Can't stop saying Denny Crane

I'm a late-comer to Boston Legal but now that I'm there, I'm kind of hooked. 

It's not that I think that it's the most amazing tv show ever made or anything - The Wire and pretty well anything that's ever screened on HBO is still well ahead there - but there are a couple of things about it that I seem to be fixated on at the moment. 

For one thing, while it's a fairly clever show and definitely well made, it's relatively light and fluffy in comparison to the excellent/worthy shows on my "to-watch" list. We're talking about The Corner, Generation Kill (both from The Wire creator, David Simon), Breaking Bad, Caprica and a few others. Truth be told, these are all fantastic shows - I do believe that we live in a golden age of tv - but over all, there is something of a seriousness, even a modern grimness to all of them.

Boston Legal creator, David E Kelley, has an admirable track record in sharp, funny production over the last few years - Ally McBeal and The Practice of particular note. Shows that take a very tv look at current events and issues by popping them into the middle of a busy, big-time law firm peopled with fascinating and ridiculously good looking and witty staff. Rather unlikely in reality but perfect for tv. 

Boston Legal's core is the great Denny Crane - played, of course, by William Shatner. A more than a little bit eccentric, larger than life character who has never lost at anything. His catch-phrase is simply his name, repeated frequently as though the words themselves are simply all that need to be said. And, like songs on commercial radio, after a little while, the repetition really does its job. 

The phrase "Denny Crane" becomes shorthand for "don't worry, it's me, what bad thing could possibly happen" or "of course we won, it's me". It's a call of absolute and utter confidence, mixed with that dash of justified egotism and there is something incredibly affirming about just saying the words. It says - everything is ok and yes, I am freakin awesome. 

Forget that Denny Crane is a full-blooded right winger, forget that he is gun-crazy and even shot Omar (yes, from the Wire) in the head with a paint-ball gun in one episode, all that matters is Denny Crane. 

(Personally, I'd like to be more like his best buddy, the brilliantly played James Spader character Alan Shore. Incredibly intelligent, wry, sound lefty, incredibly magnetic and with a nice measure of dark self destructiveness to keep things entertaining. One day. ) 

Denny Crane