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    Lance Mannion
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travy

no one ever talks about how great michael moriarty was. it's like he's been scrubbed from the show's history? imo, he was far superior to the over the top bluster of waterston. ben stone was pure and idealistic--sort of an archangel--and along with richard brooks, the reason to watch for me... honestly, the first couple seasons were truly sublime compared to now and the lead ada casting has a lot to do with it...

JVD

I'm glad someone else spends as much time thinking about TV leads as I do. I just spent a couple of days comparing Greg House and Al Swearengen....

Mike Schilling

They secretly videotaped and photographed sex they had with consenting adults they met online and forced them to pay up or risk seeing their images in public, Nassau police said yesterday.

That's awfully complicated why not just hit them on the head with frying pans and steal their wallets?

DC

Yeah, a Law&Order about swingers, sounds great. If only we knew some sort of TV writer....

Sunny Jim

Wait. It's only a matter of time before some sneeringly unscrupulous producer from the Spike channel melds together 'Cops', Dateline's 'To Catch a Predator', and 'Candid Camera', and installs cameras in a whore house.

I haven't yet thought of a title for the show.

BOSSY

Can Bossy play the part of the flashlight wielding junior cop?

fly on wall

Well, Lance, I did watch L&O this week for a change. It was much worse than you could have imagined.

The Ann Coulter character not only doesn't get a free speech lecture from McCoy, she gets no comeuppance from any of the characters. In every encounter with every main character in the stable, the AC clone wins. She flirts with Ed, disses Van Buren as a female cop, gets to enrage liberals with pseudoscientific rigamarole, bests Arthur Branch in a political tactics debate. Just as the franchise has done when it ripped O'Reilly from the headlines, the creep gets the golden touch. Jesse Martin deserves better than this crap.

Raenelle

I quit watching after Lenny left too. I just had a vague feeling that I was done with the show and let it go at that. I really loved your analysis. Not that I ever approached that level of understanding; I watched too many L&Os out of sequence, as re-runs. I just loved hearing about Lenny again and, if your analysis is wrong, I wish it weren't.

Since I came to the same conclusion--that the heart of the show left when Lenny did--and never understood anything of the arc of Lenny's story, there had to have been also something special as a thing-in-itself about Jerry Orbach's portrayal.

Lesley

I miss Briscoe too, because he could act, and the woman who has (not) replaced him isn't suitable for the role of a detective (at least not on this show) and can't act her way out of a paper bag. It also irritates me that they put this gal in the same skin hugging shirt with the button down front, albeit in different colours, every single week. Her role seems to be to puff out her chest in these repeat shirts. Ugh ugh ugh.

ChaChaBowl

Two Law & Order casting wishes:

I had always hoped that back when Steven Hill played DA Adam Schiff on the original L&O, they'd have Martin Landau do a guest role as an old lawyer pal who worked with Schiff back in the 60's, as a nod to their "Mission: Impossible" days.

Second casting wish would be for the producers of L&O: Criminal Intent to cast Mark Rufalo as Goren's recently discovered younger step-brother, born several years after dad left Bobby's schizophrenic mom to raise Bobby alone.

Martin Wisse


The swingers never turn out to be anywheres near as sexy as they are on TV. They are, in fact, usually rather sad and tawdry people. The Newsday story includes the mug shots of the lover-extotionists and they are not exactly beautiful people. It makes me wonder how desperate you'd have to be to have been drawn in by this pair.

The attraction is not the beauty of those people, but their willingness to have sex with you. Very very few of us live up to Hollywood ideals of beauty after all...

velvet goldmine

Two pretty tangental questions -- anyone? anyone?

We just watched the movie "Shiloh," which stars Moriarity? He sounded awfully strange. Does anyone know if he had a stroke, or was he always like that? I guess it could have been Acting!! but it was really distracting.

Is the expression "ripped from the headlines" kind of screwed up, or is it just me? (No jokes please). You can rip something out of the newspaper, but how do you rip a headline? It bugs me, and if someone could demonstrate that I'm missing something, then I'll be embarrassed but no longer bugged. And "starve a cold/ feed a fever" keeps me pretty occupied as it is.

Chris G.

Two more L&O casting wishes: I always hope they'll cast Philip Bosco as the DA whenever that role goes vacant. And if Sam Waterston ever leaves the show, David Duchovny wouldn't be a bad choice at all to replace him.

velvet goldmine

Chris G., I think Sam Waterson's eyebrows have their own dressing room at this point. I love Duchovny, but if Waterson ever leaves, the only actor I can think of to fill that best-performing-eyebrows gap would be Peter Gallagher.

mac macgillicuddy

"but if Waterson ever leaves, the only actor I can think of to fill that best-performing-eyebrows gap would be Peter Gallagher."

Velvet,

You mean, aka "Serge"?

Lesley

We just watched the movie "Shiloh," which stars Moriarity? He sounded awfully strange. Does anyone know if he had a stroke, or was he always like that?

Moriarty was a hard core alcoholic for many years. It changed him. (I believe it's the reason he left L&O).

velvet goldmine

Lesley, That's interesting. Rush Limbaugh's voice did a similar thing, from the (possibly oxy-induced) hearing loss.

Mac, I have to get stern here: No inside jokes! (Consider the winky icon inserted.)

gravie

Thanks for the beautiful exposition on Lennie Briscoe-- one of the all-time great characters on TV. To me, he IS Law & Order. Although I like Dennis Farina, the seasons after Jerry Orbach left don't interest me much, especially now that the franchise has become ever more lurid and unbelievable.

rich

"I had always hoped that back when Steven Hill played DA Adam Schiff on the original L&O, they'd have Martin Landau do a guest role as an old lawyer pal who worked with Schiff back in the 60's, as a nod to their "Mission: Impossible" days."

Me too ... although they had the actor who played the terrorist (from the episode "Operation Rogash"). They had great scenes together in Mission: Impossible ... but in "Sonata for Solo Organ," alas, the two actors don't have any scenes together.

I miss Briscoe, but I don't think that's the problem. Chris Noth and Dan Florek (in the Law & Order episode guide) both commented that the show had become "L&O Light" after season nine or ten. It's true ... all different types of crimes and criminals, from different social stratas. Then, as Noth said, the producers were afraid that people wouldn't tune in "without the Armani suits."

Have you noticed lately how many episodes are based on "celebrity victims" or "celebrity criminals"? I've seen fictional counter-parts of Brittany Spears, Ann Coulter, Michael Jackson, etc ... but in the earliest seasons, the detectives investigated hardcore felons, and often wound up in some very seedy parts of town. No more ... every criminal walks a red-carpet these days.

Makes you wonder if they shouldn't just retitle the show "Law & Order: Celebrity Intent."

cgeye

What in the heck happened last week? L&O: SVU stunk up the joint, with a topic (chemical co. poisoning children through testing) that could have been handled intelligently -- but they threw out logic, and even pertinent backstory, for brute expediency.

Olivia spent months undercover as an ecoterrorist, and no one brings this up, as possibly biasing her investigation?

The research company is allowed to pull up stakes, and vanish without any forensic accounting investigation whatsoever, even though they most likely ordered the hit of the slug superintendent, who poisoned the children and took photos of them?

And no one, no one, NO ONE wonders why the toxic applications of an experimental pesticide -- applications so subtle that tapes and interviews can take place over several months -- suddenly become an hazmat event, affecting an entire apartment house, even though the drum was sealed, and the chemical only applied on the heating system? Why did everyone faint -- this would call attention to the testing. Who panicked, who decided to get rid of the evidence so clumsily? Who was stupid enough to not search those apartments for their informed consent paperwork, before deciding to kill everyone?

What it boils down to is that Olivia's blackmail of the Company CEO was clumsily achieved, under a heavily protracted timeline, when the story could have emerged throughout the rest of the season, with good investigative work bringing forward research company employees squealing and making deals, building a case too strong to be covered up by the EPA or anyone else.

The writers were lazy, and wanted a win when a win was not indicated. For example, did anyone ask for or get lifetime medical care for the special needs children who were exposed, without anyone's consent? Did anyone negotiate new, clean housing for those displaced tenants? Cancer screening, for all adults and children, for the market life of the product tested? It used to be that SVU were concerned about *all* its victims; now, it's concerned only about the victims Olivia or Elliot personally get abused with. Bad news, and bad plotting.

cgeye

um, *un-protracted*

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