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Thread: Law and Order

  1. #401
    FORT Fogey anders332's Avatar
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    “No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible.” George Chakiris

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    Re: Law and Order

    I was really hoping that they'd get one more year out of it. The television landscape is going to look just sooooo unfamiliar next year.
    All I wanted was a 45, a stinking 45 - the record or the gun. I'd even settle for the damn malt liquor. - Al Bundy.

  3. #403
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    Re: Law and Order

    Me too - a year to wrap up the series would've been nice - I wonder if they'll bother killing off the Lu now - but I suppose that show's already in the can.

    NBC sucks, and I hated that they moved this show to Monday nights.
    “No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible.” George Chakiris

    Believe nothing that you hear and only half of what you see. :nono

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    Re: Law and Order

    Quote Originally Posted by anders332;3903114;
    Me too - a year to wrap up the series would've been nice - I wonder if they'll bother killing off the Lu now - but I suppose that show's already in the can.

    NBC sucks, and I hated that they moved this show to Monday nights.
    Yeah, wrapping up would be good, but I was really hoping that they'd beat Gunsmoke .
    All I wanted was a 45, a stinking 45 - the record or the gun. I'd even settle for the damn malt liquor. - Al Bundy.

  5. #405
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    Re: Law and Order

    Maybe we should try to think of it as "reincarnated." Sighhhh. They are doing Law and Order, Los Angeles, supposedly on the same formula as the original. But no Sam Waterston? Seems criminal, somehow.

    Here's a nice piece from Ken Tucker in EW.


    'Law and Order': Why It Was Important and Why You Weren't Watching It

    Now that the cancellation of Law & Order has been announced, I can say what I’ve been wanting to write for the past 24 hours: Everyone who’s now talking about how much the show will be missed… where were ya when it counted?

    Law & Order has been having a very good season. The frequent fireworks between Sam Waterston and his ADAs played by Linus Roache and Alana de la Garza were colorful sparklers. The series’ rare private-life subplot — the cancer diagnosis received by S. Epatha Merkeson’s Lt. Van Buren — has been handled with both muted emotion and an unsentimental realism rare for TV.

    But the fact that I even have to remind you of who’s doing what on the current show points to Law & Order‘s relative irrelevance to many people, and to the media. I don’t see Roache or de la Garza popping up on many of those “TV’s hottest hotties!” lists, and magazines and newspapers have missed out on good excuses to do lengthy career profiles of Waterston or Merkerson because… well, because by today’s media standards, they’re not Twitter-trending topics of interest.

    It’s almost hard to believe now, in this time of twisting narratives in everything from Lost to Damages, that when it premiered in 1990, Law & Order‘s premise was considered novel — even a bit radical. Dividing an hour-long drama into two halves, one for the police procedural, and the last 30 minutes for the courtroom drama? How schizophrenic, some said. Skeptics jeered that NBC might lose viewers for one half or the other, if their favorite characters didn’t remain onscreen for the full 60 minutes.

    But the public really liked the format, which was a new take combining the cop and lawyer genres. The show maintained a broad audience for a long time, in part because it had an age- and ethnic-diverse cast. People loved the stern-uncle approach of Steven Hill’s D.A. Adam Schiff, and producer Dick Wolf maintained a revolving door of attractive young women of varying degrees of charm, including Jill Hennessey, Carrie Lowell, Angie Harmon, and Elisabeth Rohm. The men were also uneven wild-cards: Michael Moriarty was an entertainingly mannered eccentric years before Vincent D’Onofrio took over that territory on Criminal Intent, and some folks never did cotton to the folksy mumbling of Fred Thompson when he replaced Steven Hill and Diane Wiest as D.A.

    L&O prided itself on ripped-from-the-headlines plots, trading on the controversies of the day. But at the same time, it was also comfort-television: You knew most cases would be wrapped up within the hour, you knew that even if the prosecution lost, there’d be a few words of bittersweet wisdom to be gleaned from Hill or Waterston just before the fade-out.

    The show’s New York location-shooting gave it a distinctive look. The series also provided work for countless New York-based actors whose true vocation was the stage, and who used their L&O day-player paychecks to continue pursuing their Broadway dreams. (Ben Shenkman, Jack Gilpin, Kate Burton, Elaine Stritch, Frances Sternhagen, and Mary Beth Hurt were among the many to sit on the witness stand, or wear judge’s robes, or sit behind the battered metal desk in the interrogation room.)

    In the history of TV, Law & Order served as a bridge between the first generations of cop and law shows (Dragnet; The Defenders) and the new breed of such shows (NYPD Blue; Homicide: Life on the Streets; The Practice). It was a sturdy bridge, even when its workers left and were replaced. Behind the scenes, Wolf was a pioneer in the idea that it was the concept, not the stars, that people tuned in to see. As soon as a featured actor made noise about money or a bigger role, he or she could find themselves disappeared quicker than a General Pinochet protester.

    Law & Order was never “cool.” It was as soothing as the lousy puns and hangdog sincerity of the late Jerry Orbach’s Lennie Briscoe. (Although Chris Noth and Jesse L. Martin both lent their cool-cat moodinesses to the show for a time.) In recent years, the more hyperbolic Special Victims Unit got the bigger ratings and more attention. But Law & Order made a case for the decency — and flaws — of the justice system as well as any work of popular culture, and gave us a lot of fine acting in the bargain.

    You don’t know what you were missing. The continued quality of the show is more important than the who-really-cares feat of beating Gunsmoke‘s 20-year record. Then again, after the final new episodes air on May 24, it’ll never be too late to start watching the reruns, to find a home for your burst of nostalgia.
    'Law & Order': Why it was important, and why you weren't watching it | EW.com
    Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment. --Dorothy Parker

  6. #406
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    Re: Law and Order

    I've watched Law & Order throughout it's reign (the older ones on repeats). I've watched this season as well but I understand the writer's point regarding the fact that the show and its stars aren't considered "hot" or "trendy." Whatever. It was a good show and I'll miss it.
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  7. #407
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    Re: Law and Order

    Quote Originally Posted by Rattus;3903151;
    Yeah, wrapping up would be good, but I was really hoping that they'd beat Gunsmoke .
    I'm glad they didn't beat Gunsmoke, which I loved. But, even if they had gotten to Season 21, they never would have been it in number of episodes since Gunsmoke was in the era of 39 episodes per season; in the latter seasons, they did whittle some of them down to 32 - 34.
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  8. #408
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    Re: Law and Order

    It's long been one of my all time favorites. And, this season has been especially well written, thought provoking and well acted.
    I'm sorry to see they're dumping it and keeping SVU. The latter has really gone downhill the past couple of years.
    And, to add an L & O / LA is just ludicrous. New York City was always that silent character on L & O adding its own wonderful backdrop whether it be the seamy underbelly or the wealthy uppercrest denizens.
    RIP, Law & Order, you will certainly be missed!
    To Thine Own Self Be True

  9. #409
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    Re: Law and Order

    This article was from Slate Magazine way back in 2002--but definitely a fun read!


    The Secret Vice of Power Women

    By Michael KinsleyUpdated Thursday, Nov. 14, 2002, at 1:45 PM ET

    (Note: In the marital relations system, the people are represented by two separate but equally important groups: the wives who watch Law & Order obsessively, and the husbands who don't. This is their story. Ka-chunk.)

    Recently I got married, fairly late in life for that sort of thing, and have made astonishing discoveries. Most of these revelations turn out to be common knowledge. But one, I believe, has not been widely aired.

    People's Exhibit A (my wife), Your Honor, is a formidable, intelligent woman with an important and challenging job and a full private life. (Also undeniable loveliness and charm, which are not strictly relevant to the present case.) She doesn't squander her time. And yet she spends many hours a week watching reruns of Law & Order—often back-to-back (the shows, that is).

    It would be misleading to call her a fan. Law & Order, the long-running crime drama, is not just one of her favorite TV shows, or even her very favorite. Other than reruns of Law & Order, she has almost no interest in television at all. Specifically, she has no interest in any of the (to me) barely distinguishable Law & Order spinoffs and rip-offs (such as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: Double-Entry Bookkeeping, CSI, CSI: Miami, Mayberry R.F.D. and so on.) She's not even interested in new episodes of Law & Order itself. She couldn't tell you what night it's on and has no view about what this country is coming to when a man like Fred Thompson can be plucked from the obscurity of the United States Senate and entrusted with the responsibility of running the prosecutor's office on Law & Order.

    Nor does she care—or even, possibly, notice—whether it is Michael Moriarty or Sam Waterston who is being unvarnished in any episode she may be watching. Don't ask her whether the female assistant district attorney is the blonde or one of the brunettes. Don't attempt to amuse her by predicting what demographic category the judge will be from. ("They've had four black women in a row, so I'm thinking white man. No, I know, that's ridiculous, so I'll go with white woman—but in a wheelchair. Whaddya think, Honey? Honey?? Ouch, that hurt. OK, never mind.")

    Exhibit A and I assumed that this was our little secret. Perhaps it had to do with our weather here in Seattle, which affects some people oddly. Or too much coffee. But then we had a visitor from the East Coast who announced that his wife was about to become the TV critic of a major newspaper. "And the amazing thing," he added, "is that she never watches TV except for reruns of Law & Order."

    Good grief. I began making discreet inquiries. My closest chum in Washington is a political columnist and TV pundit. I thought I knew her pretty well. Turns out that for years, on all those evenings when I assumed she was at parties to which I wasn't invited, she was at home watching reruns of Law & Order. The dean of a major business school poured out a similar confession, as did a senior editor at a newsmagazine. The girlfriend of one of my Slate colleagues. Half the women at the University of Texas (according to another Slate colleague, who may be exaggerating). Another Washingtonian, this one a teacher, though her husband says she is "drifting back to C-SPAN." Always women. Always high-powered. Always Law & Order. Always reruns. What on earth is going on?

    It is not a cult, because a cult is communal. Sex and the City has a cult following: Women, especially, watch it together and/or discuss it the next day at work. New episodes are considered, on balance, a good thing. The obsession with Law & Order is something different. Far from discussing it with one another, women seem to watch it alone and may be unaware that anyone else shares the habit.

    Exhibit A may be an extreme case. In a rare glimpse into this secret world, Molly Haskell wrote an essay last April for a local section of the New York Times in which she frankly and courageously labeled herself a Law & Order addict. But she claimed to discuss the show freely with other addicts. She also described her addiction as an essentially New York phenomenon, which suggests that even Haskell does not appreciate the full extent of the situation.

    This would all be merely curious except for one ominous recent development. Law & Order reruns used to be scattered across the cable schedule like wildflowers. (Or weeds.) To catch them all, you needed to be able to play the remote control like Paderewski. More important, you had to control the remote control. Under these circumstances, only the smarter and more high-powered women were able to indulge this temptation. Now, though, TNT cable has exclusive rights to Law & Order reruns and, near as I can tell, runs them more or less all the time. That means Law & Order addiction is now available to all women with access to even basic cable.

    This presumably is just the kind of chic new social problem the Democrats are being advised to rebuild their party around, now that George W. Bush has solved all the old ones. The new Democratic leader in Congress, Nancy Pelosi, is just the kind of dynamic, smart, take-charge person who can …

    Uh-oh. Do you suppose …?
    The secret vice of power women. - By Michael Kinsley - Slate Magazine
    Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment. --Dorothy Parker

  10. #410
    FORT Fogey norealityhere's Avatar
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    Re: Law and Order

    BritLit,

    Thanks for posting that excellent article.
    Looks like we're in great company, at least!!
    To Thine Own Self Be True

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