Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Geek Shame 

One of the great features of blogs and the world of blogs is the speed at which corrections can be made and at which additional information can be brought to the discussion.

I've already been made aware of a glaring error in my guest post. Not only is it a glaring error, but it's the kind of thing I usually pride myself on avoiding by meticulously checking details. IMDB is usually my friend. But alas, I neglected my companion last evening as I was putting together my discussion of Boston Legal. Mea culpa, mea culpa.

I noted that Boston Legal is a spinoff of The Practice, which is true. I unfortunately then mistakenly attributed The Practice as having sprung forth from Ally McBeal. It did not. The two shows were connected, but not in story origin. Fortunately, Bill Childs of MassTort.org was jarred by the simple wrongness of it all, and did the digging which I should have done. On a side note, I'd like to let Bill know that I just looked out my office window and gave a friendly wave to the west, where he is a professor at the nearby Western New England College School of Law. Hi Professor Childs!!

But back to the world of David E. Kelley. He's the source of my troubles. That and the fact that I didn't watch the early episodes of any of these three shows, but waited until later and jumped in midstream. These are all David E. Kelley creations - you know, the shows that close with the old lady knitting in her rocking chair in front of the tv, who then says "You stink!" So, Kelley created The Practice, which takes place in Boston and first aired on 4 March 1997. Then Kelley's second Boston-based legal show, Ally McBeal, aired on 8 September 1997. The attorneys of the two shows first collided in an internetwork crossover event on Ally McBeal's 27 April 1998 episode "The Inmates" (this episode also had guest star Daniel Dae Kim, currently of Lost), and on that same night's The Practice episode "Axe Murderer."

So while one show did not spawn the other, they are related. They're more like siblings that see each other only on special occasions.

Boston Legal is a definite spinoff of The Practice (which I suppose makes it a niece or nephew of Ally McBeal). William Shatner's Denny Crane first appeared on The Practice in the 21 March 2004 episode "War of the Roses." James Spader's Alan Shore and Rhona Mitra's Tara Wilson were regular cast members by this point, and now the three are among the cast of Boston Legal.

We'll just ignore David E. Kelley's legal show Girls Club. Instead, let's focus on the memory of some of his other shows I loved, such as Chicago Hope (creater/writer), Picket Fences (creator/writer), Doogie Howser, M.D. (creator/writer), and yes, L.A. Law (writer).

I'm hoping my efforts at digging up and making available this vast amount of marginally useless trivia will renew my geek status.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:29 AM