'Boston Legal': Electile dysfunction

Williamshatner_bostonlegal_s4_240 Hey guys, I'm subbing in for Josh this week, and before I begin, the TV Bloggers' Code of Transparency in Recapping requires me to point out that tonight's Boston Legal is about the '08 election and cloned meat, and I am an unabashedly liberal political nerd and a vegan. Just the same, I will strive for the same level of Fair and Balanced coverage as that provided by the Fox News Channel. (Sorry, couldn't resist. Please don't flame me. I'll be cool, I promise!)

Our first case this week guest stars the fabulous Christine Ebersole as Sonny Fields (ha), a cattle rancher who wants to prevent the FDA from approving cloned meat on the grounds that procreation should happen the old-fashioned way, and that cloned animals are being abused with excessive hormone and antibiotic use. For the curious, this case was ripped from the headlines back in January, when the FDA ruled that products from cloned animals were safe for human consumption. Happily for the easily grossed out, the USDA said this month that it still wouldn't lift the voluntary moratorium on selling those products. Aaaanyway, Denny is immediately head-over-heels, and demands the firm take the case, with Carl in the lead.

Unfortunately, the old and befuddled Judge Sanders (self-fashioned "decider") is in charge. Fortunately for Psych fans, the opposing counsel is played by the guy who plays Lassiter! At any rate, the FDA is concerned with the "yuck factor" in labeling cloned meat as such, but insists that it's safe and even better than normal meat. Carl and Sonny point out that it's a bit soon to claim that, and that the FDA hasn't had an awesome track record lately when it comes to approving stuff that doesn't kill people, which, fair enough. The judge waffles back and forth between deciding for the plaintiff and the defendant, until it's totally unclear who really won. Well, that's a new one.

For Denny's part, it takes about ten minutes for him to sleep with Sonny, fall in love with her, go horseback riding at her ranch, and propose to her. Oh, dear. In the end, though, his willingness to go to the ends of the Earth for Sonny doesn't extend to moving to Montana, where her new ranch is located. Big sky country, it seems, is just a bit too far away from Alan, and Denny would miss their nightly cigars and scotch. Awww!

Candicebergen_bostonlegal_s4_240 In other news, Shirley wants to sue her nephew for planning to vote for Obama, and she wants Alan's help. This is slightly less crazy than it seems, as Mitchy is a delegate who plans to go against his district's popular vote for Hillary in the primary. Um, I'm pretty sure it's not the Obama folks who are out to thwart the popular vote, Shirley, as Alan soon points out. (Sorry, I know I wasn't going to get into politics, but they started it!) Mitchy, it turns out, is incredibly obnoxious. Also, I'm 99% sure he's played by the same actor who plays Hannah Montana's brother. WHY DO I KNOW THAT?!

Because Mitchy is within party rules, Alan and Shirley have to sue the Democratic National Committee, allowing Shirley to finally tilt at some windmills of her own. In a rather over-the-top bit, even for this show, "Wolfgang Blitzkrieg" pops up all over the trial and constantly refers to the "best political news team in television." He looks sadly lonely without his giant video screens. The trial itself is a typically Boston Legal combination of stirring and absurd, and involves both the phrases "snidey butt" and "yes we can," uttered by the same person.

The DNC insists that the popular vote could go horribly awry (with a very compelling crisis scenario involving Carrot Top), and thus the rules are necessary. Apparently, it's never truly been "one man, one vote." By way of stupid example, the DNC lawyer whines about being underrepresented in the Senate due to being a California resident. As a resident of the District of Columbia with a full tax load and zero congressional representation, I am unsympathetic at best.

Anyway, we also get some of Alan's trademarked intense speechifying on the topic of democracy, which I generally agree with (I mean, have you read about the caucus system? And don't even get me started on superdelegates...), but completely tune out after a minute or two. Boil it down to a few talking points, dude. For reals. Ultimately, the irascible Judge Brown agrees that the process is undemocratic, but believes the DNC is free to set its own rules. And he encourages everyone to vote Republican if they have a problem with it. "Motion denied, everybody loses." 

We end on the porch with Alan discussing the joys of single life, where the promise of love is around every corner. Wow, his speechifying can even make lonely single life seem fabulously romantic. Those are some impressive oratory powers. Denny, on the other hand, embraces the promise of today - of now. And I embrace the promise of having a DVR that can record Top Chef now that Boston Legal is on Wednesdays at 10, as they so helpfully and meta-fully reminded us at the beginning of the episode.   

Is Boston Legal too political/topical these days, or does it work for you?    

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