YMMV / The Practice

  • Ass Pull: After spending most of Season 2 struggling to find opportunities for Lisa Gay Hamilton to stretch her acting muscles not portraying a lawyer, it is revealed at the beginning of Season 3 that Rebecca has passed the bar. She'd been taking night school classes, totally in secret... for the past five years.
  • Base Breaker: The Retool in the final season caused this. While most seem to agree that it stemmed the declining plots that had marked the later seasons, there's still a lot of debate as to whether Alan Shore and the additional law firm was needed. Some enjoyed the fact that there were finally characters who embraced their roles as amoral attorneys and were fun to watch, while others thought Alan was a Smug Snake and didn't like the fact that the main cast were basically sidelined for the majority of it, in favor of Alan and Denny's antics.
  • Complete Monster: Gordon from season 2's "Hide And Seek" rapes and murders two boys aged four and five respectively, before having sex with their corpses. While running from the police, he takes a woman hostage. After his arrest, he agrees to help the cops find the bodies solely so that he can be given a chance at parole in the future, and takes joy in seeing the mother of the boys break down in tears upon seeing their bodies. He later reacts with rage after being denied a possibility of parole.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Not at first, but as the moral integrity of the firm and all the characters degraded, it became clear that you wanted them to lose all their cases.
  • Deader Than Disco: The legal drama equivalent of NYPD Blue. At its height it was a smartly written, well-acted show with tons of Emmy nominations and wins. Now, it's barely remembered as a footnote in James Spader's career (as well as being difficult to find on home media). It doesn't help that the final season was essentially a set-up for Boston Legal (which was a bit more irreverent and fun).
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Ellenor, in part for being a well-written overweight, female character on primetime television (something quite rare, unfortunately). The role earned actress Camryn Manheim both an Emmy and a Golden Globe.
    • Alan Shore. James Spader was a shot in the arm for the series and the role earned him an Emmy, as well as a starring role in a very successful spin-off.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In an intentionally botched closing, Jimmy questions why so many celebrities show their support for AIDS sufferers by wearing red ribbons, and asks why there is no ribbon for heart disease, which his father died of. Well, now there is a ribbon for heart disease... and it's red.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Joey Heric, hands down.
  • Narm: When Bobby realises that Barry Wall (Christian Clemenson, better known for playing Jerry 'Hands' Espenson on Boston Legal) shot Jimmy, they fight and break a window, and then Bobby hangs him out the window until he confesses to shooting Jimmy. The way Bobby says 'Tell me you shot Jimmy, or you are out the window!' comes off more funny than serious.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Before Michael Emerson played Ben Linus, he played a serial killer on this show. In fact, The Practice probably has a lot more to do with the fact that he's typecast as a villain than anything else he's ever done.
  • Seasonal Rot: It's commonly agreed that the later seasons are this, as the moral righteousness of the main cast slowly deteriorated and Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy fully kicked in.
  • Tom Hanks Syndrome: To comedienne Camryn Manheim.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/ThePractice