Tag Archives: Law & Order

Out of Order

Author’s note: This is reblogged from I Fry Mine in Butter, from June 2011 when I originally wrote it.

I was still a teenager when Law & Order started on NBC, and while I liked it just fine, I don’t remember being immediately taken with it. Actually, it seemed a bit like one of my boyfriends, the first of three Scotts I dated in high school and college—fairly likable, but I wondered about how long it would last. Law & Order, on the other hand, grew on me over time; I may not have caught each and every episode as they aired that first season, but I would read the tiny printed previews in my parents’ TVGuide and remember to watch. Hey, it was 1990, after all, and the newspaper’s television guide was often wrong. Oh, life was so hard.

I wanted to know what was up with Ben Stone, the ADA who seemed a little, well, crazy. Robinette was the cool and collected one, often mediating between Stone and Adam Schiff, the District Attorney. Every episode the cops were nearly precognitive, until the attorney’s office took over and had to deal with the technicalities that threatened to have the case for the people thrown out. It was as if Giuliani’s New York weren’t even possible because these criminals knew it was a cakewalk. Still, with a little bit of magic and finesse, and a hell of a lot of drinks over what I can only presume were extremely old bottles of scotch, Schiff got his convictions. Or at least very intimidating plea bargains. Read More…

Why I Miss Law & Order

lenny briscoe and ed greenI do love a good police procedural. I got hooked on them somewhere around Hill Street Blues which uncoincidentally is about the same time I became addicted to hospital shows (thank you, St. Elsewhere). These were character-driven, with short arcs of crime stories interspersed with longer relationship arcs of the ensemble characters, and the latter knew to never really upstage the former. Yes, we knew all about Jessica Fletcher’s life, but we really were invested in her solving another murder. Priorities, people.

No show cast this balance better than the flagship Dick Wolf production Law & Order. We even had the episodic plots carved out for us with the now-iconic metal staccato sound. Were there plot repeats over the 19-year run for the series? Of course there were, but who would have noticed were it not for the omnipresent reruns on A&E and TNT? Read More…

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