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Word Salad Day Season 02 Episode 21

Boston Legal / Season 02, ep 06 starring James Spader, Mark Valley, Julie Bowen, William Shatner, Candice Bergen, Rene Auberjonois, Justin Mentell, Sara Michelle Bathe

Show Notes for Boston Illegal Radio
"Word Salad Day" 2x21 March 28, 2006
Host Dana Greenlee; Co-host Tessa Auberjonois and Adrian LaTourelle

Part 1 of 2 mp3 download [82 min; 28 mb]
Part 2 of 2 mp3 download coming soon

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1. Intro
A Story of emptying your bucket, the family cooperative, Dopamine- the master molecule, passion or addiction, Pillow pants, value your melancholy – and needing friendship.

Tease: Special guest co-hosts Adrian LaTourelle and Tessa Auberjonois, co-stars in the episode as Evette Richardson and Chris Mott, joined me and provided great behind-the-scenes insight. Tessa was one of the wives in the polygamy case and is Rene Auberjonois' daughter. Adrian played Chris Mott, Brad's client in the 'death by video game' storyline. Adrian and Tessa are also married in real life.

Some highlights include:
- Their audition process
- What Mark Valley and Adrian LaTourelle decided about their characters relationship before filming their first scene
- Why Adrian thought "Oh, my God" when filming with Candice Bergen
- What it was like acting opposite Rene Auberjonois or, as Adrian calls him, dad.
- Who was the worst jokester of all during breaks in the courtroom scenes.
- What things Tessa learned from watching Julie Bowen work.
- Tessa's thoughts on polygamy
- Steve Eckhardt's tongue twister that had everyone in stitches
- The challenge of acting from the witness chair on television
- The benefits of acting the scene even when the camera is on another actor.

First, I want to find out a bit more about our guest hosts Adrian and Tessa, then all of us will deconstruct “WSD”. We’ll get Debb from Montreal on the phone to revisit our Parallel Univ/Trek in the courtroom. She’s found similar themes of games taking over your life [Wesley Crushers ‘game’) and seven Star Trek Alumni. Finally, we’ll merge into some BL news of the week.

Let’s take this by storyline: 1) The Practical side of Polygamy 2) Death by videogame 3) Denny and Alan’s excellent adventure 4) Balcony.

Steven Eckholdt .... A.D.A. Richard Kelton
Christopher Carroll .... Judge Stephen Bickel
Joel Polis .... Attorney Eric Yavitch
Jesse D. Goins .... Dr. Anyar Marks
Tessa Auberjonois .... Evette
Margaret Welsh .... Alena
Craig Anton .... Ray Richardson
Adrian LaTourelle .... Chris Mott
Romy Rosemont .... Stephanie Beller
Kelly Connell .... Attorney John Hoberg
Francesca P. Roberts .... Judge Jamie Atkinson
Ken Land .... Dr. Samuel Williams
Ron Canada .... Judge Willard Reese
Jennifer Parsons .... Dr. Reesa Klaywig
Mark Knudsen .... waiter
Aja Evans .... Jessica
Marty Ryan .... jury foreman
Alyss Henderson .... pedicurist

Chat with Tessa and Adrian:
You’ve had many jobs as actors on stage, even together (“1984” in Seattle. Live acting w/ archival video).
Meet at Yale?
Have either of you worked in a field outside of acting?
What style or context of acting do you prefer or plan to do in the future? (tv, film, stage, drama, comedy)
Tell about the experience of casting for Word Salad Day. Did you decide together to go for it? Did you audition?
Had either of you been on the BL set before?
Have you watched it much over the two seasons? Thoughts on David E. Kelley work?

Episode Conversation
side:  “WSD” was directed by Jeannot Szwarc; Written by Michael Reisz & Sanford Golden & Karen Wyscarver
Both: Jeannot’s been directing 35 years - Kojak and Night Caller, Jaws 2, Somewhere in Time Chat about experience of having him direct you. Any memorable direction that helped? Were the writers - Michael, Sanford, Karne – around talking with you about the script?

1. Death by videogame
SB-5 Brad: Chris is an old buddy of mine from Annapolis. Right now he’s founder and CEO of Alcove Games. Last quarter they posted a profit of five hundred and two mil. [:56]
Adrian: Any insight that Mott went to Annapolis [Navy/Marine] and Denny said Brad was at West Point [Army]. Friends or classmates?
Ellen Beller’s deposition w/Brad, Paul, Shirley, John Hoberg: coroner’s report lists the cause of death as a myocardial infarction brought on by physical exhaustion after 36 hours. Brad took a lot of flack for making this point, but in keeping with looking at cause, not blame – and done gently.
SB-6. Shirley: The report states that playing the game dramatically increases the dopamine levels in the player’s brains.” ... Brad: “We’ll simply comply… Fully.” [1:04]
Adrian: Impressions of the three cast members in your storyline: Rene (!), Candice and Mark. (Tessa: please jump in with your thoughts as well.)
Attorney John Hoberg mentions Dr Samuel Williams study. Judge Reese allows testimony. In the witness room:
SB-7 Chris: “Dr Williams is a psychologist we hired to consult …Alcove Games is not gonna to be a scapegoat.” [:47]
Adrian: How much does Mott know? Brad doesn’t buy it. Talk about Ron Canada as the judge. He was the judge in the cat-on-life-support case (There’s Fire). And in Stick It in the police impersonation case. Impressions of Kelly Connell as Attorney John Hoberg and Ken Land (Williams) – both of whom were in Star Trek: Voyager.
SB-8 Hoberg, Dr Williams, Brad: the master molecule of addiction … Heroin dealers don’t need to hire a marketing department. [1:55]
Side: The original script has Paul Lewiston doing the cross-examination of Dr Samuel Williams.
Adrian: Lots of courtroom filming. What did you guys do to amuse yourselves between takes?
SB-9 Closing arguments: Atty Mark Neuman: “When I was fifteen, I smoked cigarettes …” Brad compares to a real meth addiction [2:13]
Mrs. Beller at the conclusion – if her look at Brad could kill….
SB-10 Verdict Judge Reese: “The defense’s motion for summary judgment is granted.” Chris: “So, Champ, where can I buy you dinner?” [:50]

2.  The Practical side of Polygamy
SB-1 Evette Richardson: I’m at 149 Edgar Street … So, it’s time for a change. [:55]
Tessa: The quick back and forth is pretty funny. Difficult? Tell us about Margaret Welsh, your ‘wife’ Alena.
SB-2 Evette: It’s not religious. It’s practical. I’m a dietician at Mercy Hospital. And what does every working mother always plead? “I wish I had a wife.” [1:55]
Tessa: Ever feel that way? Judge Atkinson ‘sounds wonderful!’ Alena: It’s about the sex. Ray nods happily.
SB-3 Denise to Dr. Klaywig: What is the divorce rate in this country? … we just haven’t institutionalized it yet. [:58]
Tessa: Tell us about shooting courtroom scene. Several small children. Thoughts on Julie Bowen? Steven Eckholdt? Francesca Roberts (Judge Atkinson has been in 4 BL eps). Francesca also had one appearance on It's Like, You Know... (1999) with fellow your ‘opposing counsel’ Steven Eckholdt.
Craig Anton as Ray? Jennifer Parsons as Klaywig had a 2-episode stint on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in 1995. (short bios on last page)
Script: A.D.A Richard Kelton gives closing; slippery slope “Why not go down to a hospice and marry fifty terminally ill women so they can have your health benefits? If a billionaire could marry a thousand women and claim them all as dependants on his tax return”
Tessa: Would you mind explaining what you remember of Denise’s close: “We have single mothers, single fathers, two mommies, two daddies, ex-wives, ex-in-laws, you name it.” Perhaps writers quiet way of addressing issue of Civil unions, domestic partnerships, same-sex marriagne as a legal recognition?
SB-4 Foreman: We the jury, find Ray Richardson… Guilty. [:28]
Side: In the original script the verdict for Denise's case was, "Not guilty", but then a twist was added. Also, the name of the Judge originally was Lauren McCoy.
Tessa – would you mind relating the alternate ending and maybe lending your thoughts on why the change? Perhaps Denise’s closing had said it all already – or ‘judgments notwithstanding’ are rare and may be too dramatic and heavy?
Original ending: Foreman: Not guilty.
Denise and Ray finally exhale. Alena and Evette hug their children. Before the gallery murmurs grow too loud, Kelton rises and addresses Judge McCoy.
A.D.A. Kelton: Your Honor, the Commonwealth moves for a Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict.
Denise spins. The gallery quiets. Judge McCoy weighs Kelton’s motion heavily. Then.
Judge Lauren McCoy: Being a mother myself, I know first hand how difficult it is to raise a family.. And our country’s limited short sighted definition of what a true ‘family’ is simply baffles me. However, our country and our legislature has codified that definition, at least as it pertains to legal marriage. It is the place of the people, not this court, to revise that definition. Then. As a matter of law, Mr Kelton’s Motion for a Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict is hereby granted. The defendant is hereby remanded into custody until sentencing next week.
Denise Bauer: Your Honor!
Judge Lauren McCoy: I’m sorry, Mr Richardson, there is nothing I can do. This court is adjourned.
Gavel slams. Denise Bauer: To Ray and his wives. This isn’t over.
Deleted scene: Tessa – perhaps continue and explain this cut scene and your thoughts on why its gone? Maybe the bargaining/date discussion between Denise and Kelton was the substitute? This scene came after Denise met with Kelton to hear his offer of a settlement and she’s taking it to the RIchardsons – all before the verdict.
Denise is in her office with Evette, Alena and Ray.
Evette Richardson: But what about… our life? We’d have to get an annulment, then live in sin, in order to live legally?
Alena Richardson: And what if, say, I was the one who annulled our marriage and God forbid Ray ended up in the hospital. I’d have not visitation rights. I’d have no right to consent for his medications, we couldn’t even ride in the ambulance.
Denise Bauer: I know it’s a tough choice, but the alternative is risking Ray going to jail. And as so often happens when one is sent to jail, their job is not necessarily waiting for them when they get back.
The trio takes this in a good long beat, then…
Evette Richardson: No.
Alena Richardson: No.
Ray Richardson: Those friggin’ monogamists are discriminating against us, and we won’t stand for it!
Denise Bauer: Guys, are you…?
Evette/Alena/Ray: No!

End of Part 1 END MUSIC:  - Tammy Wynette "Stand By Your Man" with episode sound bites edited in

Part 2 of 2 [http://www.boston-legal.org/audio/Boston-Legal-2x21-WordSaladDay-2.mp3]
Cming soon

1. Denny and Alan's Excellent Adventure


6. Trek in the Courtroom

8. News
March 28, 2005 "Word Salad Day"

END: Theme - Tammy Wynette "Stand By Your Man" with episode sound bites edited in
~ FIN ~


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