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Old February 26 2009, 04:34 AM   #1
The Borgified Corpse
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"Law & Order" assorted musings

I've recently been on a Law & Order kick ever since I got a screaming deal on the Season 6 DVD set. Here's some thoughts I've been having...

* Jack McCoy was a lot more of a loose cannon & a lot more vindictive in the early years. I didn't really start watching the show until Season 12 or 13, so this is a surprise to me. There are a lot of episodes where he really has to bend over backwards just so he can nail someone to the wall. What most stands out is the episode where it's revealed that Jack's former ADA (and ex-girlfriend) withheld exculpatory evidence and even asked a handwriting expert to lie on the stand in order to convict (as it turned out) the wrong man. Not satisfied with getting her disbarred, he presses criminal charges for unintentionally aiding the real murderer in continuing his crime spree. I mean, god, vindictive much?

* I've got a small crush on Claire Kincaid.

* Season 6 is the one where they did the famous 2-part crossover with Homicide: Life on the Street. (Thankfully, the Homicide half of the story is also included on the DVD.) I liked it, although it's an interesting little piece. The Homicide characters all come off really well, especially Pembleton & Munch. (Bayliss is good too but I can't quite get over the fact that it's the guy who played Jake Kane on Veronica Mars.) But while the shows have similar subject matter, their styles are so totally different that it's weird seeing them reconcile the 2. For the most part, it looks like Law & Order is shifting to match Homicide more than the other way around. Considering I'm used to only seeing Briscoe in a series of short, 60-second plot-driven scenes, it's almost surreal seeing him spend an entire episode around a pool table talking about how he dated Munch's ex-wife. And I learned more about the personal lives of the Homicide characters in 2 episodes than I learned about the Law & Order cast over the course of years.

* I just got through the episode with Paul Robinette returning to defend a former crack addict who kidnapped her son from his foster family. Law & Order will teach you to hate defense attorneys anyway. But Robinette seems to have become even more evil than your usual L&O douchebag defender.

* There were a couple other great guest defense attorneys here. Chris Cooper as an unscrupulous publicity hound who suggests that Briscoe was at the center of a massive Jewish conspiracy to frame the defendant. Fisher Stevens (Early Edition) as a novice public defender who seems to redefine "crazy as a fox."

What do you folks think of Law & Order?
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Old February 26 2009, 05:04 AM   #2
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Re: "Law & Order" assorted musings

The Borgified Corpse wrote: View Post
What do you folks think of Law & Order?
A rerun on TNT is a great way to kill an hour. And I even try to stay caught up with the new stuff. But I'm not sure I'd ever find it worthwhile to go collect the DVDs (especially since SVU is the only complete show, and it's probably my least favorite of the three).
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Old February 26 2009, 05:14 AM   #3
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Re: "Law & Order" assorted musings

Borgified, did you see tonight's L&O? That's a great example of *today's* Jack going off on a tangent. He charged a group of street brawlers with *terrorism* knowing it would get them a life sentence if convicted. Cutter had to talk him down.

As for the episode you mentioned, with one of Jack's old girlfriends withholding evidence because she thought that's what Jack wanted - she deserved her fate. She fucked up the criminal justice system. If anything, Jack went easy on her.
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Old February 26 2009, 05:17 AM   #4
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Re: "Law & Order" assorted musings

Here is some L&O triva for you?
What do Steven Still, Randy Bachman & Law & Order have in common??
drag the player bar to about 27 min. and listen for 1:30.
Though it sound like Randy reversed Steven's riff.??
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Old February 26 2009, 05:23 AM   #5
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Re: "Law & Order" assorted musings

ATimson wrote: View Post
I'm not sure I'd ever find it worthwhile to go collect the DVDs (especially since SVU is the only complete show, and it's probably my least favorite of the three).
Complete? Not quite. It's only up to the 8th season on DVD, but the current season is the 10th.

Still, it's a damn sight quicker getting released than any of the other versions. The mothership is only up to season 6 on DVD, and they're in, what, the 19th currently? Shit, it'll take ages for that sucker to get completed.
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Old February 26 2009, 05:32 AM   #6
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Re: "Law & Order" assorted musings

Canada's Bravo channel has been airing repeats of the series since the beginning for the past year, and I've been using them to catch up on the series, as I just got hooked a couple of years ago.

It's good stuff, generally, even if it is a tad formulaic. Before I started watching it, I never really went for any crime dramas, or, for that matter, TV shows that feature virtually no insight into the characters' lives (which of course means character development is largely absent). However, I appreciated the fact that some episodes would examine serious, and occasionally shocking, social and legal issues and force the viewer to think about their own stance on the subject matter.

Baba, I did see tonight's episode; it was a repeat of the season premiere, but I missed it the first time around, so I hadn't actually seen it before. Yes, Jack's idea to charge all the rioters with "terrorism" sounds crazy in theory, but by the end, I was sold on the idea. Personally, if I were in the jury, I would have voted to convict.

Oh, and I'll agree that if you watch enough of this show, you'll really start to hate defense attorneys.
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Old February 26 2009, 08:09 AM   #7
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Re: "Law & Order" assorted musings

Babaganoosh wrote: View Post
Complete? Not quite. It's only up to the 8th season on DVD, but the current season is the 10th.
My mistake. I was off by a year with regards to which season it was.

Babaganoosh wrote: View Post
Still, it's a damn sight quicker getting released than any of the other versions. The mothership is only up to season 6 on DVD, and they're in, what, the 19th currently? Shit, it'll take ages for that sucker to get completed.
In 2004, they released the most recent season, but for L&O and CI didn't keep up at all, with nothing since then. At least SVU is only a year behind... Ah, well. Maybe by the time they're done they'll be rereleased on BLu-ray, 2-3 discs per season, in consistent packaging.
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Old February 26 2009, 01:58 PM   #8
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Re: "Law & Order" assorted musings

L&O is one of the most reliable shows I know in terms of just being able to tune in and be entertained. A lot of it can be pretty formulaic, but it's well presented and generally deals with interesting cases. I also like the dual approach of following the investigation first and then moving into the trial and everything involved with that.

I will say, however, that I usually prefer the police part, somehow. They've got pretty good teams going there, and some of their banter can be pretty funny. It's also interesting to see how much closer they are to how things really are whereas the attorneys have to deal with the reality of the judicial system.

Out of all the L&Os out there, I tend to like CI the most, although I enjoy all of them. I just think D'Onfrio is great in his part and really stands out because he's kind of unusual in the way he approaches cases and people. They do stretch what he gets away with at times, however, which can be a little annoying.
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Old February 26 2009, 03:28 PM   #9
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Re: "Law & Order" assorted musings

I think L&O has gone downhill. They used to make at least some effort to employ plausible courtroom procedure, but these days the courtroom scenes are totally fanciful and ludicrous.
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Old February 26 2009, 09:45 PM   #10
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Re: "Law & Order" assorted musings

It's not quite as great as it once was, but it's still pretty damn good. McCoy has definitely mellowed over time (which is reasonable because I could see him being close to being disbarred on more occasions than the one time they tried it).

As for character stuff. Homicide definitely did that better. Law and Order tried it a couple of times (Aftershock being a good example), but, in general, the audience didn't like it.

Speaking of DVDs, I bought the first season, since the Ben Stone episodes are rarely played on TV. I've been meaning to get one of the early Jack McCoy seasons, but I'm not sure which one would be the best.
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Old February 27 2009, 05:07 AM   #11
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Re: "Law & Order" assorted musings

Mellowed? If anything, Jack seems a bit *more* nasty now that he's the DA. I guess it's the nature of the job, though. None of the DA's this show has had, have ever been particularly nice people.

I do like the dynamic Jack has with Cutter, who is pretty cool himself. Also, I hope Jack gets to take down, once and for all, that idiot NY governor they've had... (no, not the real one, the one on the show )
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Old February 27 2009, 05:25 AM   #12
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Re: "Law & Order" assorted musings

Babaganoosh wrote: View Post
Mellowed? If anything, Jack seems a bit *more* nasty now that he's the DA.
If so, it's not in a good way, not after he cut off Cutter at the knees earlier this season.
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Old February 27 2009, 06:35 AM   #13
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Re: "Law & Order" assorted musings

Babaganoosh wrote: View Post
Mellowed? If anything, Jack seems a bit *more* nasty now that he's the DA. I guess it's the nature of the job, though. None of the DA's this show has had, have ever been particularly nice people.
Hey! You better not be talkin' smack about Nora Lewin! And Adam Schiff was the man.

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Old February 28 2009, 07:15 PM   #14
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Re: "Law & Order" assorted musings

the only one i really care for is the 'special victims unit' show. the others i haven't ever really gotten into. but i don't watch the new ones regularly, i just tend to watch the older episodes rerun on cable to pass the time. but given the choice, since they're often on at the same time, i tend to favor SVU
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Old February 28 2009, 11:23 PM   #15
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Re: "Law & Order" assorted musings

Babaganoosh wrote: View Post
Borgified, did you see tonight's L&O?
Unfortunately, ever since I got a job, I've been working most Wednesday nights. I haven't really been able to keep up with the show since Season 16.

Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
I've been meaning to get one of the early Jack McCoy seasons, but I'm not sure which one would be the best.
It's not a terribly difficult choice. Only 3 of Jack McCoy's seasons are out on DVD at all-- Seasons 5, 6, & 14. That's part of why I'm so bummed. I don't much care for the Ben Stone stuff that I've seen. He just can't chew scenery the way that McCoy & Cutter can. And I don't have cable, so I don't get to see the endless TNT/USA reruns. (My45 does show reruns on broadcast TV in Arizona but it's all SVU & Criminal Intent.)

Babaganoosh wrote: View Post
Mellowed? If anything, Jack seems a bit *more* nasty now that he's the DA. I guess it's the nature of the job, though. None of the DA's this show has had, have ever been particularly nice people.
I dunno. Adam Schiff was cuddly in his own way, especially compared to Arthur Branch (dubbed Chicken Fried Asshole by some of the folks I know).
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