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L&O: DOA

law-and-order-logo“In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups. The police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories”

That’s how each episode began. I am still bummed about the demise of the original Law & Order, which was canceled May 14 by NBC after 20 years (must be the incoming Comcast folk who did this—only kidding) What a run, and there are still rumors that creator Dick Wolf is looking for “other outlets” to continue its run.  

L&O has been and will always be my TV friend. It’s my “second choice” (and often first) in every TV day part. That’s because it appears that there’s an ongoing 24/7/365 L&O marathon. It’s my “between innings” and “call to the bullpen” filler as well, I can pick up in any place in any episode because I don’t think there’s an episode I haven’t seen—multiple times. Yes, I am an L&O addict, and proud of it. I started with the original obviously but have grown to love SVU, Criminal Intent, the short lived Trial by Jury . I am interested in seeing LOLA next season (the new Law &  Order: Los Angeles) though it’ll be missing one of the key characters (a/k/a New York City) and I suspect I will be disappointed. But the original L&O was always the best.

More important than its TV omnipresence was its quality. From its original cast in 1990 to today, the writing, the cast, the NY “set” made it great TV. I admit that Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) had been the most compelling character to me, followed by Lennie Briscoe (the late Jerry Orbach). Interestingly Lt. Anita Van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson) was the longest running character for almost the entire 20 years, and obviously part of the glue of the show, though she was a lesser character to me than Jack & Lennie.

What I liked about the show was its formatted predictability. The crime, the cops, the police work in the first 30 minutes (“The Law”) and the attorneys at work and court scenes in the next 30 (“The Order”), ending in a verdict and some snappy dialogue. The name of the show was brilliant, though lore is that the original working name was “Night & Day”. Good change to Law & Order.

But now the original L&O is now dead. I would have enjoyed hearing a sarcastic quip from Lennie Briscoe about its demise.

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