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May 14, 2010 11:26 AM   Subscribe

After twenty years on the air, NBC has canceled the original Law & Order. The show didn't quite surpass Gunsmoke as the longest running prime time drama in history, although they most likely went through more regular characters and guest stars. The spin-offs Special Victims Unit and Criminal Intent will continue. A new show, Law & Order: Los Angeles is set to disappoint us in the fall.
posted by HumanComplex (182 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Drat.
posted by Daddy-O at 11:27 AM on May 14, 2010


DOONK DOONK.
posted by mattdidthat at 11:28 AM on May 14, 2010 [35 favorites]


Basically, the L&O franchise has just replaced New York with Los Angeles. Sucks to be you, New York.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:28 AM on May 14, 2010


In other TV news, ABC will be premiering "Lost: New Orleans" this fall.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:30 AM on May 14, 2010 [15 favorites]


And CBS will be doing "Two and a Half Men: Cincinnati"...
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:31 AM on May 14, 2010


mattdidthat: DOONK DOONK.

I believe the preferred term is "chung chung"

This sucks, if only because I like records to be broken, and I felt like one and a half more seasons to break the Gunsmoke stranglehold would be awesome. This is probably yet another reason why I am not a TV executive.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:32 AM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


[world-weary wise-crack that Lennie Briscoe would say before the opening credits]
posted by brundlefly at 11:33 AM on May 14, 2010 [6 favorites]


. .
posted by Iridic at 11:36 AM on May 14, 2010 [24 favorites]


Bummer. L&O was reliable formulaic entertainment. I found it comforting to know it was always there. (Of course the reruns will remain with us.) Can't believe the original got canceled before Criminal Intent.
posted by Mavri at 11:36 AM on May 14, 2010 [8 favorites]


When our first kid was born, we'd watch L&O every night on A&E with the sound muted and the close-captions turned on so she wouldn't wake up. I'll always associated the show with those first twilighty months after we got home with her.

.
posted by jquinby at 11:36 AM on May 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


This was inevitable; it all went to shit after Ben Stone left.
posted by mosk at 11:37 AM on May 14, 2010 [13 favorites]


Fox will be doing "Family Guy: Springfield", Nickelodeon will have "Spongebob Squarepants: Lake Erie", the Discovery Channel will have "Mythbusters: D.C.", Game Show Network will have "Hollywood Squares: Broadway", and TLC has already made a deal for "Sarah Palin's Las Vegas".
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:37 AM on May 14, 2010


cop show : cancellation right before beating gunsmoke :: cop on cop show : getting shot right before retirement.
posted by condour75 at 11:37 AM on May 14, 2010 [17 favorites]


Is it Jeff Zucker? I'm not sure -- tell me who, exactly, hates television at NBC? Because I don't quite get it. Leno with the Tonight Show, now Dick Wolf doesn't get to beat Gunsmoke for just one more season. What the frak, dude.
posted by cavalier at 11:38 AM on May 14, 2010 [12 favorites]


.
posted by Nothing... and like it at 11:38 AM on May 14, 2010


I really don't watch tv much, and had never seen L&O, but a few years ago a friend's actor boyfriend landed a small speaking part on an episode. So I made some popcorn, sat down to watch the show. After about 10 minutes, I thought... OH MY GOD, this is UNwatchable. People watch this? This makes money? I had to shut it off.

This is why I am not a network executive.
posted by R. Mutt at 11:38 AM on May 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


chung chung? What the hell? 'DUN DUUH' surely?
posted by IanMorr at 11:40 AM on May 14, 2010 [6 favorites]


I expect a massive spike in elderly "natural causes" deaths in the next year, the reason to go on living having been removed.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:41 AM on May 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Link to Brandon Bird's inspired Law and Order work. My personal favorite.
posted by cavalier at 11:42 AM on May 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'd love to talk more about this but I really need to keep unloading these boxes of oranges off this truck.
posted by Adam_S at 11:42 AM on May 14, 2010 [105 favorites]


I really don't watch tv much, and had never seen L&O, but a few years ago a friend's actor boyfriend landed a small speaking part on an episode. So I made some popcorn, sat down to watch the show. After about 10 minutes, I thought... OH MY GOD, this is UNwatchable. People watch this? This makes money? I had to shut it off.

This is why I am not a network executive.


Prithy, have thee a television?
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:43 AM on May 14, 2010 [12 favorites]


When our first kid was born, we'd watch L&O every night on A&E with the sound muted and the close-captions turned on so she wouldn't wake up. I'll always associated the show with those first twilighty months after we got home with her.

Heh. It was back to back to back to back to back discs of West Wing and Sopranos from Netflix for us.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 11:43 AM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


A new show, Law & Order: Los Angeles is set to disappoint us in the fall

If Jim Lafleur and Miles Straum aren't the leads, that show is already dead to me.
posted by The Michael The at 11:45 AM on May 14, 2010 [25 favorites]


ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzz *snort* *CHUNG CHUNG!!* WHA-?! I'M AWAKE! I'M AWAKE!

Yeah, won't miss that show.
posted by zarq at 11:45 AM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


There are rumors of ongoing talks regarding Law and Order: Sideways Lost, starring Sawyer and Miles.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 11:45 AM on May 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


If Jim Lafleur and Miles Straum aren't the leads, that show is already dead to me.

beat me!
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 11:46 AM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


cavalier: "Link to Brandon Bird's inspired Law and Order work. My personal favorite."

This is mine. That line just cracks me up.
posted by brundlefly at 11:46 AM on May 14, 2010


Also: "I have a theory that Law & Order isn't so much a show as it a living thing, a memeorganism if you will, the byproduct of an alien intelligence...."
posted by zarq at 11:47 AM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


For the record, The Simpsons has run 9 months and 20+ episodes longer than L&O and with less major cast changes than Gunsmoke. And since most of its old fans think of it as 'no longer funny', it should get the Longest Running Drama Series easy.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:47 AM on May 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


mosk: "it all went to shit after Ben Stone left"

You take that back. McCoy forever.

In truth, It all went to shit when Lennie Briscoe died. These new dimwits couldn't detect their way out of a paper bag.
posted by Plutor at 11:47 AM on May 14, 2010 [7 favorites]


I am not L&O watcher so could someone please explain the oranges thing?

Could someone also explain the appeal of SVU? I'm not being facetious, I just can't figure out why/how a show mainly about rape is so popular.
posted by griphus at 11:48 AM on May 14, 2010


I think DOONK DOONK and CHUNG CHUNG are both acceptable. I think I would also accept a variation on DOONK - DOINK. Here, take a listen.
posted by kbanas at 11:49 AM on May 14, 2010


Definitely DOONK DOONK.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 11:50 AM on May 14, 2010


Lennie Brisco was the best cop ever on TV ever. EVER.
posted by kbanas at 11:51 AM on May 14, 2010 [21 favorites]


I am not L&O watcher so could someone please explain the oranges thing?

Detectives walk up to Working Guy to see if he knows anything about $CRIME which occurred here last night. Guy shrugs, gives some noncommittal response. "Dunno...(heaves box of something) the boss is always out late...(heaves box of something)...on Wednesday nights. Doesn't bother me...(heaves box of something)...So long as I get paid.

CHUNG CHUNG
posted by jquinby at 11:52 AM on May 14, 2010 [28 favorites]


since most of its old fans think of it as 'no longer funny'

They're nuts, since this season has been *terrific*.
posted by grubi at 11:53 AM on May 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Will DOONK DOONK v. CHUNG CHUNG be the new Ralph/Sleep/Viking controversy?
posted by brundlefly at 11:54 AM on May 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


mattdidthat: DOONK DOONK.
MCMikeNamara: I believe the preferred term is "chung chung"
IanMorr: chung chung? What the hell? 'DUN DUUH' surely?


I think it varies by region, kind of like how in Spain a dog says "guau guau" and a rooster says "kikirikiki", instead of "ruff ruff" and "cock-a-doodle-doo", respectively.

In my neck of the woods (i.e. my house), the Law & Order sound goes "HARROOO! HARROOO!"

I have a really crappy TV.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:54 AM on May 14, 2010 [18 favorites]


For the record, it's obviously DUNG DUNG.
posted by brundlefly at 11:55 AM on May 14, 2010


OH MY GOD, this is UNwatchable.

L&O is like greasy spoon diner coffee served to you by a raspy-voiced middle-aged waitress. Objectively? It's not that spectacular. You can get something better, more exciting, sexier. Usually, it's actually pretty bad.

But when it's 2 a.m. and you're stressed out or sad or lonely, it's just perfect.
posted by oinopaponton at 11:55 AM on May 14, 2010 [33 favorites]


I can't find where I read these, but I do remember someone's lyrics to the Law & Order theme song, which I now quietly sing to myself everytime I hear it.

You're the monkey face
You're the monkey in the tree
You're the monkey face
You're the monkey in the tree
Eating all the bananas, eating all the bananas
Eating all the bananas, eating all the bananas
[guitar solo]
You're the monkey face
You're the monkey in the tree
You're the monkey face
posted by Copronymus at 11:55 AM on May 14, 2010 [48 favorites]


TCHRNG tchrng
posted by dirigibleman at 11:56 AM on May 14, 2010


I haven't been as into it since Adam Schiff left, but, man, Law & Order got me through so much.

It was just so soothing, that you knew that Jack McCoy raise his eyebrows in shock, that Briscoe would make a wisecrack, that Logan would talk about previous romantic exploits, that crime didn't pay...most of the time.

Now I just have Law & Order UK, which has the "dunt-duhh"s, and is using the plots of episodes from the 90s, and, okay, yeah, Jamie Bamber and Freema Agyeman are both extremely attractive, but...man. It just isn't the same.
posted by Katemonkey at 11:56 AM on May 14, 2010


I'm glad the dogs will finally have their way.

Also, the sound is Doink-Doink.
posted by borkencode at 11:57 AM on May 14, 2010


Could someone also explain the appeal of SVU?

Better characters. Munch dates back to Homicide: Life on the Street.

It's definitely "DOINK DOINK."
posted by giraffe at 11:57 AM on May 14, 2010


Saw this show a couple of times. I just could not bear to watch it. Not that I disliked it, but I found it perversely uninteresting. Different strokes, I guess.
posted by Xoebe at 12:00 PM on May 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


In my neck of the woods (i.e. my house), the Law & Order sound goes "HARROOO! HARROOO!"

I just pictured the TARDIS making the CHUNG CHUNG noise. Between that and the oranges (thx jquinby,) this thread is going to get me fired.
posted by griphus at 12:00 PM on May 14, 2010


.
posted by ageispolis at 12:00 PM on May 14, 2010




In other TV news, ABC will be premiering "Lost: New Orleans" this fall.


It premiered on HBO a few weeks ago.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:02 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Aw, my mom loved this show, she's the one that got me hooked on it.

Seriously, Los Angeles? No, people. No.
posted by emjaybee at 12:03 PM on May 14, 2010


As a fan just getting into the show, I find the cancellation very disappointing.

Also, Sharon Stone is just awful as the new guest ADA in SVU.
posted by Mr Mister at 12:03 PM on May 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


I agree about the people who speak of comfort.

I have never found Law and Order to be exceptional. Ever. In fact, there have been plenty of episodes that have made me groan and change the channel. However, it has always been there. There have been plenty of times where it's been late at night and I've been sad or depressed or dumped or, well, a million different things, really, and I've plunked down on the couch and found an episode of Law and Order and I could find some level of comfort in the familiar arc of one of the episodes.

I mean, who hasn't watched L&O and turned to someone and said, "Hey, he can't be the guy who did it, it's only 1:10!"
posted by kbanas at 12:03 PM on May 14, 2010 [12 favorites]


It's totally DOONK DOONK and CHUNG CHUNG is entirely unacceptable.

Could someone also explain the appeal of SVU? I'm not being facetious, I just can't figure out why/how a show mainly about rape is so popular.

I enjoy it as a show that is less about rape and more about tracking down the perpetrators and making sure the justice system makes them pay for their crimes.

I can't remember the stats but the DA's win rate is ridiculously high in this mythical TV land. In those cases where the state is not successful, it's pretty typical for the case to either have been marginal (ie, my husband and I will argue over what really happened and the jury is as confused as we are), or justice is served karmicly... the really obviously guilty perpetrator is stabbed in prison or something equally delightful. (I am, I hasten to add, a particularly vengeful person.)

It is exceedingly rare that SVU breaks my heart. It is formulaic, well-written, well-acted and very satisfying to watch.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:04 PM on May 14, 2010


that sound you heard coming from Astoria was the sound of roughly a thousand under-employed actors having a heart attack.
posted by The Whelk at 12:06 PM on May 14, 2010 [21 favorites]


back to back to back to back to back discs of West Wing

My reason for living
posted by thesmophoron at 12:06 PM on May 14, 2010


In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important poops.
posted by phaedon at 12:07 PM on May 14, 2010


The programming office at the USA Network. SENIOR PROGRAMMING EXEC and JUNIOR PROGRAMMING EXEC are discussing options for the upcoming New Year's Weekend.

SENIOR: So, where are we?
JUNIOR: I think we're looking at a couple of episodes of Nash Bridges, that very special episode of Walker, Texas Ranger and a schedule full of holes.
SENIOR: Goddamnit.
JUNIOR: Who's going to be watching TV this weekend anyway?
SENIOR: Oh they'll fucking watch, rookie. Even if it is Nash Bridges.
JUNIOR: What about Kojak?
SENIOR: Fuck it. Law and Order. Special Victims Unit. There's your Friday.
JUNIOR: Which timeslot?
SENIOR: Timeslot nothing. Friday.
JUNIOR: All day?
SENIOR: All. Day.
JUNIOR: Jesus.
SENIOR: And no commercial break between the end of one episode and the beginning of the next. These fuckers won't get away that easy.
JUNIOR: Wait, I see a problem. That seventh episode you have programmed... it's all about Ice-T's character.
SENIOR: So?
JUNIOR: People will tune out.
SENIOR: Oh, you think? Let me tell you what I think. I think we'll shit where they eat and they'll ask for seconds.
JUNIOR: But won't four or five straight hours of Law and Order make Joe Q. TV Watcher realize how formulaic it is?
SENIOR: You know why they call it a formula? Cause it works, asshole. Pi times r-squared plus suck my dick, this is going to work. And you know what? I got your Saturday, too. Law and Order. Criminal Intent.
JUNIOR: You've totally lost it.
SENIOR: This is genius. America will wake up on Saturday morning with a vicious hangover... they'll turn on the TV and BOOM! We shove Vincent D'Onofrio so far up their asses, they'll confess to crimes that never happened!
JUNIOR: But even three or four straight hours of D'Onofrio will make people crazy in the head! Or at least make them feel pathetic and self-conscious.
SENIOR: We're not in the business of holding anyone's hand, captain. Let them feel pathetic. You know what might help? How about another fucking episode of Law and Order? That's what I thought. Take your medicine, America.
JUNIOR: And may God have mercy on your souls.

fin.
posted by yeti at 12:07 PM on May 14, 2010 [51 favorites]


Could someone also explain the appeal of SVU?

There is precisely one good SVU episode, the one with the meth lab. According to a third-party observer, when I and a friend were watching one particular scene in that episode with Ice-T and a baby, we both condorted our face in adoration and made the exact same "awww", she because it was a baby and I (obviously) because it was Ice-T.
posted by Copronymus at 12:09 PM on May 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wow. First New York-based soap operas get canceled, now L&O. It is not a great time to be an actor in the Big Apple right now.

But L&O was a pretty good show, especially during the Jerry Orbach-era. Briscoe was an awesome character...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 12:10 PM on May 14, 2010


It is not a great time to be an actor in the Big Apple right now.

Nah, the restaurant industry is recovering just fine.
posted by griphus at 12:11 PM on May 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


Some dipshit over at CSI just said something cryptic and put his sunglasses on. But I know he's laughing inside.
posted by goatdog at 12:14 PM on May 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sniff. I liked watching it in law school - they actually got the law right usually, and it was more fun than studying my casebook. I strove to emulate Jack McCoy's earnest but forceful demeanor before the bench. However, sometimes the lady lawyers wore preposterous outfits to court, I have to say. Unmatching separates? Just no, no.
posted by yarly at 12:14 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, Log and Order was done back in '05 and I thought it was kinda played out back then.

We went for a "Chunk Chunk".

This was the nadir of Man-Man, written at a point where I was going through what looking back I now recognize as clinical depression, so when the artist said "hey, you should write a whole 30-strip arc based on this pun," I just said "fuck it, yeah," and churned the thing out.

Please don't judge me.
posted by Shepherd at 12:15 PM on May 14, 2010


Pi times r-squared plus suck my dick

That's funny shit.
posted by grubi at 12:16 PM on May 14, 2010


Ice-T is a kangaroo. Forever.

Also his preferred wind-down music is Phil Collins. We know this from MTV Cribs.

Basically, the L&O franchise has just replaced New York with Los Angeles. Sucks to be you, New York.

FWIW my wife and I stopped watching Project Runway for exactly that reason. We're fickle like that. Also LA sucks.
posted by Artw at 12:18 PM on May 14, 2010


If Lenny were still alive perhaps he could solve the inexplicable mystery of why Law & Order SVU gets better ratings then Law & Order. That show baffles me. Stabler and Benson belong to a unit specializing in sex crimes. Why do they always seem so shocked when their crime of the week involves [insert as-shocked-as-my-Botox-allows face] sex?

Also, I'll miss trying to say "S. Epatha Merkerson" as a single word.
posted by william_boot at 12:18 PM on May 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Too bad. I far prefer L&O Classic to the arrogant brown-shirtishness of SVU.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:19 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Could someone also explain the appeal of SVU?

ICE-T. Body Count's in the HOUSE.
posted by emeiji at 12:19 PM on May 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


yeti: Pi times r-squared plus suck my dick, this is going to work

I resolve to say this at every staff meeting for the rest of my life.
posted by Adam_S at 12:19 PM on May 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


I am so broken-hearted. I'll echo the sentiments that L&O is comfort food. Like watching old movies over and over. You know the pace of the show. You know the characters and about 90% of the time good triumphs over evil.

I like the Mothership, I'm a fiend for LOCI. I miss Vincent D'Onofrio and his amazing gypsum devouring like nobody's business. SUV, well, that's a cartoon. It's what's on in the background television while Lenny is interrogating someone's abuela and Curtis is nosing through the laundry on the perp's sofa.

Sam Waterston...what is there to say? I got to watch him age gracefully and his assumption of the DA's office was a very nice piece of continuity.

I'll give LOLA a chance, but I'm not holding my breath. The most pervasive character in the Law and Order Franchise has always been the City of New York.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:19 PM on May 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'll tell you something else that L&O did for us - it created a still-running game of Where have we seen that character actor before?

We'll be watching some movie or other big series, Mrs. Q squints at the TV and says "we've seen that guy before." After the credits roll, it's off to IMDB. About 90% of the time, the guy was a judge or other recurring character on L&O.
posted by jquinby at 12:22 PM on May 14, 2010 [8 favorites]


I, too, go on long L&O marathon watchings when I'm feeling bad or otherwise being down on my luck. I never thought that others did the same.

So did you all used to watch The Price is Right when you're home sick from school, too?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 12:23 PM on May 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


If Lenny were still alive perhaps he could solve the inexplicable mystery of why Law & Order SVU gets better ratings then Law & Order.

It's neither inexplicable nor a mystery, actually. The simple explanation can be found in my girlfriend's nicknames for the three* different L&O series:

Law and Order Original Recipe
Law and Order Weird Guy
Law and Order Hot Lady

I mean come on, which one do you think people are going to watch?

*L&O: Trial by Jury never happened
posted by Nothing... and like it at 12:27 PM on May 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


back to back to back to back to back discs of West Wing

"This guy's walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can't get out...."
posted by zarq at 12:29 PM on May 14, 2010


No one ever laughs on L&O. That alone makes the show unwatchable to me. Those investigators should be knee deep in gallows humor.
posted by raysmj at 12:29 PM on May 14, 2010


I've watched L&O once or twice. I'm still impressed by the incredibly awkward way they ended those episodes: "Will they win or lose the case? WHO KNOWS. THE END"
posted by Memo at 12:31 PM on May 14, 2010


I just pictured the TARDIS making the CHUNG CHUNG noise.

Just remember to take off the parking brake.
posted by mikelieman at 12:31 PM on May 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


I haven't owned a T.V. in some time, because I had it it'd be on all the time and I'd be watching Oprah and Jerry Springer and lose whatever intellectual pretentious I try to maintain.

However, my once boyfriend and I took a two week vacation to NM in the middle of winter, planning to do everything, from the Ghost Ranch to Roswell. A freaky massive snowstorm cancelled all that.

So, we'd do random Albequerque things during the days and at night we'd smoke weed and watch L&O SVU.

There are certain things weed does not go well with. L&O SVU is one of them.
posted by angrycat at 12:32 PM on May 14, 2010


The most pervasive character in the Law and Order Franchise has always been the City of New York.

Yes, this. Aside from being comforting, Law and Order was such a great foil to the Sex and the City and Gossip Girl narratives of Manhattan. It didn't deny those stories (I mean, how many times did Lenny interrogate an UES society dame in her stately Park Ave apartment?), but it almost demonized the glamorous side of the city, instead favoring the blue-collar workers, the immigrants, and the joggers in the park.
posted by oinopaponton at 12:34 PM on May 14, 2010 [16 favorites]


This thread is already winning my all time MeFi personal "most favorited comments in a thread" count. Allow me to offer:

Lenny over anyone
McCoy over Stone
Claire over any other AADA
Merkerson over Florek (although he got resurrected on SVU, having been removed in the Great Diversity Purge And Re-Stock of 1993)
A&E over TNT for reruns
L&O over Homicide, for when they did their crossovers, if only for the comforting lack of shakycam.

Also, L&O really biffed it when they failed to retain my high school classmate Milena Govich, who I am pretty sure is still the only female main cast detective.
posted by norm at 12:46 PM on May 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


I was really hoping that before L&O got canceled they're replace Merkerson with another actor who had played a victim earlier in the series, just as they did Kagan's character.

Always weird seeing that rerun.
posted by phearlez at 12:47 PM on May 14, 2010


Are they still doing the crazy-ass plots on Criminal Intent?

I remember seeing a few episodes of that show, thinking it would be like a normal L&O and they started out normal but went insane. I remember having a friend over and CI comes on. I say "Oh, Criminal Intent, the plots in these are always crazy."

Like 10 minutes in, he's like "The plot seems pretty normal." And then it went right off the rails.
posted by delmoi at 12:47 PM on May 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


I have seen it a few times and I can take it or leave it. One thing I have always wondered about, though: (1) in this age of sprawling franchises and (2) with the dozen or more actors who had roles on both Law and Order and Oz, why no one had ever thought to link up these franchises. You could see a criminal getting caught and tried in Law and Order, then his prison experiences on another show.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:47 PM on May 14, 2010


L&O over Homicide

I will cut you. And I'll wear a porkpie hat while I do it.
posted by phearlez at 12:47 PM on May 14, 2010 [9 favorites]


How far back do they show L&O reruns from?
posted by smackfu at 12:48 PM on May 14, 2010


I will cut you. And I'll wear a porkpie hat while I do it.

My comment was restricted to my preference for the Law and Order halves of the jointly plotted crossovers, and not necessarily to a general preference of Law and Order over Homicide.

That being said, I think the best seasons of Law and Order kick Homicide's butt, but the worst seasons of Law and Order were worse than Homicide's worst seasons.
posted by norm at 12:51 PM on May 14, 2010


How far back do they show L&O reruns from?
1865 or so, I think.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:53 PM on May 14, 2010 [10 favorites]


How far back do they show L&O reruns from?

Well, we're getting them from Series 1 over here. You can buy the DVDs all the way back to Season 1, though all 20 seasons will run you about $600.

(I'm saving that particular saga for my death bed viewing.)
posted by DarlingBri at 12:53 PM on May 14, 2010


I've probably seen more Law & Order repeats than is clinically indicated as healthy. I'll miss that stupid fucking show. When traveling overseas, nothing is quite as comforting as settling down in your hotel room to watch Adam Schiff gruffly eat a sandwich.
posted by Skot at 12:56 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Criminal Intent

Oh, and by the way, I can't even watch this one, and I obviously have no taste at all. I consider it to be non-canon, something like fanfic or a jokebook. I will say that hamlord D'onofrio is pretty good at--*holds up pickle slices*--connecting the dots.
posted by Skot at 1:01 PM on May 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


I like the one where it is revealed that Goren, in addition to his weird vulcan like mind powers that he gets from being half autistic or something, Goren had a crazy mum, and so when they need to get info from a crazy person he is able to act as the crazy-whisperer and engage them on their own level. It's fantastic.

They did the exact same thing on Greys Anatomy last week.

Oh, and there's the nerd black widow one. That one is awesome.
posted by Artw at 1:01 PM on May 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Skot, I'll have you know that every law office I have worked in has a standing joke of someone saying "SETTLE IT" in an Adam Schiff voice for any case-related difficulty that crops up prior to a trial.
posted by norm at 1:02 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


That being said, I think the best seasons of Law and Order kick Homicide's butt

Hurrmmmm.

I can see that position. For me Homicide wins because of a better track-record of character development and growth. I'd probably not consider that as a comparison basis if L&O hadn't made a sudden shift in the post-Sorvino years to actually showing us a lot of the non-work lives of the characters. For a long time you just got these bits and drabs via reactions and asides. Once the flood gates opened we got Ben Bratt sleeping with Lauren Graham on a boat in LA and the painful-to-watch stuff with Lennie's druggie daughter. Ugh.

Or maybe I was just lookin for a reason to dislike it when they shoved Logan out.

Character aside, I also thought that Homicide had moments of brilliance that L&O couldn't touch. I'll never forget the time they used the show's overlapping cut style to have Pembleton say the same thing four times... but one time changed a single pronoun.
posted by phearlez at 1:05 PM on May 14, 2010


Like 10 minutes in, he's like "The plot seems pretty normal." And then it went right off the rails.
Criminal Intent is like CSI without all that pesky realism.

Goodbye, L&O. I only watched you in syndication, and you've lost me lately with all the personnel changes, but I will forever miss my friends Stone, McCoy, Cerreta, Briscoe, Curtis, Greene, Logan, Schiff, Van Buren, Carmichael, Kincaid, Lowell, and Ross. (The rest I will not miss. At all.)
posted by coolguymichael at 1:06 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can't find where I read these, but I do remember someone's lyrics to the Law & Order theme song, which I now quietly sing to myself everytime I hear it.

You're the monkey face
You're the monkey in the tree
You're the monkey face
You're the monkey in the tree
Eating all the bananas, eating all the bananas
Eating all the bananas, eating all the bananas
[guitar solo]
You're the monkey face
You're the monkey in the tree
You're the monkey face


Heretic. Everyone's Lorinada theme song lyrics should begin with either "Law and Order's on / It is always on" or "Law and Order's on / We love B.D. Wong"
posted by 23skidoo at 1:18 PM on May 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


Jumping in to also say I'll miss this particular bit of comfort food and that you (almost) all have made me feel better about the TV equivalent of eating McDonalds 5x a week.

Where have we seen that character actor before?

We play this as well; surprisingly, the IMDB phone app has not made it much easier. Most of the time it's quicker to go without.

No one ever laughs on L&O.

Congratulations on somehow missing every episode with Lenny Briscoe. Off-topic: who else has watched so many damn episodes you've seen the one where Jerry Orbach played the defense attorney? Multiple times? God help me.

Are they still doing the crazy-ass plots on Criminal Intent?

Yes. My wife and I only recently (past year) started watching that show and got addicted-- the early episodes and the ones with Chris Noth were terrific (relatively speaking). But they ruined it the same way they ruined the original L&O: they broke The Rule. Jerry Orbach said in an interview the show's one rule was to never bring in the characters' (cops & DAs) personal lives. There'd be a mention of Lenny's drinking, his daughter, ex-wives, etc., but all of it took place off-camera and never affected the show. For the past few seasons, every episode of L&O: CI has been about the cops: they're crazy, they're fired, they're kidnapped, they're dead (SPOILER ALERT!). Who cares? Arrest somebody.

And that's why SVU (though I watch it once in a while for Belzer and Ice-T) was terrible from day one: it's about the cops. You could create a drinking game based only around Christopher Merloni's character getting mad, violating someone's civil rights, then getting hauled into his captain's office for a lecture but not paying attention. He doesn't need no head shrinker. You could create that game. If you wanted to die 25 minutes into your first episode.

And if you dopes from TNT are reading this: fix the goddamn dubbing of the show in HD.
posted by yerfatma at 1:19 PM on May 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


I will say that hamlord D'onofrio is pretty good at--*holds up pickle slices*--connecting the dots.

That's the other reason I can always watch it. It's like they've let a spectacularly drunk Orson Welles loose on the set to do whatever he wants. I love it. I keep waiting for him to break the 4th wall just to fuck with the people on set.

And yet: the casting of Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio has taken even that fun out of it. She hasn't been this mis-cast since her days as an Irish waif in The Field.
posted by yerfatma at 1:25 PM on May 14, 2010 [8 favorites]


Wow. First New York-based soap operas get canceled, now L&O. It is not a great time to be an actor in the Big Apple right now.

It's an even worse time to be on the production side....I've worked on several of the soaps at one time or another, and was at the cast and crew meeting where they announced that All My Children was moving. (Great meeting, it was like a professional hit....the crew was making bets on whether they were getting a new producer, cancelled, or moving. The money was mostly on cancelled, so when the head of ABC daytime came out and said "Well, the show's not cancelled." everyone lost it, they were cheering, crying, hugging. When most of it died down, the first words out of his mouth were "but the show is moving to LA." It got really quiet FAST.)

Anyway, keep in mind that each of these shows have pretty large crews responsible for making them happen, and all those folks are already suffering bc of losing all the soaps, as there are more people clamoring for those jobs. I was laid off four months ago as a direct result of All My Children leaving town, and everyone I've spoken to since then has told me that they've never seen the business this bad.

I've been on crews for some of the most head-slappingly awful television ever made, and I hated this show, but I know it let a lot of people put food on their table and the fact that they're now suddenly out of work breaks my heart.
posted by nevercalm at 1:27 PM on May 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


All that needs to be said about Criminal Intent is that the main character has an archnemesis. You know, like how MacGyver has Murdoc.

That's the other reason I can always watch it. It's like they've let a spectacularly drunk Orson Welles loose on the set to do whatever he wants. I love it. I keep waiting for him to break the 4th wall just to fuck with the people on set.

Well put!
posted by brundlefly at 1:27 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


All that needs to be said about Criminal Intent is that the main character has an archnemesis.

Heh. I like the ones with her. Never knew there were so many of them.
posted by Artw at 1:31 PM on May 14, 2010


I have a framed print of Brandon Bird's A Night Away above my TV.
posted by djb at 1:32 PM on May 14, 2010


We refer to SVU as the "OMG Don't Touch the Internet" show. I am far from techy, and the tech on that show makes me cringe.

Even my beloved Munch can't get me to sit through it anymore.
posted by JoanArkham at 1:33 PM on May 14, 2010


I read an article yesterday that said that the L&O franchise supports about 8,000 jobs in NYC. I'm going to miss it.
posted by matildaben at 1:42 PM on May 14, 2010


True fact: Lenny Briscoe had the line, "Consider yourself cancelled," in Swept Away - A Very Special Episode of Law and Order.
posted by frecklefaerie at 1:42 PM on May 14, 2010


Stabler
Benson
Cragen
Munch
Tutuola
Huang
Novak/Cabot
All 5 Boroughs

NBC, if you even consider this away from me, I'll throw the biggest goddamn fit.

"Could someone also explain the appeal of SVU? I'm not being facetious, I just can't figure out why/how a show mainly about rape is so popular."

As mentioned above, it isn't about rape. If for no other reason, featuring special victims (i.e., victims of a garden variety of sexual misconduct) gives the detectives a good reason to get emotionally involved in their cases. It'd be a waste to have Stabler in the interrogation room, losing his shit with some guy about wire fraud charges. One thing that should be mentioned is that there is rarely any kind of on-screen sexual abuse. It's just there to set the plot in motion and to give the Special Victims Unit a reason to be emotionally invested in capturing the perp. And it's that emotional charge that leads to a lot of the satisfying subtly of the show-- treating the parents of a violated child as both victims and suspects, the wife of a philandering, dead husband as mourner and possible killer, etc. It's a well-acted, well-written show, and the fact that the core of the show hasn't really been messed with over 11 seasons is proof of that.
posted by NolanRyanHatesMatches at 1:44 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Could someone also explain the appeal of SVU?

ICE-T. Body Count's in the HOUSE.


Don't forget the muppet-like appeal of Richard Belzer.
posted by availablelight at 1:46 PM on May 14, 2010


I hate to say it because it's so fashionable to hate on the guy, but I blame Jay Leno for this.
posted by MegoSteve at 1:48 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I blame Janet Reno's thought police.
posted by docgonzo at 1:49 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


i've never seen a law & order episode or its variations. i do like CSI, though i've only ever watched the original. but then i think william peterson is kinda hot, specially with the beard.

i remember hearing when svu came out they wanted to call it law & order: sex crimes which i thought was kinda tacky. but then so i thought it was extra creepy hearing people talk about how incredibly hot its stars are, which seemed to me a strange mixed signal in terms of watching a show about rape and molestation and whatnot (if that is actually the subject matter) and simultaneously ruminating on how fuckable the investigators are.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 1:53 PM on May 14, 2010


Body Count's in the HOUSE.

Let me tell you about the VOO-DOO.
posted by Artw at 1:54 PM on May 14, 2010


When my mom first got into SVU, she told me how much she loved "that Ice-T gentleman." Blew my mind.
posted by brundlefly at 1:54 PM on May 14, 2010 [9 favorites]


When my mom first got into SVU, she told me how much she loved "that Ice-T gentleman." Blew my mind.

There's a dozens joke in there somewhere, but I haven't the time nor inclination...
posted by griphus at 1:59 PM on May 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Don't forget the muppet-like appeal of Richard Belzer.

I know, I loved Muppet Belzer on Law and Order: Special Letters Unit.
posted by ALongDecember at 2:06 PM on May 14, 2010 [6 favorites]


DOONK DOONK v. CHUNG CHUNG

In our house it's DUM DUM.

"You wanna watch some DUM DUM?"
posted by Kabanos at 2:08 PM on May 14, 2010


Obligatory.
posted by sparkletone at 2:20 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Everyone's Lorinada theme song lyrics

I see you've seen the appearance of Jerry Orbach on the Tonight fifteen years ago. I didn't think anyone else knew about it being "Lorinada."
posted by grubi at 2:23 PM on May 14, 2010


They already DID Law & Order Los Angeles. It was called Dragnet.
posted by JanetLand at 2:24 PM on May 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


They must be making room for Law and Order: Misdemeanor Nights.
posted by tss at 2:24 PM on May 14, 2010


I know, I loved Muppet Belzer on Law and Order: Special Letters Unit.

Where they refer to it as CHUNG CHUNG.
posted by grubi at 2:36 PM on May 14, 2010


Law and Order of all varieties is definitely comfort food TV for me, and I live in and love los angeles.... but the idea of law and order LA just feels wrong to me.

It's as if someone started making sushi tacos... these are two great things that need not be combined.
posted by flaterik at 2:39 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


When TNT started showing reruns for four hours a night I ended up selling my TV.

I wish I was joking.
posted by MillMan at 2:41 PM on May 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Law & Order: Star Trek?

I agree it's a bit like indulging in KFC or some greasy fries. I watched the British version with interest since British cop shows are, in my opinion, miles better than the American one's (save the Wire of course) but Law & Order: London (if that's what it was called) followed the American formula and adapted existing stories. It was pretty bad.
posted by juiceCake at 2:50 PM on May 14, 2010


DOINKers...CHUNGers....HARROOers...be at peace. No less than Dick Wolf himself explains that it's CHING CHING.
posted by jquinby at 2:59 PM on May 14, 2010



I know, I loved Muppet Belzer on Law and Order: Special Letters Unit.


Nice, but would be so much sweeter with a muppet Ice T. (And I kept waiting for Muppet Stabler to tuck in his tie, roll up his sleeves, and....)
posted by availablelight at 3:06 PM on May 14, 2010


I much prefer Law and Order: SUV, where every crime occurs in a Toyota Sequoia.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:11 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's great pleasure to be had in the moments where the writers put in their Big Soapbox Message for the week and it fits into the rest of the dialogue like a square peg encased in concrete.

"This woman wouldn't have died if she had health insurance."

"Yeah, like if there was some sort of 'public option'?"

"You got it. She would have received assistance in getting the insurance she couldn't afford."
posted by mattholomew at 3:17 PM on May 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Televised comfort food, you say? I got three words for you:

Young.
Chris.
Noth.

And yeah, the dramatic stylings of Vinnie D'Onofrio always class up a show.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:21 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


No WAY it's CHING CHING. That's too high pitched.

For us it was always SHUNK SHUNK.
posted by buzzkillington at 3:23 PM on May 14, 2010


i do like CSI, though i've only ever watched the original. but then i think william peterson is kinda hot, specially with the beard
posted by fallacy of the beard

I don't know if I should believe you or not.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:30 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've probably seen more Law & Order repeats than is clinically indicated as healthy. I'll miss that stupid fucking show. When traveling overseas, nothing is quite as comforting as settling down in your hotel room to watch Adam Schiff gruffly eat a sandwich.

I've not had a television for most of the last 10 years. But for a while, I had a bet with everyone else in my family that no matter what kind of hotel we were in, or time of day it was, there was bound to be a flavor of L&O somewhere on the dial.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:44 PM on May 14, 2010


Also, a few years back Conan O'Brien had a skit based on the idea that there were so many 'Law & Order' shows that they needed their own awards show, called the "Law & Ordies." They did a segment for Best Title Card and the nominees were something like "Monday, January First - Upper Manhattan" and "Tuesday, April 2 - The Bronx".
posted by mattholomew at 3:49 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I used to love L&O. I hung out on alt.tv.law-and-order (and oh, the debates about whether SVU should have its own group or be discussed on the TOS group). I even did one of my undergraduate essays on the portrayal of mental illness on L&O. But long about the time Elizabeth Rohm was stinking up the ADA slot, I lost interest. I hear the last ADA was a big improvement and the show had gotten better again, but, eh, never found my way back into it.

On the other hand, L&O:UK is very amusing. It's like taking the L&O game where you compete to see who can guess which episode you're about to see the fastest based on the cold open, and adding this whole new dimension. New scenery! Accents! People in robes and wigs! Which episode will it be?
posted by jacquilynne at 4:19 PM on May 14, 2010


On the other hand, L&O:UK is very amusing. It's like taking the L&O game where you compete to see who can guess which episode you're about to see the fastest based on the cold open, and adding this whole new dimension. New scenery! Accents! People in robes and wigs! Which episode will it be?

The particular flavor of dissonance achieved by watching L&O: UK is something only universe-hoppers and time travelers had experienced before.
posted by The Whelk at 4:23 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Plutor wrote: "In truth, It all went to shit when Lennie Briscoe died. These new dimwits couldn't detect their way out of a paper bag."

This! Well, most of the post Lenny/Green folks were at least likable, even if not nearly as awesome.

I think part of what turns me off on new L&O (although I still watch it, just not as religiously as I once did) is the lack of grittiness. The same thing that turned me on to early Law & Order turned me on to The Equalizer when they were showing reruns on Universal HD. It was about as neat as it gets, seeing early 1980s NYC in HD.

Someone at NBC should be shot for canceling Law & Order, by the way. I had actually begun liking it again in this last season.
posted by wierdo at 4:30 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I should have also mentioned that the Homicide: Life on the Streets episode with Vincent D'Onofrio may be the best prime time drama ever to be aired. Sorry, L&O, you are awesome and are getting totally screwed here, but that one episode of Homicide is fracking awesome (unlike the rest of the series which somewhere between mediocre and decent, IMO)
posted by wierdo at 4:34 PM on May 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


Also, a few years back Conan O'Brien had a skit based on the idea that there were so many 'Law & Order' shows that they needed their own awards show, called the "Law & Ordies."

I'm still waiting on "Law and Order: Law and Order" about crimes that take place on the set and productions of Law and Order shows.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:40 PM on May 14, 2010 [24 favorites]


norm wrote: "McCoy over Stone

Also, L&O really biffed it when they failed to retain my high school classmate Milena Govich, who I am pretty sure is still the only female main cast detective.
"

Stone and McCoy are tied for awesomeness. Adam Schiff and, even more importantly, Alfred Wentworth are even better, though. Alfred is by far the best character ever to grace Law & Order, aside from Briscoe and perhaps Logan. (The L&O movie Logan did was pretty spiffy)

And Milena Govich is smokin', but I just didn't buy the Nina Cassady character.

I guess the reason I think L&O is so great is that they've had a constant stream of great actors and great characters, with only a few missteps along the way. Even today the characters and the actors portraying them are still doing a great job.

Sorry to monopolize the thread, I should probably gather all my thoughts if I'm going to make another post.
posted by wierdo at 4:48 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


drjimmy11: "I'm still waiting on "Law and Order: Law and Order" about crimes that take place on the set and productions of Law and Order shows."

Brilliant!
posted by brundlefly at 4:51 PM on May 14, 2010


"Log and Order" was done back in '05... Please don't judge me.

If it matters to you, I found that storyline almost as entertainingly absurd as most of the "Man Man" adventures and got a full guffaw out of the final punchline "Log and Order: Stinky Vagrants Unit".
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:24 PM on May 14, 2010


Awww ... now what show's opening score will drive dogs crazy?

And now who will represent the people of New York?

Finally, I love me some S. Epatha Merkerson, especially after reading at IMDB that she "refers to everyone she meets as "sweet motherfucker" as a term of endearment."
posted by bwg at 6:03 PM on May 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


If you find formulaic piffle comforting, and who doesn't once in a while, L & O was good for that, early on. Later, not so much. As for the quality of the detecting and detectives (including the benighted Brisco), give me an f break. They couldn't detect their way out of a piss soaked paper bag; half the time they'd end up back at the squad house for the lieutenant to give them the next amazingly obvious step in that annoyingly chiding tone of hers. As for the 'order' side of the house, I was all right with Jack McCoy until I heard Sam Waterston in an interview claim that he'd spent more time working in a courtroom than Abraham Lincoln. Oh. REALLY?
posted by charris5005 at 6:08 PM on May 14, 2010


charris5005 wrote: "I was all right with Jack McCoy until I heard Sam Waterston in an interview claim that he'd spent more time working in a courtroom than Abraham Lincoln. Oh. REALLY?"

You don't think it's possible Sam Waterston has spent more time working in a courtroom (as an actor) than Abraham Lincoln did as an attorney? Perhaps back in the day more of a lawyer's time was actually spent in court.
posted by wierdo at 6:23 PM on May 14, 2010


If Jim Lafleur and Miles Straum aren't the leads, that show is already dead to me.


OMG -- I would watch that show like a shrieking squeeing 13 year old fangirl.
posted by whitearrow at 6:25 PM on May 14, 2010


It is not a great time to be an actor in the Big Apple right now.

I like L&O and I like Broadway/Off-Broadway theater. One of my favorite things to do at every show is to open up the Playbill and count the L&O appearances in the cast bios. We've already heard from someone in TV production. Does anyone know what the NY theater-actor community thinks of L&O leaving?
posted by hhc5 at 6:29 PM on May 14, 2010


I was on "Law and Order: SVU"! For about five seconds, there's a blurry blue shape in the background - that's me. I've been in this city doing classical theatre for the last 10 years or so, and what did my friends and family finally get excited about? Evangeline as Hedda Gabler? Evangeline as Clytemnestra? Evangeline as Hermione? Oh, noooooo... a polite clapping of hands, at most. Evangeline as a blue blur on L&O? Oh my god, I know that girl!
posted by Evangeline at 7:09 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, and in our house, the lyrics to the "Law and Order:SVU" theme song go something like this:

Oh it's a heinous
squa-ah-ah-ad
It's a squad, and it is
so heinous
Hei-nou-ous squad
It's a heinous squad!

posted by Evangeline at 7:14 PM on May 14, 2010


Ok, I'm just testing a theory here, but how many of you SVU-likers also watch Two and a Half Men?
posted by sevenyearlurk at 7:22 PM on May 14, 2010


Ok, I'm just testing a theory here, but how many of you SVU-likers also watch Two and a Half Men?

Ew, no. Sitcoms give me the hives (30 Rock, as ever, my favorite exception).
posted by librarylis at 7:48 PM on May 14, 2010


BAWK BAWK

(Also: Stephen Colbert in Law & Order: Criminal Intent.)
posted by Rhaomi at 8:04 PM on May 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Mrs Condour75 prefers SVU to original recipe. I prefer original but stopped watching in the early 00s. Neither of us likes 2 1/2 men. SVU has its moments -- I do like a good Dr Huang interlude, and there's something awesome about Tamara Tunie, but it trips me up because after seeing so many originals, I still watch for the detectives to make a procedural error that will come back to haunt them when the defense gets hold of it. And it seldom happens.

Also seconding that Sharon Stone sucks on it. As the missus said, "wasn't she supposed to be a good actress?"
posted by condour75 at 8:12 PM on May 14, 2010


Law & Order: STFU
posted by Artw at 8:25 PM on May 14, 2010


Phew! First comment. A lot has been said already, but I have to chime in on the comfort food angle. Law & Order has been on TV since I was 10 years old. All through middle school I was obsessed with forensic science and pathology (too much Quincy, ME!) and crime and detectives and mysteries - and anyway, so my mom would let me stay up "late" and watch L&O with her if I would promise to "be quiet and keep still."

I don't watch a lot of TV serials, but L&O is one that has kind of always been a part of my life. I still get chills when I see the episode where Greevy gets shot. And when Adam Schiff's voice breaks when he tells Jack his wife has died. And Logan - good God, that man was sexy. I am laughing right now thinking about the time he called someone a piece of cheese. Ooh, and one of the greatest moments ever - Briscoe's daughter being murdered, and him saying, "She was my baby, Rey..." like a sad little boy. Jeez.

I stopped watching it for awhile, around the same time I stopped watching ER, but L&O is like that childhood friend that you may not see for years and then you do and it's just like old times. Yeah.

Long time lurker. Excellent thread, folks.

+1 for DOINK DOINK!
posted by polly_dactyl at 8:47 PM on May 14, 2010


Could someone also explain the appeal of SVU?

Believe it or not, Richard Belzer and Ice-T have really interesting chemistry.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:53 PM on May 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


I always wonder what it's like to be one of the long-term actors on those shows. On the one hand, it can't be the greatest acting job ever--the characters don't change much, they aren't asked to display a whole lot of range. On the other hand, the gig! The steady paycheck! The residuals! I wonder if some of the folks who've been there a decade are ambivalent about it.
posted by not that girl at 9:18 PM on May 14, 2010


make a deal
posted by bottlebrushtree at 9:18 PM on May 14, 2010


Metafilter: In the self-link justice system, MeFites are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups: the users who investigate posts, and the moderators, who ban the offenders. These are their stories.

This comment shall not be hereby interpreted to mean the above-entitled OP is a self-linker. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in Metatalk.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 9:53 PM on May 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


Ok, I'm just testing a theory here, but how many of you SVU-likers also watch Two and a Half Men?

What? No, man. No.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:04 PM on May 14, 2010


Those four-hour L & O blocks mentioned upthread? They're the reason we cancelled cable in college, and the reason I still refuse to get cable.

None of my roommates (nor I) were especially big fans, but when that show was on, everything stopped. "Oh, I'll just run this in the background while I do my homework"? NO. YOU WON'T. And everyone in the house will slowly drift to the kitchen at some point and then get sucked into an episode in the neighboring living room until all of us were there, watching 4 hours of Law & Order EVERY NIGHT.

That thing TNT does where they don't put a commercial break between the end of one episode and the beginning of another is responsible for destroying an untold number of what could have been productive college nights.
posted by sleeping bear at 11:58 PM on May 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


They already DID Law & Order Los Angeles. It was called Dragnet.

And for one brief almost-season, it was awesome.

(Then they tried to burn down the village in order to save it.)
posted by Lazlo at 12:13 AM on May 15, 2010


Ok, I'm just testing a theory here, but how many of you SVU-likers also watch Two and a Half Men?

if your theory is that you might be a culture snob, it would seem that any response is superfluous.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 1:47 AM on May 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Best Episode of L&O: Aftershock.

Interesting facts: Jill Hennessy has a twin sister who would sometimes stand in as Claire when Jill was working on another project. In those scenes, Claire wouldn't have any lines. She'd just have to look all lawyerly in the courtroom.

Jerry Orbach was the voice of Lumiere in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast." I love this movie. I usually don't like too much Disney outside of a few wistful chidlhood memories, but this movie I love. And I didn't know until sometime LAST YEAR that Jerry Orbach was Lumiere. Everytime I watch it, I try to hear Lennie Briscoe in Lumiere's voice, and I can't.

My own preferences. I love Ben Stone. Ben Stone was great. The thing with Ben Stone is he wasn't a maverick like McCoy. He believed in the law and working within the system to change the system as needed. He was more rational in his approach and would wait until ducks were lined up. I'm sure Ben Stone had a lot less thrown out of his cases than McCoy did. McCoy was known as being a maverick. This even comes up in the first couple of episodes he and Claire work together. I think there was a conflict as the law Claire did with Stone was different than the law she did with McCoy and there was the occasional butted head over that. McCoy was certainly sensationalist. I always wished his character came back as a consultant on a new case that involved one of his cases.

Also, Dr. Olivet over Skoda any day.

What does this all mean in the end? Mostly that I've watched way more L&O than one should to be able to make these comparisons. But also that the show is a freaking institution in the way shows, even long running shows, aren't usually. I'm going to miss it. I was just getting back into the newer seasons.
posted by zizzle at 5:11 AM on May 15, 2010


Jerry Orbach, breaking my heart right here. He had a lovely singing voice.
posted by Evangeline at 5:28 AM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


The thing with Ben Stone is he wasn't a maverick like McCoy

Agreed. In re: my comment above, McCoy's character often breaks The Rule: the prosecution is somehow about him, not about a crime. Whenever the actual murder is wrapped up within 15 minutes, I always get an "Uh-oh" feeling because you know the murderer is going to plead out in agreement for his testimony against Big Pharma™, Major Oil Company©, Bango Guns® or whatever news topic is "hot" among the geriatric set. Speaking of shows that have lost their cred, I think 60 Minutes gets their report ideas based on who Jack McCoy prosecuted the week before.
posted by yerfatma at 6:52 AM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Jerry Orbach was the voice of Lumiere

A distant second to his being the original Baby Daddy in Dirty Dancing.
posted by yerfatma at 6:53 AM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


8 times out of 10, the woman did it. This is a plot point ironic to real life we find amusing at our house.

Because of Tivo, I have now watched every episode at least once. *shakes head* My most embarrassing hobby.
posted by RedEmma at 6:57 AM on May 15, 2010


Jerry Orbach was the voice of Lumiere

A distant second to his being the original Baby Daddy in Dirty Dancing.


And a distant third to his being the original Billy Flynn in Chicago.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:45 PM on May 15, 2010


On the bright side, perhaps that 20-year-long crime spree at Hudson University will finally end.
posted by william_boot at 1:54 PM on May 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


Best Episode of L&O: Aftershock.

Agreed - probably the best "Holy shit!" moment of my TV-viewing life. Interesting that, in many years of watching L&O in syndication (sometimes 3-4 in a row, running in the background) and seeing many episodes multiple times (especially episodes from around that era), I've only seen that one once. It definitely doesn't get the rotation that others do.
posted by coolguymichael at 4:07 PM on May 15, 2010


Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey and I used to play "name that L&O episode". How soon after the first title card showed could you identify the rough plot of the episode. (We used to give me a handicap, since when it comes to plots I'm Sieve-Brain Girl; I was allowed to get away with "ooh! ooh! this is the one with the Russians and the cigarette taxes and that guy kills the other one and I forget what happens after that.")

But PBZM demonstrated that he's seen entirely too many episodes a little while ago. "Thanks for hauling the laundry upstairs since my shoulder's jacked up from my bike accident last week, sweetie. And thank you for forgiving me for riding too fast and losing control of the bike..."

*folds a t-shirt*

"Hey, honey, remember that episode of Law & Order where the mobster agrees to testify about a murder in exchange for immunity for anything he mentions on the stand, and he gets up there and says 'yeah, I killed this guy, and oh by the way I killed these other five people too, thanks for the immunity!'? That episode? That was a good one, wasn't it?"

*starts pairing up socks*

I agreed that yes, that was a good episode (to the extent that Sieve-Brain Girl remembered it).

"Yeah... hey, uh, you know my bike accident? Uh, well, maybe I didn't actually lose traction on a puddle and skid into a tree, maybe I was actually riding down Market Street snarling at motor vehicles like a hostile asshole and kinda tried to argue with two buses at once and wound up hitting the Muni tracks and going shoulder-first into the tire of the parked bus and hey don't slug that shoulder that's the injured one ow! Man, it worked much better on Law & Order. Jack McCoy keeps his deals better than you do."
posted by Lexica at 4:09 PM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh man. I will miss L&O enormously, even though I haven't seen anything but reruns in AGES. It's just... I guess I kind of always expected it to be there.

I bet block associations all over the West Village are celebrating this news, though.
posted by elizardbits at 4:20 PM on May 15, 2010


the thread made me curious, and i didn't want to be like all 'i'm too classy to watch this show', so i checked out some law and order: ci on netflix, and now i've got a big crush on vincent d'onofrio. so yeah, thanks, i guess.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 7:53 PM on May 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Nobody's mentioned the Ship of Theseus?
posted by jonp72 at 9:08 PM on May 15, 2010


In our house, Goren is known as "tilty-head"
posted by stevil at 9:42 PM on May 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


For someone who never watches it anymore, I *love* "Law and Order."

I used to have a job where I traveled all the time. At first it was really off-putting -- lonely, disconnected, not at all like I pictured when I thought it would be glamorous to travel all the time. And then I found "Law and Order."

I had never seen the show at home, but every time I walked into a hotel room, if I flipped around, there was an episode of LaO on. It was so formulaic and predictable that, as media I would choose to actively engage in, it would never meet my standards back home. But as an "I've just been on a plane for 2/4/8/16 hours and I'm out of sorts and I need something non challenging and familiar," there it was. In every single hotel. Sometimes with overdubbing or captions. Sometimes Ice-T was in it for some reason. Sometimes the guy who ran for the Republican candidacy. But it was crime-dum dum-police-dum dum-lawyers-dum dum-plot twist that made no sense that no one could have predicted-dum dum-thoughtful shot of lawyers/cops talking about what a crazy, mixed up world it is. After a long day of presenting in a suit and heels or changing planes 3 times or waking up at 3am so I could say hi to my daughter on Skype in another time zone, "Law and Order" was always there waiting on the tiny CRT at the Holiday Inn Express, or the giant flat panel in the W suite.

It asked nothing of me: never mentally challenging, never big words, never a complex world view. Sure, the bad guys got off sometimes, but it was enough for Jack to sigh disapprovingly and reinforce that they were bad guys.

However, since they made so many of them and their so formulaic, if I ever have a heavy travel job again, I doubt I'd even recognize if I've seen it before. They can cancel it on first run, but they'll run it into the ground on A&E/TNT/TBS/etc.
posted by Gucky at 11:30 PM on May 15, 2010


....Okay, time for me to fess up to SVU being a bit of a guilty pleasure...in chief because (as I think I said upthread) Richard Belzer and Ice-T have this really interesting chemistry. They also manage to get the best guest stars (Amanda Plummer's turn as a schizophrenic crime victim is pretty damn amazing).

It also served as a weird form of comfort once - I had my own very minor dealing with the real-life Brooklyn SVU when I got a really scary obscene phone call once; the guy started by reciting my exact address to me, so I'd know he knew right where I lived, and then threatened to "rape and mutilate me" unless I said exactly what he wanted me to say; I played along while I checked all the doors and windows were locked, then told him off, hung up, and called 911. I was a little shaken for a day, while the case was making its way into the system and before the detective assigned to the case could call me and follow up.

And then when the detective called, he was the living embodiment of Detective Stabler. He was absolutely saying things that I had heard Chris Meloni saying onscreen in one episode or another, and so after that call I was sufficiently distracted by being so amused that "holy crap, I have my own Detective Stabler!" Even when we learned that the guy who called me had been based in North Carolina, and thus we couldn't get after him without involving the NC state PD (which we could only get if there'd been a second call from the guy), he even got all frustrated like Stabler would and asked me if I wanted him to try anyway. I told him that no, I was satisfied that he probably wouldn't actually drive from North Carolina just to get me -- and then we ended up talking about baseball for about five minutes.

So I learned that there really are actual cops like Stabler out there, which tickles me in a place I can't reach.

...As for original recipe L&O: the time I'd watch the most was when Briscoe and Greene were the main detectives, because Jerry Orbach was fantastic - and because I went to the same acting conservatory WITH Jesse L. Martin, and it was always good to see a guy making good. (Never really had a lengthy conversation with Jesse, but we did have a nodding acquainance -- and he is a really, really nice guy.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:48 AM on May 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


something i like about law and order: ci (so far, at least): what drives me crazy in a lot of shows like this is how you'll have some great investigator who's maybe unconventional and odd but who manages to like solve every case against all expectations, but then whenever the next case comes around, his or her supervisor never fails to look at him or her like he or she is fucking crazy for even the slightest bit of unconventionality, and then the investigator of course, proves the supervisor (and all the supervisor's supervisors and posh friends and political connections) wrong, and the cycle starts again. in this show, the investigators tell their supervisor what they think, and he asks why, and they tell him, and he's like 'cool, go for it.'
posted by fallacy of the beard at 1:47 PM on May 16, 2010


jonp72: "Nobody's mentioned the Ship of Theseus?"

That's a false comparison. The show isn't the actors; the actors simply are placed within the show for a period of time. Under ideal conditions, they can be interchanged freely without impacting Law and Order one way or the other. The show is like a bucket: It defines the boundaries and the characteristics of what can go in it and what can't, but changing its contents doesn't make it no longer a bucket. This is one of the brilliant things about Law and Order that the spinoffs didn't seem to get. They focus too much on the personalities and the back-stories. When L&O was in its prime, the back stories were doled out in tiny doses and were incidental, not central.
posted by Plutor at 8:15 AM on May 17, 2010


i checked out some law and order: ci on netflix, and now i've got a big crush on vincent d'onofrio.

Join the fucking club. We all feel that way, all the time!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:49 AM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Aww, man, with this latest season we've been pretending that with Eddie Hudson playing Merkson's boyfriend, that they've been balancing her career in the police with his career as a ghost buster.
posted by klangklangston at 12:48 PM on May 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


I suspect the latest episode was inspired by this story.
posted by homunculus at 9:48 PM on May 17, 2010


The final episode of L&O features an anonymous blogger named "Moot" as the main criminal.

MOOT IS THE FINAL BOSS OF LAW AND ORDER
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:51 PM on May 18, 2010 [5 favorites]


In the internet the people are represented trolled by two separate yet equally important groups: goons, who investigate crime; and the 4chaners, who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.
posted by The Whelk at 9:01 PM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


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