law just need more room to grow? Has anybody else noticed the only plot key word for Harry’s Law on IMDb is “Interracial Relationship”?  Is the bar from Harry’s Law in fact the Martini Bar from Ally McBeal dressed in wolves’ clothing? When does Vonda Shepard show up?? (Sidebar: apparently, the show films at a Cincinnati bar called Skyline Martini Bar. Coincidence?.)

And most of all, should these underdog lawyers be graced with a second year? What would you want to see from Harry’s Law and Fine Shoes next season?