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Webposted: October 26, 2002
by: Kay Kellam
This Season Has Me Hooked
I don't know what it is about this season on the Practice, but the episodes have pulled me in, and kept me glued to the screen.Michael Badalucco's Jimmy Berluti has been a major reason for my attention. He is a competent lawyer with a flaw -- he cares, and not just about the people he represents. He cares about justice, and the ideals that prompted him to become a lawyer.
In the beginning of this season he was approached by a woman who had kidnapped a child 16 years earlier... she wanted the birth mother, and the woman wrongly accused to know that the child was okay -- and that she believed the other woman was innocent. She just didn't want her name revealed, and wanted to protect her own life.
In the end the wrongly accused woman was arrested for coming in to Jimmy's office -- at which point he became determined to defend her, for unlike any other attorney he would believe she was innocent.
It was a well crafted story -- but above and beyond the writing, the crafting and thought that went into it, were the performances by Michael Badalucco and the other actors in the story. They made the words leap off the page and they made the inner conflicts of these characters so painful, and so real, that the audience had no idea how they would want the case resolved because they cared about everyone involved in it.
As for the main story of the season -- Lindsay Dole Donnell -- as compelling as the story was, I hate watching characters go crazy before our very eyes. I'm glad that that aspect of her storyline has been downplayed.
That one downside noted I'd also like to commend the folks at the Practice for giving Holland Taylor a great character to sink her teeth into. This is one heck of an actress who has been around Hollywood enough to truly know how to make the most of her material, and here is just another shining example of how she does just that.
In a short exchange of just a few sentences, doing something as simple as asking Jimmy how he's doing was a beautiful scene in which two people related to one another. Characters and actors aside, two people who care about one another paused a moment to see how one another was doing -- and the audience delighted in that moment.
Kellam, 2001 for PopArtsPlace.com
Prior to having her first novel, A Life to Di For, published author Kay Kellam enjoyed a variety of jobs that helped to shape her outlook on the world, and her profession. more...
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