Goodbye Law & Order

The news is out. L&O is canceled. My heart is broken.  Not just because my Connie/Cutter obsession will never be truly resolved, but because something that has always been faithful to viewers for 20 years is not going to get a chance to say one last “ripped from the headlines” episode.  This news came too late as the season finale has already done.  To think of what could have been the last great episode, (I foresee certain network executives being killed over canceling a long running series that will actually hurt a city’s economy), with probably Sam Waterson turning the lights off of his office alone, and walking to the door, holding either his fedora or motorcycle helmet.

Twenty years is probably never going be achieved again by another show. And with all the stories and cast that have come and gone on this show, why not give it a true send off that is properly promoted this time, and not buried in a SVU episode?

Finally, your opinion on it being formulaic, actually the show had been playing with that. It had opened up to character driven plots and changed the format in a few episodes. I feel it’s been the strongest quality wise in years, and its a shame the current cast and crew who made it such can’t get the respect of having a real goodbye for the show they put so much effort into.

In a way L&O had always come through for NBC, even when it suffered in writing and casting, because it was always used as the show to plug a hole in the line up. With the snafu that NBC had on the Leno nonsense, I’m shocked they getting rid of their #1 substitute when they really have nothing to replace it. Idiots.

Finally, maybe NBC doesn’t deserve all the blame. Dick Wolf probably spent too much time negotiating instead of realizing the writing on the wall for his show, focusing too much on “the record” versus giving the show a proper goodbye. It just breaks my heart we won’t get a chance to say really goodbye to my favorite cast who renewed my love for this show in the last few years.

L&O news + spoiler

So I’ve not posted in awhile.  But here I am now! And it’s news!  Alana de la Garza is pregnant and they are writing the pregnancy into the storyline.

*“Will they write the pregnancy into Law & Order or try to hide it?

They’re going to write it in, which is really exciting especially since Law & Order isn’t really a character-driven show.

My character doesn’t have a boyfriend, she’s not married, no love interest … in the season finale there’s a scene in a bar and I was joking around with everyone as we were filming, saying, “Oh, I think tonight’s the night Connie gets knocked up!” “

How do I feel about that?  I have no idea.  I want to be excited (though honestly I’m never happy with pregnancy stories, especially when the couple has yet to be officially together).  There are numerous ways for this could be good for my ship, Connie/Mike.

But this is a ship I like, so thus my curse is always there yet so there are numerous ways the ship can disintegrate or simply cease to be anything.  Does anyone have any thoughts? Any positive remarks as I can certainly come up with enough negative ones I would rather not keep reading hem.

*Thank you to These are their Stories for the information.

The State of my TV

So I know it’s been a long time since I’ve updated.  I apologize as I’m falling down on my NY’s resolutions stating I would post one blog per weekend.  (To be fair, recently I met one big resolution of cleaning out my garage.)  But it’s not all my fault, I am not that impressed with TV.  Let me discuss my current TV shows now:

The Office: Caught up to the episodes last night. I love The Office but it’s something I can watch later.  I’m really enjoying Andy and Erin right now and I got worried when they showed their foster brother.  And can I say I’m rooting for Dwight and Isabelle?

Law & Order: Ok, I’m enjoying this one the most, and not just because of my shipping compulsion for the two DAs.  I think it’s quality has vastly improved these last few years: the current cast, the writing, and finally becoming bolder with personal relationships.  Sadly, now that they moved the show, again, on Monday nights along it’s back to struggling in the ratings.  I’m hoping this has more to do with NBC still recovering from the colossal mistake of the Jay Leno show, but only time will tell.  I will state if you haven’t watched the episode, Innocence, you are missing the best episode of the year (and one that strays from the typical format of the show).

Chuck: Also on Monday nights, my interest has been reduced to zero.  The season started off so promising.  Then they introduced Superman as the next Doppelganger in the Chuck/Sarah relationship.  It’s startling that we’ve got to through this AGAIN, the Chuck/Sarah/Brett triangle made much more sense and had a  lot more layers.  Adding in Hannah doesn’t help, though I did like her, but again, it feels like a repeat of the Lou character and this show can do so much better.  I’ve watched few episodes and have no desire to tune in again.

CSI: I don’t know if it was my imagination or I’m a masochist, but for some stupid reason I get excited for Greg/Sara again.  The idea of Sara/Grissom makes me want to vomit for the rest of my life but maybe I could learn to let it go if she dumped his waddling ass for Greg (only for Greg to dump her ass).  I know that won’t happen.  There was this weird moment some time ago between them, thus I’ve been watching expectantly for a long time but nothing new.  Must have been my imagination.

Survivor: So Russell put one over on Rob.  Or one could say, Russell asked Tyson to switch his vote and the nimrod agreed which threw off Rob’s plan.  The only good news is it mainly hurt Tyson who I always hated anyway.  (Maybe even more than Russell except we’ve seen very little of Tyson).

Lost: They had me all the way up to Charlotte/Sawyer.  NO NO NO NO NO.  Must every ship I love have to be reduced to nothing?  ONe of the main reasons I supported the bomb exploding is that it SHOULD allow for both Daniel and Charlotte to be alive now, and they could have gotten together. Seeing Charlotte and Sawyer together was all kinds of wrong.  The good news is the follow up episode featured Richard pretty much the entire time and I can always get back to that.

V: It should start this week, right?

Glee: Can’t wait to April.

In Plain Sight & Criminal Intent: Should both premier on March 31st.  Looking quite forward to it.

Evolution of Law & Order

Law & Order is showcasing it’s 20th season this year.  That’s quite an accomplishment.  It doesn’t make it the longest running series (still behind Gunsmoke and The Simpsons) but it’s still worthy of being celebrated.  Besides the original series, it has spawned approximately 3 spin offs (SVU, Criminal Intent, Trial by Jury) and 2 other series within the universe (Homicide, Conviction).  Whether you are a Dick Wolf fan or not, he certainly has created a phenomenon in TV history.  Something that NBC right now, due to it’s issues with Leno leaving primetime, must rely on even more.

Last week L&O returned with an episode double header, “Steely Eyed Death” and “Boy on Fire.”  Both episodes were well done.  Between the 2 episodes, there was character development (Lupo), relationship bonding (Lupo and Bernard) and a guest star (Debra Winger) who, for once, wasn’t actually the killer or mastermind of the crime.  After watching the show for 20 years, I feel an episode is a success if I can at least be surprised by the plot 50% of the time.  The first episode actually was the stronger of the two, simply because it’s later focus shifted to Detective Lupo, his past dealing with horrific crimes and sharing the details to his partner Bernard.

Lately I’ve been catching the early episodes of TNT.  It’s still fun to watch.  There was a time I knew these pretty much by heart, I’d seen them so much.  The series was grittier then, having a documentary edge to it.  New York seemed like a colder, more dangerous place.  And the entire cast was made up of men who reacted to the cases in different ways.  Each episode was it’s own mini movie, and rarely did anything to carry over to the next episode.  You could pick the show up after having been gone for a long time and know exactly who was who, and what role they played on the show, even if a new actor had joined.

Obviously relationships weren’t happening between the characters.  We did have partnerships, specifically with the opening duo of Logan and Greevey (who then became Logan and Cerreta and finally settling on Logan and Briscoe for a while).  Logan and Greevey actually were very much like oil and water.  Logan was liberal, Greevey was conservative.  They argued over every case.  They butted heads and sometimes even went into screaming matches. However, they still respected each other, and when Greevey was shot in his own driveway, Logan went into a downward spiral.  After that, while Cerreta and Briscoe argued with the younger man, it was never to such extremes.  Not until Detective Curtis took Logan’s part and that head butting resumed.  Of course, that usually was because Curtis was “by the book” man, and never appreciated when Briscoe taking shortcuts around the law, even in mild ways.

Over 20 years we’ve had a lot of cops on this show.  Most of the time they stayed while others were gone rather quickly.  Now we have Detectives Lupo and Bernard.  Much was said about Anthony Anderson coming in after Jessie L. Martin, his most famous role was as the scared hacker in the first Transformers movie.  But I think he’s done excellent in the part, and while I did love Ed Green very much, I am really enjoying the partnership between Bernard and Lupo.  It’s reminding me way back of the first season.  They are extremes and always butt heads on the controversial cases.  They can say some rotten things to each other.  But when the chips are down, they are there for each other.

On the other side of the show is the DA’s office.  Michael Moriarty played Ben Stone for several years and I loved his character.  His first assistant was Robinette who was with him for 3 seasons.  In the fourth season the show realized there were females working out in the world so they replaced two characters with women.  Captain Cragen was replaced by Lt. Van Buren.  She of course will always be someone I adore (she actually shows up as the mother of a murdered baby in the first season).  But Robinette was replaced by Claire Kincaid.  She was green and actually messed up in her first case.  Stone could have fired her, she was expecting it, but he remembered that he too had made his own share of screw ups and knew she could be a real asset.

What I loved about Kincaid (Jill Hennessy) is she had a dry wit.   With the serious material we got day in and out on everything, it was nice to have moments of humor even if it was just for a line or two.  Sometimes it was at a suspect’s expense and other times we had her making fun of Jack McCoy and Adam Schiff.  I remember one moment where a case befell them about a fugitive from the 60s being found and tried for murdering a cop (even back then they were getting their episodes from headlines).  Kincaid could not understand why McCoy and Schiff were reluctant to follow through with the prosecution, that if this woman had done the act in the 50s, they wouldn’t blink twice.  McCoy’s argument was simply “It was the 60s” as if that explained it all.  Fairly soon, one of the men asked what their next step should be, and Claire answered that perhaps they should hold hands and sing a chorus of “We Shall Overcome.”  McCoy’s reaction was priceless.

Such a story does bring up the new DA to replace Stone after Moriarity left.  Sam Waterson didn’t just step into the role, he jumped with both feet.  At the time, I didn’t appreciate the characteristics of Jack McCoy or how his relationship with Claire did add new substance to the DA side of things.  Realizing as I watched that McCoy and Kincaid were obviously involved outside the office, I was annoyed because I couldn’t get past McCoy being known for getting involved with his assistants.  (I think Claire would make four).  I wanted more for her character then just to get involved in an office romance.  Of course, we saw very little of the relationship so it wasn’t that big of a concern.  They killed Claire off in a car crash and from there we got beautiful model after model after model after model.

Now Alana de la Garza as Connie.  It’s amazing how far the actress has come from four years ago.  Starting first as McCoy’s assistant, the actress seemed timid and was upstaged easily.  Now that time has past, and Connie’s working along side Michael Cutter who took over for McCoy when he got promoted to DA has been loads of fun.  They butt heads as much if not more then Bernard/Lupo and even Greevey/Logan.  But they also have a good partnership when working together and can make Jack proud most of the time.  I do want to ship them and my latest FF is about them, but I’m not enjoying L&O specifically for them.  I think everyone has gelled together in a way that makes it the strongest the show’s been in years.  Now the writers are feeling freer to implement personal stories lightly such as Van Buren’s cancer and the possible Connie/Mike relationship.  I look forward to watching this show every week now, when before I would watch if I remembered.  Hopefully the extra four episodes ordered for this season will continue to impress.

New FF: Getting what you want

Yes, I have begun a new FF.  Yes, it’s about L&O, a show that is typically shipless and very formulatic.  Indulge me as I write this, when I get on board with a ship, I usually raise the sails full mast and go forward!  (Enough with the metaphors)

Getting What You Want-After Cutter must remove himself from a case due to conflict of interest, Connie gets the chance she’s waited for, first chair on a big case. It’s what she’s been waiting for, but something is missing. Mike/Connie

A Month In

So we are a month into the new year. I’m already behind on one of my NY’s resolutions as I promised every weekend I would come up with an update.  So sorry, but I did post mid-week with that cute Lost video.  Doesn’t that give me some leeway?

I wasn’t exactly inspired to write about TV shows.  Survivor is coming out soon and I’m really tempted to focus on how Russell is NOT the greatest player the game has ever seen.  But that should be its own topic, not as a footnote in a summary blog.

So where to begin?  Right now Chuck is on and I’m letting Tivo record it.  Now that they have given us Agent Douche, I’m pretty sure I’m gonna have to have the FF button ready.  It’s not that he’s the newest threat to the Chuck/Sarah ship, but it’s just I realized he doesn’t have any flaws.  He’s got a past and obviously was crushed when his fiancée agent got killed on assignment.  And of course that will go hand in hand in Sarah’s wariness about her feelings for Chuck now that they are still part of the spy business.  My problem is he doesn’t have any flaws.  Chuck is insecure and prone to panic, Casey is fairly callous, and Sarah is overprotective of Chuck (Agent Douche is right about that).  While on that note, I do like this new Hannah chick but the show is dangerously close to making her pretty perfect too. I really do hate Mary Sue type characters, no matter, what gender.

I’m still watching CSI and I go about my life watching and enjoying the few times I see Greg on the show.  But my eyes did not deceive me that they gave us a freaking “Sandle” moment.  OMG, yes they did!  Sara and Greg actually shared a little bit about her *cough*disgusting*cough* marriage and how she seems happier in LV without her husband. I’m trying not to let me get sucked in.  But if Slynn begins writing a new FF, we will know the cold weather is because hell hath frozen over!

Heroes will be coming on soon.  I’m sure my girl Nolebucgrl is waiting patiently for me to log in so we can shake our heads and cringe at the dialogue/plot/character/non-twists we are forced to endure.  It really is quite extraordinary how this show has at least half a dozen chances to make something interesting, and they take the path of most boring every single time.  Tonight should feature Sylar and Peter locked in Sylar’s mind, no thanks to Matt who is supposed to be walking on the dark side this season, but only comes across like a teddy bear trying to convince kids baby aspirin is a narcotic.  If only he would turn against his wife Janice with the bad hair, she looks eerily like Kurt from Glee and it’s driving me insane as I do not want to see break into the numerous songs about Superman.

I’m also trying to wait patiently for Law & Order.  I thought there would be a new episode last week but alas, they broke my heart by giving me a rerun.  It’s Jay Leno’s fault I’m sure.

Lastly I know there is something I should be excited about.  What could that be?  I’m thinking up 8 different choices, but instead I get 15 answers which turns into 16 more questions that in 23 hours might happen.  What could it be?

Law & Order: Blackmail

Look at me posting twice in one weekend!  As I previously posted, my renewed fondness for L&O isn’t so much my eternal love for a long-standing crime show but more for the emerging ship of Mike and Connie.  We didn’t get much between them this past episode, if anything at all.  I’m not a crazy shipper who insists that hints of smiles or glances means they have full-blown feelings for each other.  That type of stuff is so subjective.  The way Law & Order restricts the information about the character’s personal lives, I think it quite possible we won’t get anything definitive for quite a while, and certainly nothing obvious like “For the Defense.”

This past Friday’s episode, a long time coming, was a standard, formulaic episode.  They remained consistent to their “ripped from the headlines” plot devices, this time tackling the Letterman blackmail story, except in this case it was a lesbian affair the host wanted to cover up.  The first half of the episode was stronger than the second half as the big twist for the cops was Jack McCoy showing up before the 15 minute mark, declaring that their prime suspect (the TV host) had approached McCoy that she was a victim of a blackmail scheme.

Immediately, as a longtime L&O viewer, I doubted this story, but as the show went on, it turned out to be true.  The blackmailer was revealed as the murdered victim’s editor/lover.  Once Cutter and Connie get involved, the whole thing begins to unravel where the blackmailer is being blackmailed by his accomplice.  McCoy then decides to then blackmail the TV host to force her to testify against blackmailer #1 so he would turn on blackmailer #2.  Confused?  Really it was just a bit convoluted.  I do want to thank the writers for at least not making the estranged husband be the obvious suspect, as I’ve grown quite weary of that typical scapegoat on this show.

However, what led me to write-up this post, was more on something I’ve only paid attention to on occasion: the telltale TITLE cards that introduce new date/segments of the show.  They intrigue only because crime dramas play loosely with time lines, especially when lab tests that usually take days will seem to take merely hours or even minutes (I’m looking at you CSI: Miami).  L&O has been using them for years, though to be fair, DNA evidence was not something they relied so heavily back in their early days.  What got my attention this time was the fact that this all came down during the week of Thanksgiving. I know, because my birthday is on November 22nd.  That day was a Sunday and I noticed when the cops were questioning suspects on Monday, November 23rd.  They got that part right, and I knew that Thanksgiving was that Thursday.  Sure enough, after the arrest, Connie arraigned DiPalma on Thanksgiving day, when you know court is NOT in session, and Cutter/Connie were following up with witnesses on Black Friday.  Now the next time we see Connie and Cutter, they are in jeans* in his office so I imagine that was to be Saturday though no title card officially declared it.

I know, I’m analyzing this to the point of lunacy, but it irritates me because obviously they have some sort of calendar program they plug here.  The “‘jeans” for Mike* and Connie to wear had timed to fit on Saturday so the title cards could work with that.  In this day of computers, why not plug-in national holidays as an added bonus of realism?  Just a suggestion.

Now my other problem with this episode was the “stakeout” where police waited for the blackmailer to approach Vanessa (the TV host).  Detective Lupo couldn’t have been more obvious if he had worn NYPD blues and shouted a megaphone ordering her around.  It was in his body language and in his manner while looking for anyone approaching her.  Thank GOD DiPalma was a moron himself and not only failed to notice Lupo staring at him on his approach to Vanessa, but in the fact he failed to recognize him as the investigating officer of his employee/former lover.

Since this episode was basically just average, the issues above stood out like two sore thumbs.  Something else that seemed random but was coming for awhile was Van Buren’s dressing down of Lupo and Bernard’s shoddy bearded look.  Apparently the real NYPD frowns upon their policemen, especially detectives, walking around with 5 o’clock shadows, and Lupo’s especially was looking pretty grubby.  The Internet rumor provided by Anthony Anderson is that Dick Wolf’s own wife had issue with their beards and told to shave them.  I find that hilarious,  even leading actors on a TV show will be subject to the whims of eccentric owners (like former companies I worked for).

Now we have to wait for two more weeks to see what comes next, which looks like a really good episode.  Hopefully it won’t disappoint.

*I know I asked the show to incorporate more realism when it comes to using dates on this show, but having Mike Cutter in jeans is something that can help the inaccuracy go down much smoother.  Perhaps McCoy could issue some casual Fridays for his DA’s, and Mike show up in t-shirts soon?  I understand New Yorkers are quite fond of spring.