I don’t watch much primetime anymore. In fact, most evenings you’d find me watching a real crime documentary on A&E or an old movie on the American Movie Classics channel. There’s a reason why I don’t care much for the “Big 3″‘s evening lineups, and tonight’s “Boston Legal” (which airs on ABC) is one of the main reasons why. I should’ve stopped watching when I figured out the angle of the show but, like a trainwreck, sometimes you can’t help but keep looking.
I was flipping channels this evening and stopped it when I saw a woman who worked in the law office talking to another woman who worked there. I don’t know character names, so descriptions will have to do. They were both in the bathroom at the mirror, fixing their makeup. They were talking about the blonde woman’s pregnancy, which she just found out about. Some snarky comments from both were exchanged, and then the blonde woman stepped away a few feet, as if she was contemplating something. The brunette woman asked her if she was ok, the blonde said no, and that she didn’t know what she was going to do about the baby. The brunette said “you can have it, or don’t have to have it.” Later in the show, the blonde woman confronted two co-workers (sleeping around with multiple co-workers – umkay.) and told them that one of them was the father of the child, and also added that she wasn’t going to make either of them feel obligated to support the child. She had them do swab tests and instructed them that she would let them know who was the father once the results came back.
When the results did come back, she alerted the co-worker who was the father of the child that it was his. The co-worker was momentarily taken aback, but later in the show in the same scene, he walked into the blonde’s office and was happily talking to her about pre-registering the child for pre-school. The man was clearly interested in making sure the child was taken care of. The blonde gal looked him in the eye and said that she wasn’t sure if she was even going to have the baby. The man, flabbergasted, said that he hoped she wasn’t considering doing what he thought she was thinking about doing, and then she declared that it was her decision to make, and he started talking about his rights as a father, and they got into an argument about it and she threatened to have a restraining order taken out on him. The previews for the next show are the man asking for representation from one of the firms’ lawyers, against the blonde woman, because he wants to assert his rights as a father. Now knowing what I do about Boston Legal’s agenda, it won’t be a big surprise to see how that case turns out.
Two cases were being tried on the show tonight. One, about a young girl (mid-teens) whose father, a doctor, wanted to administer a drug to her that would make her forget a traumatic sexual assault she suffered at the hands of a rabbi. Apparently it’s a drug used by the military to help troops forget really bad things that happened and has been tested out on civilians as well with some succeess. The girl wanted to do it and was adamant about it, her father wanted to administer it to her, but her mother, who I believe was also a doctor, did not (I don’t know if the father and mother were still together). The defense team put on an excellent case, but the lawyer (played by Candice Bergen) persuaded the judge that ‘our painful memories’ are ‘part of who we are’ and ‘if we could forget and erase our painful memories’ that we wouldn’t have some of the great poetry that we read today’, and not only that, but did we want to give the ‘big pharmaceuticals’ the chance to prey on the minds of the traumatized by offering them drugs that would help them forget? At one point, the teenager cried out “I don’t want to be remembered as a sexual victim”, to which Candice Bergen’s character replied “But you ARE!” Not addressed in this argument: if a teenager shouldn’t have the right to have a drug administered to her that will help her forget a painful memory, then why should she have the ‘right’ to abort a child without her parent’s knowledge? Not explained: Why it was so important that this teenager, who had been molested by a rabbi, be classified as a sexual victim when she didn’t want to be viewed as such – ‘memory erasing drug’ or not. Apparently it was important for Bergen’s character – and the show’s writers – to ‘promote’ the ‘your right’ to be a ‘victim’, even when you don’t want to be viewed as one. The judge, who initially looked like he was going to rule for the the father and daughter, ruled for the mother.
The other case was even worse: it was about a man who had gone to an evangelical retreat of sorts, and paid $40,000 to be cured of his ‘gayness.’ He was suing to get his $ back because when the ‘treatment’ was over, he was still gay. The prosecution – made up of multiple lawyers – called up some Christian ‘experts’ on homosexualilty and portrayed them in the worst way possible, and then one of the lawyers for the prosecution team – played by James Spader – launched into a sarcastic mini-tirade about who was going to save us from ‘evil homosexuals’. The judge ordered Spader into her chambers, and he acted as though he was going to proposition her (apparently they have an, um, ‘relationship’) while they were behind closed doors. She told him to cool it in the courtroom and he agreed to – but didn’t. Several witnesses for the defense – who was an attorney of one, in contrast to the several lawyers for the ‘uncured’ gay man – testified that the evangelical retreat had indeed cured them of being gay. The closing arguments soon followed, and instead of arguing the merits of the case, James Spader’s character gets up and acts like a politician lecturing people on the merits of gay marriage and how evil the opposition is. Virtually nothing he said in his closing argument had anything to do with the case itself. It was just a soapbox (and he actually did stand on a soapbox for a few seconds, which the formerly protesting judge allowed) and turned the case into being about whether or not homosexuality was right or wrong. The judge could be seen barely containing her smile of admiration for his argument (or was it his tushie she was admiring?). I found all of this odd, considering that the man Spader represented volunteered and paid to go to the evangelical retreat to be cured -so he obviously believed he could be. So the closing argument (and some of the other off the wall comments made by Spader throughout the case) didn’t need the lecture on the right or wrongness of gay marriage or being gay at all, but whether or not the plaintiff deserved his money back for not being ‘cured.’ Spader’s team, of course, won courtesy of a jury – and not just the $40K back, but $350K in ‘damages’ too, and immediately after Spader and the judge had sex in her chambers. Moral of the story: Demonize your opposition as hate-filled bigots, introduce multiple emotion-filled red herrings into your arguments based on a political agenda, and win – and for bonus points for male lawyers, you’ll get to sleep with the judge immediately after, too. Brilliant!
In the final scene, we see Spader and Shatner (who were part of the legal team that ‘won’ that case) having a drink and talking – again – about ‘gay rights’, and other issues that are prominent in the news today. Spader brought up who was supposedly representing ‘morals’ today, and brought up people who had fallen from grace like Bill Bennett and Jerry Falwell, in an obvious attempt at sneering the whole concept of ‘having values.’ Hey, what else do you expect from an attorney who has sex with the judge in her chambers right after he’s won a case (and apparently that wasn’t the first time)?
With this type of agenda, it’s no wonder Spader’s character won an Emmy in 2005 (as did William Shatner).
Why is any of this important? Because it’s all part of our culture, and it all goes towards shaping the opinions of those who turn a blind or casual eye to really learning about the issues.
Usually when I’ve watched primetime in the past, or on the rare occasion when I do now, I’ll see an obvious left wing slant on one of the storylines – but not the entire freaking show. Boston Legal is a liberal’s ultimate primetime fantasy: full of nothing but one-sided propaganda focusing on ‘progressive issues’ while not giving much attention to the other side of the issues they ‘address’ other than to ridicule them, and full of sanctimonious hypocrites who judge others but despise others having the nerve to judge them, and spitting on the very idea that values are important. The only thing missing was an autographed Bill Clinton picture in their offices.