An ex-superhero who retires from the to spend his days as an attorney sorting out cartoon characters' squabbles over copyright disputes, organized crime and animal cruelty... Perhaps not the usual plot of a television legal drama series, but according to the American Bar Association, the animated series Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law has what it takes to feature in their list of the 25 greatest legal television shows of all time.
The list, released last week, also features some more predicable fare, with the quintessential legal drama LA Law, which was accredited with inspiring many young students to enrol in law courses, named as the top legal pick, narrowly pipping Raymond Burr's iconic incarnation of Perry Mason.
The 60s series The Defenders, came in third, with Law and Order, The Practice and quirky 90s legal comedy Ally McBeal following closely behind. The Law and Order franchise confirmed what many TV execs have been preaching for years -- you can't have too much of a good thing -- with spinoffs L&O: Criminal Intent and L&O: Special Victims Unit also gaining a guernsey.
Other shows picked out for honours included Boston Legal, Rumpole of the Bailey, and Matlock, which was included for Andy Griffith's "crafty, high-priced defence genius" Ben Matlock, and most probably some heavy campaigning on the part of Bart Simpson's aunts (and devoted fans) Patty & Selma.
On the lighter side, the 80s non-so-respectable comedy Night Court, which featured a memorable turn by John Larroquette as a sleazy district attorney, managed a respectable tenth place in the list.
Unfortunately, most probably due in part to our differing legal systems, Folklaw was saddened to see the omission of some great Aussie classics from the list... Seachange, Rafferty's Rules, Carson's Law, anyone?
For a look at the ABA's full list, click here to which shows made the cut.
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