L.A. Law takes us inside the law firm of McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney and Kuzak. There, a team of ambitious and competitive attorneys must face the conflicts between their personal desires, their obligations as lawyers, and their principles as human beings. A portrayal of the law and its litigators that was both realistic and irreverent, L.A. Law became a favorite of critics and audiences alike.
This is L.A. Law, which not only is the best offering of the new television season, but the best pilot for a new show since Hill Street Blues' debut six TV seasons ago. It will, as they say, make you laugh; it will make you cry. It brandishes a superior cast and a wit and style that elevate it immediately into the rarefied Hill Street/St. Elsewhere atmospheres -- shows whose structure of interwoven story lines that dangle from episode to episode it shares. [14 Sept 1986, p.K1]Miami Herald Full Review
So rousingly well done that it seems to come from a different solar system than most contemporary episodic television shows, and yet too many rapturous panegyrics could spoil some of the fun. The two-hour pilot for the series...is so terribly and industriously entertaining that you hate to see the program lumped in with things that are supposedly "good for you." This isn't a John Chancellor commentary. This is living, breathing matter -- clever, thoughtful, ribald and hard-boiled. [15 Sept 1986, p.B1]Washington Post Full Review
It's high-pitched, unforgettable, knockout, electrifying TV...There should be a law requiring more series like NBC's new L.A. Law. [15 Sept 1986, p.C1]Los Angeles Times Full Review
Looks like the best new TV series of the fall season, filled with fascinating people, ingenious turns of plot, strong, offbeat drama, an unmistakable air of realism and some delicious bits of black comedy. [15 Sept 1986, p.C-1]San Diego Union-Tribune Full Review
A sharp, intelligent, splendidly entertaining venture that deftly draws upon a world of callousness and commitment, long hours and short fuses. [15 Sept 1986, p.5]Chicago Tribune Full Review
The cast is appealing -- particularly Hamlin, Eikenberry and Richard Dysart as the firm's fatherly senior partner -- and Bochco has become TV's most expert juggler of plots and characters. Yet the first episode of L.A. Law is considerably less daring than advertised.Time Full Review
After watching the rest of what is a very promising pilot, we are left with the unpleasant aftertaste of saccharin. A passing miscalulation, or a harbinger of episodes to come? Bring on the series. [15 Sept 1986, p.C14]The New York Times Full Review