Sunday, February 20, 2005

William Shatner



William Shatner is having the last laugh. After years of (well justified) ridicule for his acting tics, the erstwhile Captain Kirk has found a character to which he can bring not only his blustery, outsized persona but also some wonderfully subtle and poignant nuance: Denny Crane.

David E. Kelley's Boston Legal (a spin-off from The Practice) is a sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, often engaging show about a high-powered legal practice. The writing is sharp (if occasionally a bit preachy) and the cast...Shatner, James Spader, Candice Bergen, Rene Auberjonois, Betty White...is top-notch and firing on all cylinders.

Shatner is at the top of his game as the (yes) blustery Crane, pompous (self-important enough to think just the portentous mention of his name..."Denny Crane"...is all that's needed to inspire both fear and awe in opponents and co-workers alike) and yet sympathetic (and not just because the character is battling early symptoms of Alzheimer's.) It's a tour-de-force...showcasing, among other things, real emotional gravity as well as a deft sense of comic timing... and the good Captain already has two Emmys on his mantle to show for it.

"Denny Crane." Damn right.

8 comments:

punditz said...

I LOVE Denny Crane. As you've pointed out, Shatner is excellent in the role. Just perfect. His "Pop Goes The Weasel" puts me away. But it's also true that the entire cast of that show is very good and the writing couldn't be better. But I tune in every week to get my "fix" of "Denny Crane". :)

CT said...

Not only is James Tiberius (sorry, can't resist) showing off his acting chops, he's also getting some surprising critical acclaim for his music album, Has Been. He's livin' large.

Mike said...

I couldn't agree with you more. Best new show of the year...

JC said...

Just wanted to say hello and that the weather in Illinois today sucks....cold and wet.

Len said...

I never thought Shatner was a bad actor. He just liked to ham it up in whatever he did - he had fun.

Anonymous said...

Love Boston Legal - Love everything about that show. I never liked James Spader until BL.

Denny Crane and Donny Crane - that was classic. I love people who refer to themselves in the 3rd person.

:: Mona ::

Brandon said...

Like CT said, his album has been getting good reviews, especially from me. I love it. However I haven't watched Boston Legal yet but I was glad to see him pick up a Golden Globe.

Anonymous said...

Loved Shatner since I was old enough to know what a TV was. But I must say that "Denny Crane" is the first role that really fitted since he stepped down as Captain of the Enterprise.

Ana - Independence of
Mind