David E Kelly--is "Boston Public" a documentary show on "The Practice"?

Just saw the season finale of The Practice. In the case Rebecca and Johnny was on, one of the witnesses said that she did not want to miss Boston Public, “which comes on at 8 o’clock on Fox”. Now I know that David E. Kelley, the best TV writer ever, is not one too highbrow to sneak a plug for his other shows, but wait a minute. Isn’t Boston Public set in the same universe as The Practice? Did they not have a crossover this season just past? Is this some kind of TV series warp or something?

It is not as bad a gap in plot as Buffy’s sister forgetting to tell Buffy and the Scooby gang that the doctor Ben and Glory, the bitch goddess villain, is one and the same. but still I and many others came to expect better continuity from D. Kelley. Come on D. Kelley, you slipping too badly now just because you’re writing for three shows, and your talents are diluting. Is it that you can’t trust anybody else to write your shows because of what happened to Picket Fences in its last season? I have a solution for you. Give some writing chores for your three series to Joss Wheadon.

Yes, the fact that the cast of “The Practice” inhabit the same “universe,” and interact with the cast of “Boston Public” in that universe also caused me pause at this inside plug.

I have no clue about Kelley’s writing creds and practices as “The Practice” is the only show of his I watch, saw “Boston Public” only on the crossover episode in which the teacher was fired.


Wait a minute. The title thread was supposed to be:

David E. Kelley–is “Boston Public” a documentary show on “The Practice”?

Apparently, the quotes have been cut.

A documentary show? Sorry, I don’t get your meaning. Maybe I’m dense.


Sir, if the high school where the setting of “Boston Public” takes place, is to be a real high school in “The Practice/Ally McBeal” world, then a show based on that high school, a show mentioned on one of the other shows, would have to be, relative to the other two shows, a documentary series. That is the only logical workaround.

I see, or as I thought after I posted, it could be some type of Bostonian edition of “Good Morning, America.”

But, no, I don’t think that was intended. I think it was a plug, one, unfortunately that sorta screwed up the very serious drama that was going on.

Sir Rhosis

Maybe it’s all just fiction and you’re susposed to watch it all with the suspension of disbelief.

Ever think of that? :smiley:

Stop it SPOOFE! You’ll scare them all off!

Excuse me, but although Winslow High, and principal Stephen Harper, certainly inhabit the same universe as The Practice characters do, it doesn’t follow that a show named “Boston Public” is about Winslow High and features a principal named Stephen Harper. Perhaps, in the Practice/BP universe, “Boston High” is about a fictional Boston high school named Homer High, and has a large, intimidating Asian principal.

There’s plenty of ways to dodge this bullet.

  • Rick

He’s done it before - which leads me to believe that he does it on purpose. It’s almost as though it’s an “Aren’t we cool for messing with your minds?” thing. (To which the answer is, “No, not really.”)
Ally & The Practice are also in the same universe (the crossover show). But, on one episode Ally ran into Helen at the courthouse, and came home that night to hear the Practice episode where they find the head on television.

Maybe the world in the Kelley shows is sort of like The Truman Show or EDtv and everyone is followed around by camera crews fliming their every movement and then the film is edited down into an hour.

Anyone remember Moonlighting? The characters knew they were in a TV show; in one episode, Bruce Willis showed the bad guy that week’s script. It’s called “breaking the fourth wall,” the imaginary wall that separates the show from the audience.

Capacitor, if you put quotes in your thread title, they will disappear (along with the enclosed words) if you use “Preview”.

I can suspend my belief more than you can, Spoofe. So there! But it doesn’t work here. Why? A fundemental rule of world creation: you can make your world as wacked out, funky, and crazy as you’d like. But once you establish the rules of your world, you must stick with them.

The Practice created a world where the people on Boston Public were real. To now say that they’re tv characters goes against a rule previously created. It’s either sloppy writing, a cheap shot against loyal viewers, or both.

Imagine if the show suddenly decided that the district attorneys could shoot the defendents they didn’t like as part of their job duties. Every character on the show was ok with this. You’d scratch your head, wondering why a person was lying dead on the floor of the courtroom and everyone just went on with their day as if nothing had happened. Me? I’d switch the channel.

Well, obviously, one of the rules is that Boston Public is both real (from The Practice’s point of view) AND fictional!

Use your imagination… it’s not as hard as you think.

On a slightly related note, remember the movie Maverick? There’s the scene where Mel Gibson (the title character) and Danny Glover (a bank robber) both look at each other, seem to recognize each other for a moment (they did the Lethal Weapon series, remember?), then shake their heads and say “Na-a-a-h…”

Same thing here. Sometimes, you need to take the viewers out of the reality in order to provide greater immersement into it.

(Note: I’m not saying this is necessarily the case here… I don’t watch The Practice OR Boston Public. I’m just saying that sometimes the show creators have to have a little fun now and then, too… and when it’s apparent that THEY had fun, usually I have more fun, too.)

Thread title fixed. capacitor, listen to the wise coding words of jab1- items in quotes in a thread title disappear should the OP be previewed before being submitted. It’s a known (and annoying) bug.

Boston Public?

The Practice?


In one episode of Emergency, Johnny Gage and Roy DeSoto were watching an episode of Adam-12 that occured that same season! Even though they crossed over fairly often. Squard 51 got a call right at a cliff-hanger and Gage spent the rest of the show trying to find out how it ended!

None of this “I don’t wanna miss it.” stuff. They actually showed them watching a scene from Adam-12! It was on the screen!

Now THAT’S self-referential.

Kids today.


No sense of history


originally posted by jab1:

I really don’t like gags like this. Blows my suspension of disbelief right out of the water.

You want self-referential? Watch a Hope & Crosby Road picture. In one, Crosby is about to sing to Dorothy Lamour and Hope faces the camera and tells the audience they can go out for popcorn now. Then, of course, there are half the cartoons ever made: A character getting annoyed by someone in the audience standing up; a duck and two hunters turn monochrome, turn around and see a sign that reads “Technicolor ends here;” characters running so fast, they go beyond the filmstrip. (Most of these gags were done by Tex Avery.)

I think “breaking the fourth wall” works in comedies only.