The Best TV Lawyers You Hate to LoveTed Burgess
Don’t feel bad if you’ve fallen for some of those “less than perfect” lawyers that invade your home on weekday nights. I’m a professional and still find myself rooting for Saul Goodman (In fact, I can’t wait for Better Call Saul to start). That made me think – what other lawyers are out there that people have really mixed feelings about? Let’s take a look at a few.
Saul Goodman – Breaking Bad
Saul is probably the whole reason that this article even exists. He has a shrewd legal mind and he doesn’t mind using it to help those in less than legal professions. His morals are questionable, but he sure is entertaining. He is willing to do just about anything (from class action lawsuits to helping Walt get set up with an entirely new identity). But the real reason we love Saul is his cheap and clever advertising and his ever optimistic take on things.
Saul sums up his character better than anything anyone else could say about him when he tells Skylar, “Walter never told me how lucky he was. Clearly his taste in women is the same as his taste in lawyers: only the very best… with just a right amount of dirty!”
Patty Hewes – Damages
Glenn Close played one of the most impressive evil lawyers in the history of television. As Patty Hewes, she came off as a brilliant master manipulator and could be described as the most ruthless lawyer ever to air on TV. She commanded the screen like few others have before or since. She was so good in this role that Glenn Close earned two Emmy awards and a Golden Globe for her portrayal.
I’m not sure why I don’t loathe this character more. There is something about understanding her motivations and needing to watch as she justifies the actions she takes that makes me cling to her. I followed the show when it jumped networks just to watch where Close took her character (and apparently I wasn’t the only one).
Denny Crane – Boston Legal
No one loves Denny Crane more than Denny Crane. He’s egotistical, smoke fine cigars and downs expensive scotch. He exaggerates his success (6,000 cases won and never a loss). He is shameless about the way he hits on women. Really, he is the epitome of what a sleazy lawyer looks like. Why do I love him? Because he’s all show.
He loves his guns and is a strict Republican through and through, but has a very close relationship with Alan Shore – a liberal to the core. In moments when he isn’t in court or on show – the private ones in his office – he shows that there is a real, feeling man under there. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget about the guns. Denny loves his guns and they come into play far more often than you’d expect.
The condition that really draws me close to him, though, is his struggle with memory and the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s. William Shatner plays the part to perfection.
Who is your favorite? Is it someone not on the list like Ted from Scrubs? Let me know. These are just my three favorites.
By Ted Burgess