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JD

Sarah Paulson has an excellent role to her credit as Miss Isringhausen on "Deadwood"; I agree with you that it's the writing, not the actress. Step it up, Aaron!

Jaquandor

Ooooooh, ER -- how far that show has fallen. I don't even watch it anymore. I watch CSI and tape Grey's Anatomy, which I then watch on tape at 10:00.

For some reason, I've never caught the L&O bug. I watch maybe two or three episodes of it a year and I'm good.

flem snopes

I submit Larry McMurtry as one male American writer who can write female characters.

One need look no further than Aurora Greenway and Emma (Greenway) Horton in Terms of Endearment.

Justin K.

Paulson is a fine actress, its just that Harriet is way undercooked as a character. I lost track of the show around episode 4, and Harriet's Christianity seemed little more than an excuse for her to smugly lord it over the rest of the cast and crew. Her piety seemed sui generis, it lacked the nuance and history and anxiety that attends the faith of the non-insane fundie Christians I've met. Maybe if we saw Harriet really struggling with the tension between her faith and the various temptations of showbiz (sex, drugs, acclaim), maybe if her piety was reaction to a previous wild period in her life. Right now, she's just a set of position papers.

Frenchdoc

Women on L&O have been a problem ever since the departure of Jill Hennessy and Carey Lowell. It's been downhill ever since. On the other hand, I think Mariska HArgittay and Kathryn Erbe are pretty good, especially compared to the replacement they got during their pregnancies!

Has anyone noticed how many Oz "graduates" tend to rotate on L&O?

monkyboy

If you think the biggest problem with Studio 60 is a mismatch between the setting and Aaron Sorkin's writing style...what setting should he pick for his next series?

A few ideas:

1. The U.N.
2. The CPA/U.S. Embassy in Baghdad starting in 2003
3. The Shanghai office of a large American company
4. The Founding Fathers starting around 1774

???

Kevin Wolf

Nice to see the praise for Kathryn Erbe. I think you nailed what's she's doing right and she's one of the best - man or woman - that the L&O franchise has featured.

Claire

I completely agree with you with your assessment of Kathryn Erbe. I think she does a wonderful job. One thing that I hate in mystery dramas is that the writers always seem to want to put sexual tension between the male and female detectives. (Maybe I'm thinking more Mystery! on PBS...) What I like about CI is that there is an easy understanding between Goren and Eames and that they seem like natural partners. They know how to play against each other with the suspects without their egos getting involved.

As for ER, man does that show suck now. It just keeps getting more and more ridiculous as it seems to recycle plots.

Claire

I completely agree with you with your assessment of Kathryn Erbe. I think she does a wonderful job. One thing that I hate in mystery dramas is that the writers always seem to want to put sexual tension between the male and female detectives. (Maybe I'm thinking more Mystery! on PBS...) What I like about CI is that there is an easy understanding between Goren and Eames and that they seem like natural partners. They know how to play against each other with the suspects without their egos getting involved.

As for ER, man does that show suck now. It just keeps getting more and more ridiculous as it seems to recycle plots.

Lesley

I miss L&O Trial by Jury. That show had two intelligent capable female leads, Bebe Neuwirth and Amy Carlson.

harry near indy

something tells me that this season might be the original law and order's last. that something is the fact that it's on friday nights, which is where networks often send shows to die.

charlie

Erbe is great.

Now Govich. Interesting. I will say she has a killer bod. I kind of like the fact she looks stupid most of the time. Part of the character.

I was on the "L&O is dead" bandwagon, but I have to admit the last few shows have been interesting. Better than average. Maybe they can get one more year out of it.

Now Diane Neal..that's the sexy one. You know how crazy those innocent looking girls are in bed...

barking up trees

gee, thanks for that prolonged elaboration as to what a tom-boy be or not be...

actually, the chuckle aside, it's fairly apt in its definition, and well said, that... was just amused by your need to "explain" yourself when you say >gasp< "tom-boy"... !!

logorrhea

The problem with Harriet is that her character doesn't feel organic...Harriet seems to serve as a device that allows Sorkin to criticize Republicans and extreme evangelicals without drawing ire from Focus on the Family. Harriet is supposed to be the "good kind of Christian" that non-Christians can accept, but which Christians like and can identify with. It's contrived, imo, to keep Dobson's troops from inundating NBC with phone calls and letters.

I find that whole pre-show prayer circle to be pretty unbelievable, too. The Christian element in Studio 60 just strikes me as a way to keep everyone happy. I never saw West Wing...did they use similar devices to please both the right and the left?

L&O is on its last legs. I mean, it's on Friday night, for Christ's sake.

marianne19

As a former tomboy, who's had some hard-won success getting heard in the boardroom boys-club, I love your analysis. I still can't sit still for long!

I watch L&O, the formula is very soothing for some reason; and I like your read on the actresses, too. Even more I like Helen Mirren in Prime Suspect. The show is very realistic in its scripts and what Mirren does with good material just makes it better.

Eos

But isn't Govich's addition to the L&O cast a net positive -- in that the viewers are no longer subjected to the oleaginous uncharm of Dennis Farina?

Although it doesn't help that she (like too many characters across the franchise, especially recently) hasn't really been given a role to play -- it's all too easy to picture the actress asking "Where does my character come from? What are her hopes, her dreams, her fears?" and the writers replying "She's hot."

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