Monday, April 27, 2009

Pilot Script Review - Legally Mad

Written By: David E. Kelley
Draft Date: January 16, 2009
Pages: 57
Network: NBC
Category: Thumbs Down

I have, yet again, made a mistake in called either Miami Trauma or A Marriage the worst scripts of this pilot season (of those projects picked up shoot pilots, it should be added). I really had tried to put Legally Mad out of my head. I could read it 1000 times and still have no idea what was happening. I don't even think it's a script, it's a jumble of words on a page somehow formatted to confuse network executives into giving it a series penalty (meaning NBC pays a hefty sum if it is not picked up to series).

I hate this script because I don't have the foggiest what is happening (there was certainly talk of divorce in there, of children going off to work on their own instead of at daddy's firm, some friends who slept with friends' wives I believe...) I don't know what the cases are, who the characters are, or what the hell they're saying at any given moment. Hell, I didn't even know that one of the characters, named Brady, was a girl until page 46. Obviously this is something that will be helped on-screen (as will my issues with, y'know, not really knowing who was saying what when or why).

After LA Law, The Practice, Ally McBeal, and Boston Legal (not to mention other less successful series)... what more does David E Kelley really have to say about lawyers?

Again, I haven't the foggiest. This script, what moments I could understand of it, seems to be somewhere between Ally McBeal and Boston Legal, with quirky, fast-talking characters - who are introduced in clumps and never delineated themselves in my eyes - who sing after-hours at a bar (but without the tongue-in-cheek 4th wall references of BL).

The one character who seems to stand out in this din is Kristin Chenoweth's Skippy Pylon (yes, there are plenty of jokes about the name), an effervescent bundle of uncontainable energy.

As above, this is a script that, when filmed, could wind up a helluva lot more clear and just generally better than it is on the page. I really feel like the wool has been pulled over NBC's eyes, and I have half a mind to gouge mine out before watching the screener if/when I get it.

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