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Nostalgia Tour: L.A. Law
Opening Credits, Season 1
(This Hub is part of a series of nostalgic tours of sitcoms from NBC's mid-season 1986-1987 "Must See TV" line-up, probably the greatest three-hour television time bloc ever. The rest of the series includes The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Cheers and Night Court.)
Because of L.A. Law, I have always wanted to be an attorney. Michael Kuzak, Arnie Becker and Victor Sifuentes modeled that being a lawyer was 90% trials, 2% research and 8% getting hot women. I later realized that being an attorney was really 90% research, 2% trials and 8% getting turned down by hot women. Still, L.A. Law did more than just glamorize the life of the lawyer; its poignancy and willingness to tackle ethical legal and social issues glamorized the law and the legal system. This is what made it the one show for which I waited each week in endless anticipation.
In addition, L.A. Law launched a new era of dramas in various professional settings: ER, NYPD Blue, West Wing, etc. The actors in L.A. Law were, at the time, relative unknowns. In retrospect, the show's characters fit into traditional drama stereotypes. The fact that L.A. Law launched a new era of dramas, though, actually reminds us that L.A. Law's characters were in many ways the prototypes of the yet-to-be traditional drama stereotypes. This fresh combination of dramatic venue and characters gave L.A. Law an edginess and power that has not diminished over time. What might appear to a contemporary viewer as typical must be considered in context: L.A. Law was not just iconic but iconoclastic. The "Memorable Moment" clip has since been repeated and mocked, for instance, yet it was shocking when it first aired. Anyone who saw it live still remembers his or her reaction. Whoever watches the show now will be just as enthralled as each of us was who watched it when it originally aired.
Enjoy your nostalgic tour of L.A. Law!
The Nudist Colony
Mutinies on the Banzai
Arnie Flips Out, the Firm Falls Apart
Do you have any favorite L.A. Law memories? List them below and/or link the clip!