Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Forgotten TV: PAPER CHASE



No, not the book and not the movie although John Houseman is in both, in the role he seemed born to play. “

"The study of law is something new and unfamiliar to most of you, unlike any other schooling you have ever known before. You teach yourselves the law, but I train your minds. You come in here with a skull full of mush and, if you survive, you leave thinking like a lawyer."

This series debuted in 1978 and was on for four years. James Stephens played the leading role of a student at Harvard Law.  Four years was probably too long. Law school itself is only three. But it was an intelligent drama that did not feature cops or hospitals, a rare thing then and now. And based on my son's experience in law school, fairly accurate.

15 comments:

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

We watched it too and I agree it went on too long. Houseman won an Oscar for playing Kingsfield in the movie. I thought James Stephens did a good job as Hart but he certainly hasn't done much memorable since.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Became one of those actors known for one role, I think.

Charles Gramlich said...

I sometimes watched the TV show, mostly for Houseman's voice

Richard said...

I read the book, saw the film and liked the TV show the best. Since I enjoyed it so much, it didn't seem to go too long, at least in retrospect. And not an AK47, exploding car or violent chase, it would be a pleasure to watch today.

George said...

Not a chance a series like this would be shown on network TV today. Maybe Netflix or AMAZON Prime might risk it. Houseman was terrific.

Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

I used to love this - it's been at least 30 years though ...

Brian Busby said...

Did it go on too long? If so, I'm lucky. I caught only the first season. As a sixteen-year-old, I thought it was just about the best thing on television, but by age seventeen my life had become dedicated toward a succession of girlfriends. I simply stopped watching TV. My first apartment had nothing but a radio and stereo - which were more than enough.

All these years later and I've still never seen an episode of Cosby or Cheers.

Brian Busby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pattinase (abbott) said...

Then you have little hope of ever understanding our cultural heritage, Brian. But even more so, we yours.

Brian Busby said...

I have faith that in my ability to catch up, Patti. My understanding is that there was a show called The Dukes of Hazzard. Should I start there or with Hello, Larry?

pattinase (abbott) said...

I LOVE LUCY or THE HONEYMOONERS if you want to be thorough.

Margot Kinberg said...

OK, that is a classic film! Loved it!

Todd Mason said...

Well, it was an interrupted series...the CBS season, then the Showtime (I think it was) episodes later...Robert Ginty had left to become a Tough Guy actor, however briefly, before the revival. 64 episodes. Repeats ran on PBS the next season after CBS cancellation, but PBS wouldn't manage to get the funding together for commercial network castoffs till the concluding episode of I'LL FLY AWAY and the two seasons of AMERICAN FAMILY (a Fox production the network declined, so Fox studios asked PBS if they wanted a taste, and the dvd sales propelled it into the second season).

Todd Mason said...

And, yeah, it was Showtime. It was Cinemax that picked up SCTV after NBC dropped them.

Todd Mason said...

Well, George, there have been series not too different since, and this one was barely on commercial broadcast...