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Law and Order: Los Angeles October 2, 2010

Posted by Skippy in Law and Order, Popular Culture.
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Fig. 1: I have a bad feeling about this…

Well, children, “Law and Order: Los Angeles” premiered this week. My comments about this televisual abomination will be brief.

I didn’t like it.

It just didn’t feel right. I mean, it would have been different had they put this on the air a few years back and then phased the original out, but we got a sudden cancellation and then this. It’s like having your comfort food suddenly taken away from you and two minutes later having a plate of wilted lettuce shove in front of you.

Now, I may be judging this show too harshly, since I bear nothing but love for the original L&O, but I don’t think my opinion will improve.

Why, you ask?


Fig. 2: Aw, damn.

I just can’t imagine Howard as a prosecutor. Oh, wait; I can. It’s just a horrible imagination. I see him strutting about the courtroom, his beady eyes glaring at the defendant and then, in his best slow, smarmy voice, he drawls out the kind of “gotcha!” lines that were best uttered by Sam Waterston.

What’s worse, is that this show follows Law and Order: Really Crazy Shit (aka SVU).

And can I say a little about SVU? Must every damn episode of SVU be A Very Special Episode Designed So That Mariska Hargitay Gets An Emmy Nod?

A Very Special Facepalm Friday May 14, 2010

Posted by Skippy in Law and Order, Popular Culture, Rants.
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As you may know, Law and Order has been cancelled.

Let’s go to Coruscant for some eyewitness reaction:

As much as I rag on SVU, I can’t help but love the mothership. It’s a show that singlehandedly employs pretty much every actor in the tri-state area. Hell, often, you’ll see the same actor in different roles. Children, there’s a website that details all the “repeat offenders” that have graced the Law and Order canvas over the past twenty years. You could watch a L&O marathon on TNT and make a drinking game out of all the predictable things that happen in a given episode:

The Defense serves Jack or Cute Assistant DA with a Motion to Suppress – Expect this to happen anytime the prosecution’s case relies heavily on a confession or questionable search. You can expect 1 of these every 2-3 episodes.
The Defense serves Jack or Cute Assistant DA with a Motion to Dismiss – Another very common one. Honestly, I’m a little shocked if I don’t see this one at least once per episode. These usually follow the granting of a Motion to Suppress (which generally cripples their case until Jack mastermind’s a so-crazy-it-just-might-work counter-attack).
The Phrase “End-Run” is Used by Either Side – Particularly common among the defense, this one usually flies out whenever Jack tries to apply some virtually inapplicable statute to the case at hand. For example, “Mr. McCoy is clearly attempting an end-run around the 4th Amendment!”.
“The Search/Confession is Out!” – Yelled by a judge, usually following the granting of a Motion to Suppress. Note that these never really matter and Jack almost always outsmarts the seemingly clever defense attorney.
Somebody Moves for an “Immediate Mistrial“ – This is something you’ll see when an unwitting witness manages to blurt something out in open court that wasn’t supposed to be said and has somehow tainted the jury. You’ll almost always hear this as the judge and attorneys are briskly marching into the judge’s chambers and the judge is angrily removing his/her black robe. (Bonus drink of the judge says the words “I’m inclined to agree…” during the above exchange)
Jack is ordered by the sitting DA to “Cut a Deal!“ – Whenever the prosecution’s case is somewhat shaky, the District Attorney will often tell Jack to attempt a plea bargain. This directive often follows a heated disagreement between the two – this was a terribly common occurrence during Adam Schiff’s term as DA. Jack reluctantly complies, but usually the offer is ridiculous and the defendant refuses. Then Jack gives him an ass-whooping of epic proportions in court.
Either Attorney Says “Withdrawn!“ – Usually preceded immediately by a very inflammatory remark. For example, Jack might say to a witness “You do realize you’re terribly ugly and your mother is a dudeWITHDRAWN.” Also, expect a subdued sense of shock throughout the courtroom as the offending attorney strolls confidently back to his seat.

Law and Order (again, the mothership, not the inferior spinoffs) is one of my favorite shows. It’s the televisual equivalent of comfort food. If you’ve had a bad day at the office, if your spouse or partner is being a ginormous douche, if your kids have come home and told you that they burned down the school, all you have to do to restore your sense of balance and justice in the world is kick back and watch L&O. Its formula is pretty simple: dead body, cops investigate, a few twists and turns, and by the :30 minute mark, perps are caught! The rest of the episode is Jack and Very Cute ADA (except for Elizabeth Rohm, or, as I called her, the Rohmbot) stickin’ it to the creeps who committed the crime. Of course, in the past couple of years, Jack has been the crusty DA who barks orders at NuJack (actually, his name is Michael Cutter) and the Unbelievably Hot ADA (Connie Rubirosa—-actually, she deserves NuJack’s job).

Over the years, Law and Order has given us some really great characters:

Lt. Anita Van Buren. She’s tough, but fair. Sharp-tongued, but fairminded. She’s the boss of the 27 and she kicks ass.

Det. Lennie Briscoe. The quintessential hardboiled New York cop. Always had a dry wisecrack to open the show.

ADA Jack McCoy. The Eyebrows of Justice. Can usually get a conviction with nothing more than a fingerprint and a helluva summation.

Yeah, this show also gave us a fair share of duds (usually as replacements for other unforgettable characters):

Det. Joe Fontana. Dude, you were no Lennie Briscoe.

DA Arthur Branch. I had to look up his character name, because I called him Senator Foghorn Leghorn.

ADA Serena Southerlyn. Is this because she’s a lesbian?

NBC, you suck. Seriously. Cancelling Law and Order is just plain stupid. Have you seen your lineups? No one’s talking about The Biggest Loser and The Marriage Ref…I’d have to be drunk and high on heroin to watch this crap. The best thing you’ve got going is your Thursday night lineup, so hold on to 30 Rock, Community, The Office and Parks and Recreation like grim death.

For this, NBC, you totally deserve

CHUNG! CHUNG!

Law and Order: SVU: Pot Monkey Rampage! May 13, 2010

Posted by Skippy in Law and Order, Popular Culture.
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Last week’s SVU didn’t completely suck! Perhaps we’ve turned a corner. Let’s see what the Law and Order: SVU pot monkeys have for us this week, shall we?

Ok, we have a flasher who is accused of rape. Before the credits roll, he’s apprehended by a young cop who’s just way, way too eager. For some reason, the eager beaver cop knows that the perp has a birthmark—-does no one bother to ask him how he’d know that the suspect had a birthmark? Let me guess—this eager beaver cop isn’t a cop….
…oh, wait, he’s not! Good lord, these people are stupid. This kid looked like he had escaped from his mother’s womb, like, five minutes ago. What the hell does this have to do with SVU? And I swear, I saw a fake cop episode either on SVU or Ray’s Famous Original before. Ripping from the headlines AND recycling plotlines? That along with all this damned stuntcasting is just plain ridiculous.

And we weren’t five minutes into the episode before the SVU Giant iPad made its weekly appearance. I really fucking hate that thing. Seriously. Like I said before, if I wanted to watch CSI, I’d watch CSI, where all the pseudoscience in the world gets second billing after Laurence Fishburne.

Oh, and eager beaver cop is sixteen years old. Seriously, I have to get ahold of whatever the pot monkeys are smoking, because that must be some Good Shit.

Commercials: Russell Crowe isn’t dead…but his career just might be. Oh, and Betty White is awesome and all, but I will never watch Jay Leno.

So, when we come back from commercial, we find out that the eager beaver fake cop’s mother let him carry a gun. A 9mm. Oh, hey, Elizabeth from ER—she’s playing the dumb kid’s lawyer. Bam! She submits the Blue Paper of Convenient Motion. Children, I am not getting this plot.
And in yet another inconceivable plot twist, the eager beaver fake cop kid gets into a snit because the case against the flasher rapist got dismissed…so he breaks into the flasher rapist’s house and is shot. Clearly, New York City is full of teenagers who are either rich as hell douchebags or wanna-be cop douchebags who will eventually wind up dead because they don’t have the sense God gave a billy goat.
Oh, goddamn, another fucking plot twist. The flasher rapist isn’t the rapist after all! Well, he may be, but the flasher rapist’s father is into watching rape videos! And the flasher rapist’s father somehow helped flasher rapist get the cameras to hide in his had so he could tape the rapes. You see, flasher rapist did all this to gain his father’s approval (apparently, flasher rapist dad had a bee in his bonnet about his son not losing his v-card quick, fast, and in a hurry. I bet holidays with this guy were FUN!) You know, they could have done the son/father rapist craziness without having this weird kid/fake cop nonsense. The episode ends with the flasher rapist screaming that he loves his crazy father as they’re both being dragged away. The pot monkeys were clearly baked out of their minds when they wrote this episode.

Law and Order: Stuntcasting Victims Unit April 29, 2010

Posted by Skippy in Law and Order, Observations, Popular Culture.
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Holy crap. Sharon Stone is doing a four-episode stint on Law and Order: SVU. The first of those four eps aired last night.

So how was it, you might ask?

Now, I don’t know what the writers are smoking, and I don’t know what Dick Wolf is smoking (besides crack through $100 bills), but I’ve had fever-induced nightmares that were better than last night’s episode.

Our trip through the land of Fail begins with a father running out of his brownstone screaming for help, because his house is on fire and his two daughters are inside. Then BOOM!! the rest of the brownstone goes up in flames and the kids die and then we go to opening credits.

After we come back from commercials, Elliot and Olivia are on the scene investigating the fire. They’re told that there’s a new ADA on the way…and it’s Sharon Stone. I don’t know what her character’s name is, but it really doesn’t matter, does it? She could be named Harriet Tubman, and all you’d know by watching her “performance” is that it is Sharon Batshit Crazy Stone. Bear in mind, I’ve only seen her in one movie, “Basic Instinct.” Wait, scratch that. I did watch “Catwoman.” And “Alpha Dog.”

God, I have horrible taste in movies. No wonder I don’t buy many DVDs.

Anyway, realizing that I have actually seen her sad attempts at acting, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised at how stinky her performance in SVU was, but I was. Every scene was chewed up and spat out like she was a meth-addicted pitbull. She stalked each scene with squinty eyes and horrible line readings. What was worse, the lines themselves were horrible. Just…just horrible. Her lines weren’t dialogue as much as they were declarations. I wouldn’t have been surprised to hear her bellow “THIS! IS! SPARTA!”

And again, Stabler and Benson come off as the two dumbest cops in the history of cops. Back to the “plot” of this episode, through their defective detective skills, they arrest a guy known as “Pizzaface”(because of his acne! How creative!) who is also a pyromaniac. He confesses after a particularly disturbing interrogation wherein Stabler sets a trashcan on CGI fire and we watch Pizzaface nearly have an orgasm. Even Sharon Stone knows that the defense would claim that Stabler had sexually harassed the suspect, so she stops the interrogation. But wait! It’s only 9:15! He can’t be the arsonist. Enter the fire marshal, who argues that the evidence doesn’t point to the kid who confessed.

Then Benson and Stabler set their sights on the father. Like last week, they go after this new suspect with unchecked zeal, but they have no evidence. They do, however, have a guy who confessed, but they LET HIM GO. Jack McCoy shows up to utter some lines that make me wonder if this show is being written by people who’ve never ever seen an episode of Law and Order. Yes, Jack is the DA and that calls for different priorities, but Jack has always been the Eyebrows of Justice. The Jack I’m familiar with would likely have gone with prosecuting the GUY WHO CONFESSED, not the father. Not the Jack of Law and Order: Crazy People Doing Crazy Shit. This Jack, this Mirror Universe Jack goes after the dad too, leaving Sharon Batshit Crazy Stone as the lone voice of actual reason.

To further the WTF quotient of this show, Sharon Stone is called to the prison (Riker’s?) to meet with the father. Somehow, he produces a knife–not a homemade shiv, but an actual knife–and cuts himself to show that he’s honest about his honest protestation that he didn’t do it. Sharon Stone is screaming “Code 14! Red Alert! All Hands To Battlestations! Cheeseburger! Cheeseburger!” and it takes the prison guard twenty damn minutes to show up. I swear, what the fuck was that prison guard doing? Downloading Japanese anime? Shooting up heroin? Abusing a prisoner? God.

And then Brad Dourif shows up.

Yes, that Brad Dourif.

He’s supposedly some really really smart fire expert and he shows Sharon Stone that the fire wasn’t caused by an accelerant. And for this, they needed to get Brad Fucking Dourif? There isn’t a fiftysomething not-quite-so-famous actor in NYC who could’ve done this? I guess Brad needs a new sauna. So, with this new evidence in hand, Sharon Stone goes ahead with the fucking trial just so she can show this new evidence (complete with 3D computer modeling of the fire–dammit, stop it, SVU!) to the judge and embarrass the fire inspector.

Waitafuckinminute. Wouldn’t the space heater that caused the fire that killed the kids be in the charred remains of the room? Could a fire inspector be that stupid as to not notice that along with the faulty wiring that would have sparked the fire? But wait another fucking minute. Sharon Stone just posits the faulty space heater as a theory–there’s no actual evidence to show that there was even a space heater in the room–and we have a pyromaniac WHO CONFESSED.

It’s finally happened: an episode of Law and Order where the writers (called “pot monkeys” over on Television Without Pity) were so baked, they completely forgot about all the plot twists they created and said, “Fuck it, let’s just write ‘The End.'”

CHUNG! CHUNG!

Oh! I forgot to mention that Sharon Stone’s character was a former cop…who was Stabler’s partner. How fucking long has he been a cop? Anyway, there’s a wretched scene between Sharon Stone and Olivia where Sharon Stone asks Olivia, “Have you ever slept with Elliot?” Olivia, with a disgusted look on his face, says “Um, he has a penis!” No, actually, she says, “Um, he’s married!” Sharon Stone, channeling her character in “Basic Instinct,” throws off a sick little laugh and says, “Psh, right!” And scene.

WHAT ARE THESE WRITERS ON?