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Law and love on television

February 13, 2011
By KATHRYN SPIRA, For The Leader-Herald

So guys, tomorrow is Valentine's Day, and I wish you all a happy day.

On the subject of romance, I want to talk to you guys about two new legal "dramadies" that have some interesting romantic secondary plotlines.

One show is called "Harry's Law" on NBC. It stars Kathy Bates, who I first fell in love with in the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes."

I was initially drawn to this series because it is a David E. Kelley production, who did "Ally McBeal," "The Practice" and "Boston Legal," which are all on my list of great shows.

After watching a couple episodes, what I came away with is that I love the way Kelley thinks. His thoughts are conveyed so succinctly, even with all the surprising twists and turns. Any time you think you have a character pegged as totally good or evil, Kelley manages to bring out another side to the character.

When I was pursuing my own career as an actress, this was precisely the kind of project that I would want to become involved with. The name of Bates' character's business is "Harriet's Law and Fine Shoes." The previous owner of the building ran a shoe boutique, and Bate's assistant loves to sell fine shoes as part of the business.

This is the kind of quirky situation that Kelley thrives on. I like the way this man thinks.

One of Harry's (Harriet "Harry" Korn's) legal partners falls for a client, but has to finish the legal proceedings before he can ethically pursue the romance. Hence, the romantic tension is set up early in the show.

In the other new legal dramedy, called "Fairly Legal" and airing on USA, the main character is the daughter of a recently deceased head of a law firm. She stopped being an attorney because she didn't want to have a loser in any case, so she mediates arguments so there is never a losing side.

According to the website

"The pilot establishes Kate Reed [Sarah Shahi] as the free-flowing mediator/former lawyer who believes in justice above all else. That's why she stopped being a lawyerbecause the laws are sometimes not about justice.But she is imperfect. Compared to her stepmother Lauren Reed [Virginia Williams], she is a like-able mess."

One of the messes in Kate's life is her ongoing relationship with her ex-husband. She can't let go.

I find this part of the character played well by the actress because it adds a very human foible to her competency as a mediator.

I recommend both these shows to you guys. Even though lawyers and love may not seem like a good mix, they mix well on these shows.

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in New York City and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns and contact information may be accessed at her website at



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