TV/American TV-PG Running time: 17:10
IMDB rating: 8.5 Aspect: Wide; Languages: English; Subtitles: English, French, Spanish; Audio: DD Surr.
In year 3, Boston Legal continues to toggle with ease between comedy and pathos. The season begins on a bittersweet note as Denise (Julie Bowen) gets engaged to the terminally ill Daniel (Michael J. Fox), who disappears to try an experimental treatment. Enter two new litigators, smart-talking associate Claire Sims (Constance Zimmer) and cocky partner Jeffrey Coho (Craig Bierko). Once Daniel exits the picture, Jeffrey and Brad (Mark Valley) compete for Denise's affections. The firm soon welcomes a third new face: legal secretary Clarence (Gary Anthony Williams)--also known as Clarice, Clavant, and Oprah. As before, cases vary from minor to major. Story arcs include the murder of a judge's wife (with Ashton Holmes as the suspect and Katey Sagal as his mother) and an outrageous peeping tom (David Dean Bottrell) with a jones for Shirley (Candice Bergen). Denny Crane (William Shatner), meanwhile, finds love with diminutive attorney Bethany (Meredith Eaton-Gilden)--and her mother, Bella (Delta Burke). And Alan (James Spader, who scored a second Emmy to add to the one he received for The Practice) helps former co-worker Jerry "Hands" Espenson (Christian Clemenson) out of a few jams. By the end of the season, Jeffrey is gone, while Jerry returns to Crane, Poole & Schmidt. Throughout the year, the firm tackles a variety of timely issues, ranging from religious freedom to immigration law. Reporter Gracie Jane (Jill Brennan), a Nancy Grace doppelg√§nger, also comes in for some ribbing. Aside from recurring characters, like Jane Lynch (as a sexual surrogate), the third season counts a few actors behind the camera, such as Eric Stoltz ("Dumping Bella") and Adam Arkin ("Nuts"), from David E. Kelley's Chicago Hope. The featurette Character Witness looks at the year's most colorful characters--turns out Spader and Clemenson are old friends--and Out of Order looks at the judges, notably Gail O'Grady, Howard Hesseman, and Shelley Berman.