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ames Spader has found his niche. His performance

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ames Spader has found his niche. His performance as Alan Shore on ABC's Boston Legal is another fine example of the actor's skill in playing deviant yuppie characters. Shore—a pompous, conceited, and staggeringly morally inept womanizer—has garnered positive attention from audiences and television critics who have lauded the character's real dialogue of social issues rather than sycophantic liberal political correctness; he says what he feels no matter how socially distasteful it may be to the other lawyers at Crane, Poole & Schmidt. This character is not one to be underestimated. Although he lacks such principles as honesty and integrity, he is loyal.

This season, as the writers have added a few quirks to the character, Shore's relationship with senior partner and pal Crane (William Shatner) has deepened. In one great plot line, Shore was revealed to suffer from night terrors and occasionally would run out to the balcony. After being rejected by several of his female co-workers, the notoriously homophobic Crane reluctantly agreed to sleep tethered to Shore. Other comedic highlights include the revelation that Shore has a near-crippling fear of clowns that developed during childhood.

Whether he is trying to sleep with yet another co-worker, defending a cold-hearted beauty accused of poisoning her wealthy older husband, or covertly chiding his fellow lawyers, Spader brings off-the-charts likeability to this role, making this strange character one the audiences can still relate to.

—Nicole Porter

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