I have just finished watching all eight seasons of “The Practice“. Getting through all of it took me longer than usual, but I still did.
The way I watch TV series is pretty much the way I watch movies and read books – from cover to cover and, hopefully, in one go. If I want to watch a single episode, chances are I will watch the whole season. If I want to watch a season, I will probably watch all available seasons. I don’t know why I am like that and that’s not really important right now.
What’s important is that I found out about “The Practice” after watching all “Boston Legal” and wanting more. There were no more, but there was “The Practice”, which was pretty much a prequel to “Boston Legal”. It was created by the same David Kelley and even featured some of the same characters. The character that I was the most interested in – Alan Shore – was introduced in the last, eighth season of “The Practice”, and initially I wanted to see just that season. But how could I? What if I miss something? What if there is more to be had? I just had to watch all eight seasons.
I can’t say that I regret it. “The Practice” is a very good TV series. There is everything I want from my TV – entertainment, interesting stories, good acting, humor, drama, and characters I can associate with. “The Practice” offers all of that and more. But it wasn’t until I actually got to season eight, not until Alan Shore (played by the excellent James Spader), that I recognized why it took me only a few days to watch “Boston Legal”.
“The Practice”, as good as it is, takes itself a bit too serious. There is a lot of realism and drama. “Boston Legal” is a much lighter TV series. There is more humor, it’s easier on the audience. Both of the TV series provide plenty to think about. But “Boston Legal” does it in a more suggestive way, while “The Practice” pretty much slams you with an idea and demands you make up your mind about it before the episode is over.
Overall, as I said, it is still a very good TV series. If you like good quality TV, that’s something to watch. Especially if you enjoy legal context to your stories. But if you really enjoyed the lighthearted way of the “Boston Legal”, than I suggest you just watch the last, eighth season of “The Practice”. It is very similar to “Boston Legal”. Prior seasons are very different.
Rating? I’ll give it a solid 4 out of 5.