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March 26th, 2004

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CNN Entertainment is reporting that Jerry Orbach is mulling over leaving Law & Order at the end of this season and possibly moving to the fourth spinoff, Law & Order: Cajun-Style (er, no, wait, Law & Order: Moon Unit Zappa ... no, no, wait, there are too many joke titles and not enough time.)

At any rate, I can understand if Orbach feels like he's being creatively hemmed in -- you gotta admit that L&O is currently using one of the most played out, albeit wildly successful formulas on television today. I mean, every episode these days turns out like this:
  1. "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." (Can't believe I forgot this point the first time around)
  2. Body is discovered in ironic fashion by random people. It's dead.
  3. Kchung-kchunggg! Detectives Green and Briscoe show up, Briscoe makes wry, ironic joke concerning victim.
  4. Opening credits.
  5. Suspects and witnesses are questioned. If there's a father involved, he's sanctimonious yet sleazy and you immediately hate him outright, regardless of his eventual guilt or innocence. If there's a mother involved, she's an overprotective shrew and/or a shrill harpy. If there's a high school-age girl involved, she's sleeping with her teacher. Regardless of whodunnit, everybody's guilty of chewing their own scenery and it's all a lot of fun.
  6. We may have to go to a bar, in which case we learn -- again -- that Briscoe doesn't drink. Also, he's divorced. And proud of it.
  7. Briscoe badgers a suspect in interrogation. Van Buren is all sassy. Kchung-kchungggg.
  8. Eventually they uncover some other crime that has happened, that suspect is brought in, charges pressed, and we forget all about the homicide case.
  9. Enter that Courtroom Captain of Cool, that Dynamite DA, "Fightin" Jack McCoy and his Hot ADA, who gets to go up during the arraignment (usually before the sleepy, bored-looking old judge) and argue that the accused is a flight risk. No matter who was charged for what crime, they're always a flight risk.
  10. But wait! There's an obnoxious defense attorney representing the accused! S/he argues that his/her client ought to go free on account of them being such a good sport and all! OH DON'T FALL FOR THAT TRAP, SLEEPY BORED-LOOKING OLD JUDGE!
  11. Obnoxious Attorney and McCoy have at it in conference, usually arguing over who's going to make the first offer.
  12. Legal Technicality!
  13. Legal Counter-Technicality!
  14. Final statements! McCoy is eloquent and grand as usual! The jury agrees! Obnoxious Attorney shakes his/her fist while Jack celebrates with a minty Mentos: The Freshmaker.
  15. It's a victory, but bittersweet for some reason. Maybe it involves a baby. I dunno. Hot ADA always looks glum, but Jack and the old DA dude seem to have words of wisdom that fit just right.
  16. Executive Producer: Dick Wolf

Oh, and while I'm on the Orbach kick, which comedian had the routine where they'd sing "Try To Remember" and forget the words, getting stuck on "Try to remember..."? Good times, good times.

(16 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:March 26th, 2004 10:52 am (UTC)


My favorite part about the Kchung-kchungggg is the helpful address graphic.

And as much as I love S. Epatha Merkerson (It's fun to say: I wanna say it again: S. Epatha Merkerson), whenever she's on screen, all I can do is think WIG. Big ol' skull-huggin', all-business WIG.

mwittier's Filthy House
Fillmore St NE
[User Picture]
Date:March 26th, 2004 11:07 am (UTC)
Have you ever seen Jerry Orbach doing show tunes and dancing?

He's amazingly good.
[User Picture]
Date:March 26th, 2004 11:27 am (UTC)
I've the original Fantasticks cast recording around here somewhere (sup El Gallo.) Dad saw him live, the lucky bastard.

I also watched him do "Lullaby of Broadway" in 52nd Street during some nifty Broadway clip show they bring out on PBS when they want to do pledge drives. Among other things.
[User Picture]
Date:March 26th, 2004 12:54 pm (UTC)
It's kinda like watching James Cagney do Georgie Cohan and then watching one of his later roles. It makes you buh wildly and wonder why anyone who can tap-dance like that is getting typecast as something wack.
[User Picture]
Date:March 26th, 2004 06:09 pm (UTC)

Jerry Orbach was the voice of Lumiere the candlestick in Disney's Beauty and the Beast.
[User Picture]
Date:March 26th, 2004 07:16 pm (UTC)
Get OUT!

I will have to rent it just to listen for that.
[User Picture]
Date:March 26th, 2004 12:36 pm (UTC)

don't forget the sex plot point!

or rather, the sex that's being had by mccoy and the hot ada. as was memorably alluded to by one visiting past ada who said she had slept with jack during her time there. saying to the current ada, "aren't you?" to a shocked look and no answer. my favorite part is trying to figure out how long it's been since they've had sex from their on-screen interactions.
[User Picture]
Date:March 26th, 2004 12:49 pm (UTC)
Oh thank you thank you. Connor & I all but have a drinking game that goes with this show. But you forgot the most important point: that whenever they're searching for witnesses, THERE THEY ARE. AND THEY REMEMBER EVERY DETAIL.

"Ma'am, do you remember selling a slice of pizza to a man with brown hair six weeks ago?"

"Well sure I do! Here's his address, phone number, social security number, middle name and full medical history!"
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
Date:March 26th, 2004 04:23 pm (UTC)
That was neat, Spatch. Could you do CI and SVU like that, too?
[User Picture]
Date:March 27th, 2004 05:43 am (UTC)
I'm afraid I only watch Law & Order Classic as opposed to CI or SUV or BBQ or whatever. Honestly, I can't make that much committment to a television franchise like that.
[User Picture]
Date:March 26th, 2004 05:58 pm (UTC)
Another reason to join the OMG LIEK SPATCH IS SOOOO KEWL Fan Club. Headquarters in Chatanooga, TN. Because Chatanooga is fun to say. Chatanooga.

[User Picture]
Date:March 27th, 2004 05:42 am (UTC)
Chattanooga is indeed fun! It's America's Fun City! For one, Rock City is kickin' rad. Anybody who's read American Gods owes it to themselves to actually see Rock City (as well as the House on the Rock in Wisconsin, but I digress.)

Also, try being the only one with license plates north of the Mason-Dixon line at Confederama, the shrine to the Battle of Lookout Mountain (aka "the high-water mark of the Confederacy". Honestly, I think the Confederacy had so many high-water marks it must've left rings.) Wanna see grown rednecks cry? Go to Confederama. Yeah, I kept my mouth shut in that place.
Date:March 27th, 2004 09:33 am (UTC)
The summertime view from Lookout Mountain sure is pretty.
[User Picture]
Date:March 27th, 2004 05:24 pm (UTC)
The same thing, but add in a bizarre rape and a dead S&M hooker (I had one actually named after me for my birthday last year on Law and Order: CI) and you have the other two Law and Orders.

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