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charlie

Lance -- great post.


The CSI style openings are really turning me off from CI. They erase some of the humanity wiht the blurred shots.

I agree with your point about the detectives becoming worse. I think Logan falls more into your model of just watching the crime come together, and that could provide an intersting contrast. Goren was getting too brilliant at times a few years ago so they had to take that down, but at least they didn't make him too self destructive (aka SVU).

L&O generally is getting too right wing for me.

Ken Houghton

Fairness note: Tom Arnold is actually good in True Lies.

CJColucci

Do you think Lt. Columbo is embittered because he never made Captain? There's probably a made-for-TV movie in Columbo's last case (I suppose the killer has to be Patrick McGoohan), his retirement, and his reflections on his career.
By the way, I always love how homicide cops seem to be authorized to "ignore" witnesses' lower-level illegalities in the pursuit of the greater crime. I wonder if real cops work this way?

Chuck

I remember Arnold being pretty good in Happy Endings even if the movie itself was mediocre. Wish I'd watched that episode--sounds interesting.

Falstaff

CJColucci:
...I always love how homicide cops seem to be authorized to "ignore" witnesses' lower-level illegalities in the pursuit of the greater crime. I wonder if real cops work this way?

I'm not sure how this works in most places. But, growing up in Portland, Oregon, I recall my father (who was a policeman for thirty-plus years, including time as a homicide detective) remarking how the rulebook often phrased its directives in terms of An officer may, and only rarely ventured into An officer shall, giving the individual cops plenty of leeway to judge situations for themselves. The exceptions were, as I recall, if a crime is committed right in front of one's eyes, or domestic violence. Stuff like that.

David W.

The scientist turned out to have done it and his motive was convoluted to the point of absurdity.

Talk about your set-ups now... :-p

Lynesse

Interesting. I've never seen anyone analyze L&O or its spin-offs. They don't, to me, seem to reward analysis of the literary/thematic sort since the writing can be clunky and heavy-handed, and there's a re-set button at the end of every episode. SVU in particular is kind of cracked out.

I haven't watched much CI, but I do agree that there hasn't been much actual detection going on lately. The detectives are spectators more than agents.

Jim Teacher

Great analysis of a great show. When I first saw L&O: CI, I couldn't watch it, not only becuase it was a sharp break from the rigid formula of L&O Classic, but also because of Goren himself: The way he lumbered through scenes and upsetting their inhabitants, invading people's spaces. Like you note about the show's criminals, I eventually came around.

Kate Marie

I've only ever seen Criminal Intent in reruns, but I've liked it -- particularly Goren and his partly sympathetic/partly psychologically sadistic persona.

I will add that, for me (and, I'd argue, for someone like Dostoyevsky), the problem with hyper-rationlists is not only that they believe in their own rationality, but that they believe the rational is synonymous with the good.

Njorl

I really wish that the L&O people would only rip a story from headlines once. The Haggard story was done by original L&O.

On a barely related note...

I saw a commercial for an SVU episode with someone saying "Elliot would never murder someone". That's ridiculous. The Elliot Stabler I've been watching is certainly going to either start murdering suspects or kill himself. He can't cope with the stresses of his job, and he can't accept help.

Bill S

At first, I thought you were referring the the Broadway Singer/Actor Sam Harris. I was a little disappointed when I realized you were talking about the other one. :)

Lance

CJColucci: There's probably a made-for-TV movie in Columbo's last case (I suppose the killer has to be Patrick McGoohan)

Yes! Exactly! I has to be McGoohan. Good trivia question, though: After McGoohan, who made the most appearances as a murderer on Columbo? I vote for Roddy McDowell.

Jennifer

I'd say Robert Culp.

vernonlee

I have a post up about some backstage wrangling vis-a-vis the show:

http://vernonlee.blogspot.com/2007/02/law-order-requiem-for-criminal-intent.html

HairlessMonkeyDK

Kate Marie said:

"I will add that, for me (and, I'd argue, for someone like Dostoyevsky), the problem with hyper-rationlists is not only that they believe in their own rationality, but that they believe the rational is synonymous with the good.".

First of all, what the hell is a "hyper-rationalist"?
Second, I've never met anyone, terming themselves rationalists, who've claimed that Rationalism automatically = Good. Perhaps they've called it "good", but not "Good", if you catch the difference.
Third, I have, however, come across many religious people
who believe either: 1) That because they are "saved", anything goes, or, 2) That they can do what they want and seek absolution afterwards.

Sure, everyone can be arrogant, no matter their religious beliefs or lack of same, but purely as a matter of -thinking-, I can't see how superstition would ever beat out that oh, so dreaded "hyper-rationalism".

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