"All sorts of entertaining" - Elizabeth Seckman

"Michael and his pals make me wish I lived in Adelaide" - Cherdo

"If I had a daughter, I'd send her to Australia to meet him (and marry him)" - Robyn Alana Engel

"An Australian version of me. Only younger. And Talented. And better looking. Okay, nothing like me." - Al Penwasser

"Whom must I fuck or pay to get a quotation at the top of your blog post?" - Janie Junebug

Friday, 1 April 2016

Alan Shore

Part A of the April A-Z Blogging Challenge, where every day this month except Sundays, I'll be talking about things I love - one thing for each letter of the alphabet.


Alan Shore is the star character of a sitcom/courtroom drama that ran for five seasons named Boston Legal. Some might say that the main character is his best friend Denny Crane, but for me it's purely Alan. He's my favourite character of any production in any medium. The main reason for that is his amazing complexity.

I don't know how to summarise everything that makes this man great, there's so much going on. I guess his girlfriend Tara summed it up well in the first season when she said that there are three Alans - the good, the bad and the naughty. The good Alan is incredibly compassionate, moral, intelligent, fiercely loyal and thinks very deeply about the world and what's right and wrong. He'll sit on the balcony with Denny every night with a cigar and a glass of scotch and ruminate over the many grey areas he sees in life. This is in contrast to Denny, who tends to see the world in black and white.

The bad Alan hates the good Alan and tries to hide him from the world. He's a smartass, he's cold, he makes people look foolish with his razor-sharp wit. As the very good attorney that he is, he's willing to get his hands dirty to win a court case. He'll emotionally crush people he feels can be crushed and he'll do things that aren't necessarily legal to get a job done. He's an womaniser and will often make women feel uncomfortable with his unflinching sexual discussion. But most of them inevitably find themselves desiring him in the end.

These two Alans fight constantly and make him a pretty conflicted, messed-up guy. He suffers from night terrors, a condition which makes him feel like he's being chased by something horrible in his sleep and makes him physically get up and try to escape. He has a phobia of clowns, he has a strange sexual fetish for getting measured for pants (the seamstress carefully running her hand up the inside of his leg makes him feel at once comforted and turned on; it's important to note that he keeps this fetish completely under control), and of course he still carries emotional scars from an abusive childhood. He feels guilty that he has all the money he'll ever need while there are so many people starving on the street right in front of him. By the end of the series, he decides he wants to start an organisation to allow him to give free legal aid to those who can't afford it.

Then, there's the third Alan, the one that makes him so lovable amongst all the messed-up stuff - the naughty Alan. He loves to make noise and take people on. He does this with a hilarious wit that constantly amazes me...

Brad Chase: I didn't want to do this, but I outrank you.
Alan: Yes, and I'm such a slut for authority.

Judge: (outraged) He's a ho-mo-sexual?
Alan: Judge I believe homosexual is just one word, but for the sake of clarity let's just call him gay.

Alan: Let me tell you three things about myself. I too am a lawyer, I can be painfully vindictive and I don't play fair.
Other Lawyer: That's three things.
Alan: See? Not playing fair already.

He'll take on anyone - big pharmaceutical, big tobacco, his own government and once even his own law firm. He's good at it too. When he gets up on the stand to make his closing argument, he gets so passionate and convincing that the judge, jury and viewing audience are almost always won over. It even becomes a bit of a parody on the show.

Melissa: Can't you just get up and make one of those big long speech thingies and convince them all to let me off?
Alan: (sighing) It's not that simple Melissa. To make those speeches, I have to believe in the cause...

I'll leave you with two of those big speeches. The first shows his poetic defense of an act of civil disobedience. The second is much more raw and showcases the deep love that I feel is right at the heart of this character.




26 comments:

  1. Played to perfection by James Spader!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love him so much. The Blacklist would be TERRIBLE without him.

      Delete
  2. That's my first to hear a clip from the show. Your description made me curious. Now I think I'll poke around Youtube for a bit to learn a bit more! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hopefully you find something good, it's hard to get the right idea from a clip without context!

      Delete
  3. Was never a fan, but a nice start to A to Z!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha that's a shame. Thank you though!

      Delete
  4. I've heard of the show Boston Legal. If it is on netflix, I may catch a show or two.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not on the Australian Netflix, but the American one has a much larger library.

      Delete
  5. Watched a few episodes of Boston Legal and absolutely loved the character - Alan Shore!

    Ashmita Chatterjee,
    (Chaoticsoulzzz)
    https://chaoticsoulzzz.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
  6. I was rather put off Boston Legal because of William Shatner; James Spader, on the other hand, is one of my favourite actors... time to look out a few episodes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know what, I'm totally with you. I haven't seen Shatner do anything great before (although I've never seen Star Trek, so I may change my mind there). But I think he absolutely nails the role of Denny.

      Delete
  7. James Spader is perfect in roles of this nature! This is a great start to your A-Z Challenge!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I was surprised to find he plays mostly evil or messed-up characters.

      Delete
  8. I never watched the show but great clips you posted. James Spader is definitely a good actor no matter whats he's in.
    Stopping by from the challenge but a friend of Cherdo's so I've been here before. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Any friend of Cherdo is a friend of mine :)

      Delete
  9. James Spader rules the screen! I totally agree with this pick, buddy. Blacklist is a guilty pleasure. Great A-to-Z.

    And I just saw the comment above....awwww. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I also mentioned further up that I love The Blacklist purely for Spader's character. It would be horrible without him.

      Delete
  10. Great clips from the show. I'm going to see if it's on Neflix. I think I'd like this show.
    Mary at Play off the Page

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you like the way Question of the Month makes you think, you might like the way Boston Legal does it much more.

      Delete
  11. Not sure if it's the character or the actor you like more, but you are definitely a fan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love both, but the character is definitely my favourite.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Share This Page

Any part of this blog may be reproduced or distributed, providing credit is given to the original author.