Tuesday, July 11, 2006

No order to Law And Order

One of my favourite events of the TV off season is the goings on with the cast of Law And Order. No other show in the history of television have had such a revolving door cast. It has been around for 16 years and is sill going strong.

Admittedly, I really only started watching the show during the third season. I even remember what episode grabbed me, it was titled Conduct Unbecoming from March 1993. It concerned a female army officer who was killed during a hotel party. Around this time, the network A&E started airing repeats of Law And Order and I have been hooked ever since. To this day, working in my office where all desks have televisions, I watch the show at 1 pm on Bravo.

Top 5 seasons of Law And Order
1. Season 3. The most eventful of all seasons. Sgt. Phil Cereta (Paul Sorvino) gets shot a couple of episodes into the season. Det. Lennie Briscoe (Jerry Orbach) takes over. This becomes the only season with Briscoe, Det. Mike Logan (Chris Noth) and Capt. Donald Cragen (Dann Florek). Their interplay is brilliant.

2. Season 1. The year that started the format of the first half hour being the Law part where they focus on the cops investigating the crime and the second half hour focuses on Order where the District Attorneys try the case. What is interesting is that the characters debate the merits of the case a lot more in this season then they ever did in future season. The standout cast member is EADA Benjamin Stone (Micheal Moriarty). No other actor can call some criminal scum "Sir" and still make it sound like he is completely disgusted with that person.

3. Season 5. Shockingly, this is Logan's last season as he punches a politician in the season's final episode which gets him kicked out of the Homicide squad and transferred to the Domestic Dispute Department for Staten Island. This season is also known for being the first with EADA Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston).

4. Season 15. Law And Order continued to be quality television every year but season 15 was a bit of a comeback as Det. Joe Fontana (Dennis Farina) took over for Briscoe. Lots of other cast happenings included the bizarre departure of ADA Serena Southerlyn (Elizabeth Rohm) in the middle of the season. When DA Arthur Branch (Fred Dalton Thompson) fired her character, her response was "Is it because I am a lesbian?". He of course denied such a charge but this was a character development that came out of nowhere and really seemed to have no relevance. As well, Det. Edward Green (Jesse L, Martin) was shot during an investigation and was off the show for the final 4 episodes. The real reason was that the actor had to film his role in the movie version of Rent. His spot was taken over temporarily by Det. Nick Falco (Michael Imperioli). I found it just hilarious that two actors more famous for playing mobsters were playing the police officers on the show.

5. Season 8. The last season with ADA Jamie Ross (Carey Lowell). The fireworks caused by the ethical debates between her character and McCoy provided the season's most entertainment.

Getting back to the issue of revolving door casts for the show. Dennis Farina has announced he has left the show for the upcoming 17th season. Other casting news include a new ADA named Connie Rubirosa (played by Alana De La Garza). If you watch CSI: Miami, you know her from that lame storyline near the end of last season where she was the sister of Det. Eric Delko and wife of Lt. Horatio Caine. She will replace ADA Alexandra Borgia (Anne Parisse). As well, the new police officer to replace Farina is going to be played by Milena Govich. No character name has been announced. She will be the first full time female cast member to play an officer in the history of the show. It will be interesting to see how her character gets along with long time police captain Lt. Anita Van Buren (S. Epetha Merkerson).



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