Today, we look at how The Practice explained its identity very early on with a quote from Bobby Donnell.
This is To Quote a Phrase, a spotlight on notable pop culture quotes.
October is a Month of To Quote a Phrase, both here and at Comics Should Be Good!
I’ve covered The Practice a number of other times on the site, and I’ll talk about it plenty more in the future, as it was a very interesting series (it was a two-time Emmy Award winner for Best Drama Series). In fact, it will show up at least one more time in just this month of To Quote a Phrase!
In any event, the concept of the series was watching a small criminal law firm in Boston grow from being a down in the gutters “reasonable fee for a reasonable price” firm to being a prestigious boutique criminal and civil litigation firm. At the center of it all was Bobby Donnell (Dylan McDermott), a very talented criminal litigator whose father was a janitor at a big Boston law firm, so Bobby grew up with the law, but also always had a distaste for the big firms, so he instead hung a shingle early in his career, just himself and a secretary, Rebecca Washington (LisaGay Hamilton). Slowly but surely, he began to collect associates, with the biggest change to the firm coming when he hired talented Constitutional scholar, Lindsay Dole (Kelli Williams), who was drawn to the freedom of this smaller firm (and, I assume, Bobby’s magnetic personality. The two would eventually date and get married later in the series).
However, while Lindsay liked the freedom she got at the firm, she grew to hate the criminal work that she was so good at due to her Constitutional knowledge (she could get so many searches kicked based on her knowledge of the Constitution’s search and seizure requirements). She felt bad getting drug dealers repeatedly free. It weighed her down, and she complains to Bobby in the pilot about it.
At the same time, though, Bobby was defending an innocent teen girl, a straight A student, who tried to hide her brother’s drugs when the cops made a raid on their apartment. Despite the drugs not being hers, the brother obviously wasn’t coming forward to take the blame, so they decided to prosecute her as a drug dealer. The District Attorney knew she wasn’t really a drug dealer, so offered her “only” a year in prison, but obviously that would ruin this girl’s life, so she wouldn’t accept a plea bargain, so Bobby had to win the case on just the elements, and the elements in this case required getting a jury to believe the drugs weren’t hers based just on her word. It’s a tough row to hoe, so when Lindsay complained to Bobby about how much she hated representing all of these criminals, Bobby retorts, “You think it’s tough defending the guilty, Lindsay? Try the innocent… it’s terrifying.”
And that’s the show in a nutshell – they are defense attorneys, often representing “scum,” but Bobby and his associates truly CARE. They are honorable people, and the cases affect them deeply. It was a great show.
Okay, folks, if you have notable quotes from TV, movie or music that you’d like to see me spotlight this month, drop me a line at email@example.com!