'Boston Legal': Why I'll miss it
Tonight brings the two-hour series finale of David E. Kelley’s Boston Legal (Update: Read our recap), and though I know that some of you rolled your eyes when the series received its best drama Emmy nods (in ’07 and ’08), you should be in mourning, too. This series went where others wouldn’t
or couldn’t, since it’s not their final season?. Yes, a lot of shows (even America’s Next Top Model) reminded you to vote this fall — for whichever candidate, just get to the polls! — but on the eve of the Presidential Election, Boston Legal offered what amounted to an hour-long endorsement of Barack Obama. (Watch a clip after the jump.) At one point, when conservative Denny (Emmy winner William Shatner, pictured right) reminded Alan (Emmy winner James Spader, pictured) that they never talk politics, Alan responded, “Well, I want to discuss it, damn it. The consequences are too big.” That point of view — that TV, the medium that reaches the most people, is a place to discuss Big Tobacco, abortion, and why Boston Legal is the only prime-time network show to feature so many actors over the age of 50 — is the reason the series deserved those Emmy nominations. It’s what TV’s finest whodunits and whyaretheyonthatislands can’t/won’t give you.
The other thing Boston Legal fans will miss — besides those recent meta-references to how much ABC doesn’t value or promote the show, of course — is the relationship between Denny and Alan. Other shows (Bones comes to mind), have found some magic in ending each episode with a quiet chat between its core couple, but Denny’s and Alan’s beloved booze-and-cigar balcony conversations feel the most intimate. It’d be easy to call them the most verbally affectionate straight men on television, but really, I can’t name any two characters on TV that express their friendship more articulately (or regularly). Take last week’s episode-ending chat, when Denny contemplated what he’d do if Alan is unsuccessful in tonight’s grand finale (“special 9 o’clock start time,” Alan noted) convincing the Supreme Court that Denny should have access to a non-FDA approved drug to slow his Alzheimer’s.
Denny: I made another decision today.
Alan: Which is?
Denny: I’m not dying.
Alan: I like that idea.
Denny: I’m gonna get my hands on this drug, one way or another. Hell, this is America. If we have to, we’ll —
Denny: Damn right. And even if I fail, they say if you keep getting excited about life, the blood rushes to your brain better. I’ll love life, Alan, even if it kills me. I’ll fish. I’ll be with you. I’ll love life, Alan…
Here’s hoping we love the Kelley-penned finale. What do you want to see happen — besides Denny and Alan having a sleepover in their Washington hotel room and making it back to Denny’s balcony one last time?