Let me continue with the Defenders. To me this was the most socially conscience and the best dramatic series in TV history. A father and son law firm team tackled different cases every week. Ken Preston, only a few years out of law school, has allot to learn and from his father, a sharp veteran litigator. Lawrence Preston is a well respected man in both academic and legal circles in New York City. This is no small task. Since the colonial days, NYC has always an abundance of lawyers.
There were clashes between father and son that emphasized the generation gap. * The younger Preston sometimes wanted to use a client to help correct a social ill that related to the case. Lawrence had to reign in his son. The elder Preston emphasized they were defending a client and not on a crusade. Ken Preston often used instinct and emotion rather than drawing conclusions from the facts. Once in a while, Ken’s approach turned out to be correct. Lawrence was even more proud of his son when this occurred.
The clients they represented ran all across the social spectrum. There were poor, rich, pleasant, seedy, or hostile. Issues involved were various degrees of murder and its companion issue of the death sentence, manslaughter, robbery, larceny; divorce, euthanasia, treason, repatriation, abortion, and many more. As a high school kid, I learned allot from this show.
The learning was because the show was about social issues an not a who-done-it like Perry Mason. Here was the basic plot with Perry Mason- the real culprits, on the witness stand, admitted their guilt through questions from Mason. There is no quarreling with Mason’s brilliance and insight. However, this become so repetitive that, to me, it was boring. This occurred with the Defenders as well as but not very often.
Also unlike Mason, the Defenders lost cases, made poor judgment, and had Judges threaten with contempt of court. Mail came onto CBS saying that the Defenders had better start winning some cases and having some better natured clients or they would lose interest.
About four years was appropriate for a drama series like The Defenders. The real problem was the show not being available on syndication until now . Most of the shows on TV Land and Nick at Night were not worth watching the first time. Finally, the Shout Factory released Season 1 in July. I hope to see Season 2 3, and 4 very soon.