One of the things I love about Boston Legal is that it dares address sociopolitical issues almost as fast as they come. Second-comer pretending to be president? Black Louisiananans pissed off that they got looked over? We gotcha covered! So it comes as really no surprise to me that BL covers the issues that most don’t dare to tread”¦
#1 A young woman (late teens/early twenties) goes to court because the Catholic hospital who admitted her after she was viciously raped refused to give her the morning after pill. She subsequently falls pregnant. The brilliant Shirley Schmidt (played by the brilliant Candice Bergen) gleefully tears apart Vatican logic until they get a resounding victory in the ballpark of $1.6m. There’s a discussion about the debate between faith and science, and about how faith basically doesn’t want to give up the power, because God Forbid, it should end up on equal footing between those who have faith in a spiritual higher power and those who have faith in science as their higher power.
#2 Denny Crane has pulled his stupid magic trick on several people – a girl who is unable to smile, a senior associate with a somewhat dry sense of humour – before he pulls it on a junior associate. Guess what? The junior associate laughs, especially when he realises he’s supposed to. Yeah, I wouldn’t take it as an indication that you’re brilliantly funny; I just take it as a sign that you’re insubordinates are willing to kiss your ass, and really, that’s no great feat”¦
#3 The woman with power – although through her man – Bev Bridges, is honest with her means to power. Yes, she got it by sleeping with a man, but who cares, she still has it. I admire her honesty, it’s more then most people give, and it doesn’t surprise me that such honesty comes from a woman,
#4 Alan takes on a case of a girl who, through nerve damage from a car accident, cannot smile. She’s insightful and a gifted artist but a top Massachusetts school will not accept her because of her disability. She makes a remark “˜boys don’t have to smile’ that almost broke my heart. No, boys don’t have to smile. Only girls.
I’ll close with my favourite quote from the show which I really hope made it to the US: (It wouldn’t be the first time a BL quote got lost thanks to sociopolitical sensitivity)
“When all else fails and you think you’ve lost – pretend you’ve won. Works for our president. “