Military court has always been an area of interest and curiosity for this author. “JAG” was able to meet both of these needs and plopped-in some humor as well. The show was pretty enjoyable, but could be a bit formulaic at times.
9. Ally McBeal
People nowadays remember this one for the crazy dancing baby, but the show actually had a lot more substance than that. Ally herself, was a very interesting character and offered a glimpse into what it was like for a single thirtysomething trying to make her way in a complicated world.
8. The Practice
“The Practice” follow the exploits of a burgeoning law firm and its numerous lawyers. The show was excellent for most of its run and really had an interesting band of characters. It also sprung some awesome shows.
7. L.A. Law
Like many shows of the ilk in 1980’s, this one had plenty of style, but also quite a bit of substance as well. “Law” proved that courtroom dramas could still play and driving force behind many of the shows after.
6. Night Court
Night Court is one of those series that seems to be largely forgotten. It’s a shame too, because throughout most of its run, it was really outstanding. That final season though…yuck! To top it all off, you had a miserable series finale, that included the much-loved Bull encountering aliens. Freaking aliens!!!!!
5. Murder One
“Murder One” was a show way, way ahead of its time. The entire series would focus on one case, which audiences in the mid-1990’s were not quite ready for. Today, the show would be a major hit. The content was also quite mature.
Andy Griffith has second life, staring as the title character who was not only a lawyer, but also an amateur murder investigator. Griffith was his charming self, but there’s quite a bit that is unlikable about Ben Matlock, including his ridiculous retainer fee. Nonetheless, the show was a lot of fun.
3. Boston Legal
“Boston Legal” was a lot like “The Practice,” but added in some great humor and even more quirky characters. The entire cast was phenomenal, but James Spader and William Shatner completely steal the show. Their interactions alone, are worth the price of admission.
2. Perry Mason
Raymond Burr played the title role, defending clients from various walks of life. “Perry Mason” was one of the first major court TV shows and influenced every other show on this list. The sheer longevity of the program is astounding, but the quality is also awfully high.
- Law & Order
Nowadays, “Law & Order” is largely regarded as one of the best TV series of all-time, spawning many, many spinoffs. Its first season though, was nothing special and just a bunch cop cliches. The quality would increase substantially and the show would become much more topical.