This Monday at 10/9c, NBC presents its case for Harry’s Law, the latest legal dramedy from David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal, The Practice). The series stars Oscar winner Kathy Bates as Harriet Korn, a patent attorney whose bad attitude lands her on the street, where she ultimately sets up a storefront law firm-slash-shoe store. Rounding out the cast are Studio 60‘s Nate Corddry (playing Harry’s first, unsolicited hire), American Dreamsgirl Brittany Snow (as Harry’s assistant, Jenna), and newcomer Aml Ameen (as the firm’s first new client).
Does Harry’s Law uphold Kelley’s quirky mantle? Here’s six things to know going in.
THIS AIN’T NO POOR MAN’S BOSTON LEGAL | Meaning, Harry won’t deal exclusively with the dirt-poor folks who live in the rough nabe of her shop. “I’ve seen the show characterized as being about a woman who leaves her high-paying job to fight for the little guy, and that’s really not the case,” Kelley tells TVLine. “It’s about a woman who got kicked out onto the street and the little guy is the only client she can get at the beginning. As she moves up – and as Jenna carves out a successful shoe store – you will see more diverse clients.”
OPPOSITES ATTRACT | Kelley admits there is a “disconnect” with Jenna, “this bright shiny young woman,” toiling for Harriet the “curmudgeon.” So why do they stick together after getting canned from the bigger firm? “On an unconscious level, Harriet probably surrounds herself with optimists,” DEK posits. “And Jenna definitely becomes a big part of this new firm as we go forward.”
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KATHY BATES USED TO BE A MAN, BABY! | Or rather, Harry did. “But when we were unable to find the right [male] actor, we opened the field up to woman,” Kelley explains, “and Kathy became the first and natural choice.”
FAMILIAR FACES ARE IN GOOD SUPPLY | ER fave Paul McCrane recurs as one courtroom adversary of Harry’s, while Christopher McDonald (Family Law) plays another (named Thomas Jefferson, no less). And as previously scooped by TVLine, The Practice‘s Steve Harris and Camryn Manheim will appear in guest-starring roles – though not as Eugene and Eleanor, but a prisoner up for parole and an ADA. (Kelley also likes TVLine’s suggestion that Kristin Chenoweth, who fronted his previous (but passed-on) pilot, Legally Mad, turn up as a shopper at Jenna’s shoe stand.)
KELLEY IS STILL CAPTAIN QUIRK | In addition to the whole shoe-store element and the unusual way in which Corddry’s and Ameen’s characters literally crash into Harry’s world, McCrane’s DA has a tendency to repeat himself. Yes, he has a tendency to repeat himself. Time allowing, that is. “You see that a little less of that in the second episode, probably because we had to make some trims [for time],” Kelley chuckles.
HEY, MAYBE JAMES CAAN WILL SHOW UP? | Kelley says that Bates has not yet reached out to her Misery costar –- perhaps to play a hobbled attorney? — “but if we get ratings-challenged, who knows?”
Have you missed DEK’s style? Will you be checking out Harry’s Law?