Farewell to 'Harry's Law' and Kathy Bates' Crusty Character
by, 05-13-2012 at 10:50 AM (3064 Views)
NBC just canceled Harry's Law, a blow to all of us who value solid drama without an abundance of violence, swearing, and sex.
The series starred Kathy Bates as Harriet Korn, a rather sarcastic woman who originally had lost her passion for the law. Fired from her lawyer's position at a large firm, Harry found herself opening up her own law firm in, of all places, a shoe store. Even better, it was located in not the best part of town. This put Harry in touch with some unusual clients who actually were a big part of restoring her passion for the law.
From David E. Kelley, Harry's Law was almost canceled after its first year. However, since NBC passed on another of Kelley's shows, they kept this drama on the air as an appeasement of sorts. Changes were made in the cast, and Harry's firm grew, moving upstairs from the shoe store.
The thing about Harry's Law that amazed me were the plots, some of which were shocking, riveting, and poignant. Unlike Perry Mason, Harry didn't win them all. In fact, she sometimes found herself evolving as she faced her own choices in life, fighting for or against something she wasn't sure she believed in.
There was a great case that took on football and whether or not it should be allowed to continue for children and teenagers considering the growing number of injuries and deaths that occur due to participation in the sport. Another tackled the case of a gorilla, lonely as he is imprisoned in a zoo without any other gorillas around for company. Trust me, that show was tear worthy and had the crusty Harriet Korn on the verge of a tear herself, which just does not happen. Then there was the woman victimized by her ex-husband who continued to stalk her and her daughter. Unable to get help from the police, she rigged her door with a gun, put up a sign to warn the husband not to come in, and went to bed. The next thing you know, he's dead, only the woman tells one of Harry's lawyers that she didn't load the gun. Then who did?
There was only the mildest hint of sex on Harry's Law. There was a hip lawyer who was flirtatious and another more shy attorney who was putty in just about any female's hand, and there was the more forward woman who gave a colleague a bit of same sex teasing, but it was limited in scope compared to what is often seen.
Oftentimes, at the end of Harry's Law, you were spellbound, sad, shocked, surprised, happy, and appalled. As I said, Harry did not win them all. The gorilla was sent back to the zoo, leaving animal lovers weeping. The parents of the dead football player lost their day in court, and the sport went on. That is part of what made this show so gripping. Happy endings sometimes were given, but sometimes were not. When the verdict was read, viewers were in anticipation. You never knew what was going to happen next.
It just feels so wrong that this show, which I loved but didn't always like, is now off the canvas. It seems the good dramas that challenge our opinions without blood, gore, and sex rarely have a chance.