It's not exactly a secret that I have been a fan of numerous television shows that were created by David E. Kelley. I loved watching Picket Fences, I loved Ally Mcbeal, I loved The Practice and I also liked watching Boston Legal too.
All these shows had something to do with the law and how the justice system is supposed to work. Even though Picket Fences was also about other things and Ally Mcbeal was partly a romantic comedy, all these shows were shows that you were able to take seriously.
Nevertheless, after Boston Legal went off the air in late 2008 and after the cancellation of Harry's Law in 2012, there haven't been any lawyer shows on television that have been worth watching. Unfortunately all of them have been pretty horrible.
I have tried watching shows like The Good Wife and Franklin & Bash, but to be honest, there's really no reason to waste your time watching them. You won't learn anything about anything. What's even worse, these shows aren't even entertaining.
One of the biggest reasons - if not the biggest reason - that all the current lawyer shows suck is that none of these people who are making these shows actually have a clue what they are doing. They simply don't understand drama.
The truth is that making legal stuff entertaining isn't that easy. It's not easy to come up with a good lawyer show concept because jurisprudence by default isn't that interesting. You need writing talent in order to make the audience care.
I mean, it's not compelling tv when nothing's at stake. It's not good television when the characters aren't taking their jobs seriously. The audience doesn't care when our protagonists grandstand instead of defending their clients like there's no tomorrow.
Instead of having shows where both sides have equally strong arguments, we have shows where there aren't any real arguments. The cases aren't believable or meaningful. They aren't important and most certainly they aren't well represented.
Instead of these lawyers giving us well thought-out closing arguments full of soul, substance and entertainment, what we get is stuff where the characters mainly show up in the courtroom, smugly spout a few random lines and then leave.
That's not how it's supposed to go. As unfortunate as it is, long gone are those days when the cases would actually make you think and even consider your views. Gone are those days when you were on the edge of your seat and couldn't wait to see what happens next.
In any case, even though the last few years haven't been kind to lawyer shows, that doesn't mean that things can't get better. We just need to have the right people making these shows - talented people who know what they're doing and actually care.