I am starting to get a bit annoyed at Harry’s Law. (NBC) I like the characters and enjoy watching them interact and the stories are often interesting but lately the crusade episodes are coming more and more often – episodes in which they use the criminal trial of the week to highlight some social “evil”.
It’s probably been like that from the beginning but I first noticed it earlier this season when they had a teenage girl on trial for manslaughter because something she wrote on her blog instigated the harassment of a fellow student who then committed suicide. Can a person be held responsible for another person’s suicide? I don’t know. There should be some punishment for bullying but the charge of manslaughter seems a bit harsh. But what bothered me about this episode was that the defense attorneys argued, basically, that the defendant was innocent because everybody else is doing it.
Last night’s episode was a two-fer. In separate cases they took on banks and football. I agree with everything they said about banks but I do not agree that getting screwed by a bank is an excuse to rob that bank. In a real case they might have tried a temporary insanity plea but this was television and they had a point to make so instead they argued that the defendant was not guilty because the bank had no right to treat her so unfairly.
In the football case a couple whose son had died from a head injury was suing the school, not because they had acted irresponsibly but because they had a football program. This case was an excuse for Harry and her witnesses to preach about the dangers and the evils of football and while some of their arguments were based in fact it was all way overblown. They made it sound like most kids who play football are going to end up either dead or brain damaged. Personally I think that, while schools should have sports programs, too much emphasis, and money, is given to sports at the expense of other things like arts education but the anti-football agenda in last night’s Harry’s Law was just too over the top.
Harry’s Law is certainly not the first show to take on social issues and I’m not totally against that sort of thing but whether I agree with the point they’re trying to make or not I would like to see a little more subtlety. Subtlety, in fact, would be better for making their point than in-your-face crusades against “evil”. And being somewhat realistic would be helpful too.