The Defenders

defendersTelevision boasts a long and illustrious love story with lawyers. Even the American Bar Association posted a 25 Greatest Legal TV Shows list which features The Defenders and ranks my personal favorite, L.A. Law as #1. Beginning in 1961, The Defenders spent four years on American television as a powerful legal drama highlighting many hot button issues of the early 1960’s. The first episode surrounds the murder of a Down’s Syndrome infant by a doctor who felt he was performing a mercy killing. Over 60 years later we cringe at the language – Mongoloid, idiot, but the mood is there for change and it’s fascinating watching the morality of the post-war country begin to crumble. E.G. Marshall and an extremely young 29 year-old Robert Reed play father and son attorneys who defend clients no other lawyer will touch. Fascinating premise.  Unfortunately there was no remastering of the video so the image and audio quality on these DVDs are poor. You sort of get used to it after a while, but I couldn’t see myself investing in 32 episodes of the first season. One was enough to wet my appetite. 3.5 out of 5 for the critically acclaimed The Defenders.

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