Boston Legal: Season Five (2008)

Genre(s): Drama
Fox || NR - 607 minutes - $49.98 || May 5, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-05-10


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): David Kelley (created by)
Cast: James Spader, John Larroquette, William Shatner, Tara Summers, Christian Clemenson, Candice Bergen


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 3 Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese

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.::THE FILM::.

Before I begin my review of ďBoston Legal: Season 5Ē, let me preface it by typing two things. It sounds so weird saying typing instead of saying, but it works. One, if I mess up on anything that happened in previous seasons or get something wrong about a character, sorry. I havenít seen any of the other seasons so Iím only going off of what I watched from this season. Second, huge spoilers will follow as I talk about the relationships and the character progression that happens throughout the final season of one of the best shows on television that Iím sad to see go so soon.

For those who donít know, the show is set around a cast of characters who work at a law farm. The characters are: Alan (James Spader), Denny (William Shatner), Shirley (Candice Bergen), Jerry (Christian Clemenson), and Katie (Tara Summers). The five are an odd bunch of people, to say the least.

Denny has apparently been stricken with Alzheimerís, although the group decides to let him he know he has mad cow disease instead, to help him ease the pain. Dennyís mental health is called into question throughout the season, as his memory deteriorates as the show progresses. He loses focus of reality in the later episodes, although it is hysterical the hijinks he causes in his current state. For example, a group of businessmen visit the office and he pulls out his paintball guns and blasts them all with green paint. I was rolling on the floor when this happened, since it was just clearly out of the blue. He pulls out the paintball guns multiple times throughout, and Iím not sure if he did in previous seasons or not, but if he didnít, you are in for a surprise when he does. Heís also the sex-craved person of the bunch, as in nearly every episode he hits on whatever client his firm is representing, and it always leads him to over-thinking the relationship that clearly isnít there.

Alan is the laidback person of the bunch, and also Dennyís best friend. The relationship for the two develops into something bigger, and once the season ends, you can see what happens to the two lovebirds. They make jokes early on about getting married and being a couple, and the rest of the staff joins in on the fun. Every night after court the two sit out on the balcony (which is how the show always closes) talking about real world things, such as politics, and making hilarious comments to each other. Alan is the smarter of the two, but Denny makes the better quips in the long run.

Shirley and Carl are a couple in this season, but we donít really figure this out until the show progresses a little bit. Shirley is also the ex-wife of Denny, although he still thinks they are married due to his disease. Shirley for the most part likes the firm, however during a few of the episodes she hates Alan and Denny for what they do (they end up gambling on who wins cases in several episodes, until Denny in an attempt to win a bet leaks it out to the judge to try and win) but she likes her job regardless. Carl doesnít have a ton going on, as his character never really gets going in my opinion until the last two episodes, and even then itís kind of *shrug*.

Finally, Jerry and Katie are two lawyers as well, with Katie being sort of a secretary/second-chair to Jerry. Jerry has a disease as well, but his has plagued his career due to his acting childish at times and random fidgets that have caused the board to pass on him for being a partner. Obviously since heís been rejected so many times because of this you just know whatís going to happen at some point down the road, but it is nice to know that he gets his fair share of episodes as time goes on. Katie also has a slight crush on Jerry, but Jerry has a much larger one on her that progresses as well. Alright, letís get down to some of the episodes, shall we?

In the season opener, which is arguably one of the funniest episodes, Denny has a problem with his sexual desires, and has to wear something that vibrates whenever he gets turned on. Just by saying anything sexual it vibrates. You probably know where itís going, but in case you donít, several hilarious things happen in this episode that involves a cell phone and a conversation with Alan. Alan also has his fair share of problems, as he goes up against his ex-girlfriend who he let get away who is now married. His story is nowhere near as good as Dennyís, but still passable.

In ĎDances with Wolvesí, the opening scene is hilarious. Denny is getting mugged when he pulls out his own gun and shoots the guy trying to rob him, but ends up going to trial for doing so since he concealed a weapon. The ending to this episode is hilarious; as Denny has his own motives behind him the entire time the case is going on. Alan and Denny are hilarious in every episode, and this one is no different.

In ĎHappy Trailsí, Alan and Denny head to a dude ranch where they meet an old friend of theirs. Denny also manages (like in every episode) to sexually harass a female there and gets charged with adultery, as does Alan since he gets caught in bed with the wifeís husband. It sounds odd, but it is truly hysterical how this one turns out.

Finally, it all comes together in the season finale, which is really two episodes into one Ė ĎMade in Chinaí and ĎLast Callí. It deals with the problem that plagued the firm the entire time (which was money, as it goes bankrupt) and also Dennyís wavering condition. Normally shows suck at wrapping themselves up and leave a few cliff hangers, but this one doesnít. Every loose end gets tied up (including a special feature pretty much devoted to it as well) and I was very surprised that it happened that way.

I think this is a tremendous show that Iím sad to see canceled. The characters are all hilarious, Denny and Alan for the most part. The actions that go on throughout this season are all jaw-dropping funny and believable, believe it or not! The only downside I have to the show is Jerryís character. Heís not that interesting, and his character is predictable. Other than that, this show is near-perfect, and it will be missed by me.

Noteworthy Episodes Ė Dances with Wolves, Happy Trails, Mad Cows, and Juiced.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Disc 2:
Friends to the End (15 minutes): The relationship between Alan and Denny is given a closer look, as both talk about their characters in the show. Shatner and Spader are hilarious in this feature just like in the show, so I urge you to watch it for some funny moments.

Disc 3:
Dennyís Daughter (21 minutes): The director talks about an episode where Dennyís daughter was going to be introduced to the show, but she was cut due to pacing reasons. The scenes that were cut are also available here, and as usual, the scenes are hilarious but in my opinion it works better her not being his daughter for the sake of the show.

Disc 4:
Closing Statement (13 minutes): The cast and crew talk about how the final episode wraps up all the loose ends, and talk about their characters as well. Itís entertaining, so if you enjoyed the show like I did then feel free to watch it.

Deleted Scenes (21 minutes): There are a ton of deleted scenes here available to watch, so Iíd strongly recommend watching these when you get some free time. They come with introductions from the director as well as some commentary from him as to why they were cut.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The show looks great for the most part, as colors are perfect and the color palette looks how it should. Flesh tones are also above-average throughout, as the characters once again appear how they should. The downside comes from the night time scenes that accompany every episodeís end, in which Alan and Denny are sitting on the balcony. There is a bunch of noise and grain that are here, as well as the black levels being slightly off-kilter. Itís not really that noticeable unless youíre somewhat looking for it, as it tends to blend in, but I noticed it in every episode. Itís not a huge downfall, but itís still a bit of a problem for me. Otherwise, this is a great transfer.

Iíve made it fairly clear that I despise any studio that refuses to put mandatory 5.1 tracks on everything that comes out in 2009, but for once, I donít think that it would have helped much to the show. The show is almost all dialogue, and I doubt surround sound would have helped at all. The lines are heard clearly, and there wasnít any point in the entire season where I strained to hear the voices or the lines spoken. This is a great 2.0 track, but in all honesty, can we please start putting 5.1 tracks on everything? Thereís nothing actually wrong with this track to be quite frank, but I canít in good conscience give this a higher rating because that would be supporting studios who give 2.0 tracks to DVDís!



.::OVERALL::.

ďBoston LegalĒ is a show Iím sad to see go, even though Iíve only had the chance to see the final season. The show is griping and entertaining, but also throws in a few serious tones to it for good measure. The technical package is decent, although I frown upon the release of any DVD with a 2.0 track instead of a 5.1. The special features, while few, are great in laughter and enjoyment. I strongly urge you to pick this up if you already have seen the other seasons, and if not, get them all at once. This is a phenomenal show, and if you are on the fence about it, start at the first season and work your way up. Trust me, you wonít be disappointed.