David E. Kelley Likes Stirring the Pot

Shore Secretly Wants GOP to Win Midterms -- to Continue His Battles

Kelley also says that Shore loves to just mix it up, loves to take on the establishment and stand up for the outsider. There's no issue too big, or cause too small, for him to take on, and Kelley suspects that his character likes having a Republican administration to slug with along the way. Even to the point where Kelley suspects Shore may secretly want the GOP to come away with the 2006 elections.

"Shore loves to be a disrupter, too. So there's probably a part of him, I don't [think] he'd admit it, but I think he's probably happier with a Republican administration," he said.

When asked whether Shore would sue even the voters if the election went astray, Kelley reflected for a moment yet didn't think it was a stretch.

"That's not beyond him. That's certainly not beyond him," he said.

On the Other Side …

"Boston Legal" has a main character on the "other" side of the issues, Denny Crane.

Crane is, however, on his way out and losing his mental facilities as he goes. Another noncoincidence according to Kelley, yet also a voice for Republicans.

"I don't think it's a coincidence," Kelley said about Crane's at-once right and very kooky personality.

"That's not where it started from. It really started from a character. We wanted an iconic character that's past his prime and also past his cognitive prime losing his mind a little bit. We didn't sit down and say OK, once we've got a guy with symptoms of Alzheimer's let's make him a Republican."

"It just sort of seemed to be naturally organic, I guess," Kelley said. "But you'd be surprised at how many letters we get from people saying, 'Yeah, right on. Denny Crane says it like it is. Thanks for that.'"

"We have a lot of right-wing people who love the show. My parents are two of them. I'm told Rush Limbaugh likes the show," Kelley said.

Opposites Attract — and Provoke Thought

Kelley's career is as diverse as it is distinguished, and he said he defined his work by his characters.

In Crane and Shore, he certainly has two defining characters. Yet, what makes them, and this show, special is the bond such opposites have.

"Usually the characters distinguish all the shows from the others, in this case that would be true," Kelley said. "I think the friendship of Shore and Crane probably will be the lasting legacy of this show."

"It is a real intimate friendship between two grown heterosexual men who aren't afraid to be vulnerable with each other, and intimate with each other with respect to their insecurities and to their feelings. The fact that they take time out every day to either service or celebrate that friendship is very unique, and I think that's something we all long for."

When asked whether there was a metaphor to that -- the friendship and melding of two opposite points of view -- Kelley wasn't sure.

But he thought there's hope -- hope that in a world so divided, there could be understanding.

"Well, I'm not sure it's metaphor. I think there's some kind of unstated hope on my part that people with polar opposite political points of view can have dialogue," he said.

"In our country, it somehow became 'don't discuss religion and politics.' I wish we could abolish that rule because those are two things that really affect the way the world works, much less this country."

As far as his purpose, Kelley says it's always to entertain.

But he seems to hope his show also wakes people up and gets them talking, gets them considering other people have something to say -- and that's a good thing.

"Whether or not people are accepting our suggestions for answers, well that's OK if they do, OK if they don't," he said. "If they let themselves give rise to the question, and consider the question, I feel we've succeeded."

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