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The Show with the Most Famous Balcony Scenes Since "Romeo & Juliet" Ends Tonight
December 8, 2008  | By David Bianculli
 

December 8, 2008 9:21 AM


ABC's Boston Legal, one of the braver and more delightful TV series of the past five years, ends tonight, with a two-hour episode that concludes with one last scene on the balcony.

And that's only fitting, since this David E. Kelley series has done more for the balcony scene than any drama since Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet...

Last week's episode had Carl, the attorney played by John Larroquette, complaining that there was nothing on TV worth watching, especially for viewers over 50. And complaining not to friends, or the networks, but to a judge, where he's taken the case of mass-medium age discrimination to court.

"I'm over 50 myself," Carl yells at the judge, "and I want something to watch!" He argues that there's only one prime-time network show on TV with lots of characters his age, and starts to say it -- but stops, saying he doesn't want to "break the fourth wall."

boston-legal-final-balcony-.jpg

Breaking the fourth wall, of course, is one of those things this series has done brilliantly, and increasingly, throughout its run. Last week, the case in which James Spader's Alan Shore was suing on behalf of his best friend and fellow attorney, William Shatner's Denny Crane, was scheduled to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

When would the case be heard?, one asked the other. The response: "Special 9 o'clock start time," which savvy viewers knew was a cue for real-life TV appointment viewing. Ditto the obvious real-life applications when Alan complained, "There seems to be a law against promoting us." Take that, ABC.

But tonight at 9 ET on ABC -- special 9 o'clock start time -- Boston Legal says farewell, arguing one last case before the biggest court in the land. In the biggest entertainment venue in the land, though, this series proved its case years ago, with barrels of Emmys and an endless lis of unforgettable summations, flirtations, outrages and, at the end of each show, contemplative balcony scenes between Alan and Denny.

I interviewed Kelley for Broadcasting & Cable magazine about his final show. The column was published today, and can be read in full here. It tells of Kelley's future plans, and leaks one hint -- a non-spoiler -- about the final scene in that final episode.

Wherefore art thou, Shatner and Spader? For one last night, it's an easy question to answer.

 
 
 
 
 
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