Question: Love your column, but at times your bias shows itself: Someone needs to come to the defense of Boston Legal after the drubbing it has earned over the past week. It's unduly harsh, and everyone (including you) needs to understand that people have different tastes. It seems that this show is being attacked because it took a spot over Friday Night Lights and Lost. But over the last three seasons, Boston Legal has been appointment television for me. Sure, it's not on par with Picket Fences or The Practice or even Boston Public (which got a bum deal from Fox), but the writing is always sharp, and it has an energy to it that I find very appealing. James Spader is terrific and the supporting and guest cast are at the top of their games. Is it at times preachy? Yes. Snooty? Sure. It's also true that this season has been inconsistent, and I am peeved that four great characters are gone in lieu of a cross-dresser and an annoying guest character who has been promoted to regular status (Christian Clemenson), but it's still got a style to it that no other series currently has. I understand that fans of Friday Night Lights, Lost and Battlestar Galactica are disappointed, but there are a hell of a lot of fans out there for Boston Legal and the kind. Sure, they are not as net-savvy as those Friday Night Lights fans, but ultimately, that show barely has an audience, and let's be honest — in a year's time, which show will still be on the air?
Answer: Which is all the more reason to celebrate and honor a show like Friday Night Lights while we're able. The fact that this show and several others (Lost, The Wire, the list goes on) were overlooked for something so inconsistent and ridiculously sensationalist (though without doubt intermittently entertaining and a grand guilty pleasure for many) is why there's such an uproar. I can't tell you how many industry people I met in Los Angeles the week after the Emmy nominations who expressed shock and mortified embarrassment at Boston Legal's showing. The Emmys shouldn't be a popularity contest; if they are, the various CSI shows should all be contenders here. The fact that Boston Legal has a following does not earn it a free pass on the awards circuit. It should earn it, and in this crowded season for quality drama, it most definitely did not. It doesn't even really matter what shows it displaced. Merely cracking the top five is a travesty.