Posts Tagged ‘law and order’

For those of you who are not a fan of the show, this blog post will be meaningless.  For those of you who are, you’ll know where I’m coming from when I say:

I’m really going to miss you, Law and Order.

You’ve been like an old, dear friend to me over the years.  20 years to be precise, which would technically have made me 9 years old in your first season, and therefore a wildly inappropriate audience for your dark subject matter.  Yet, when I did discover you, years later, it was an instant connection.

I wouldn’t say love at first sight because in those early days your video and sound production was shaky.  Perhaps you were trying to capture the grittiness of New York City, pre-Giuliani and the great clean-up of Times Square and the Great White Way.  Perhaps, because of your newness, your budget simply wasn’t that big.  Even your cast photos needed some polish back in those days.

Michael Moriarity and Richard Brooks

Though your actors have real names, often with illustrious careers prior to joining your cast or even after they depart, I’ll always remember them by their characters’ names.  For example, the pair above, the DA dynamic duo in the very early days, will always be Stone and Robinette to me.  And Jerry Orbach will always be Lennie Briscoe in my heart.

In fact, when Jerry/Lennie passed away a few years ago, part of my love for the show went with him.  Not that I didn’t still love you, but I loved you more when Lennie was with you.  In fact, Lennie was an important part of my personal “dream team”: Det. Lennie Briscoe, Det. Rey Curtis, ADA Claire Kincaid, Exec ADA Jack McCoy, and DA Adam Schiff.

Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed Jesse L Martin and Chris Noth as Lennie’s partners (and the partners of other detectives), but Benjamin Bratt’s role as Det. Curtis was so perfect, so spot-on as the young, excitable detective, who chafes at the old-school way of doing things, yet struggles with his own demons, that it successfully makes Bratt my favorite of Lennie’s partners.

Lennie, or Jerry Orbach I should say, was on the show for over 270 episodes from 1991-2004, making him third to Anita Van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson)  at 391 and Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) at 368.

These three characters weathered the technology revolution that shook the justice world to its core, both in reality and in fiction.  Through your eyes, Law and Order, we saw the world embrace DNA evidence, trace evidence, e-mails, cell phones, digital cameras, etc.  I saw the phone on Lt. Van Buren’s desk change from rotary to multi-line punch to sleek flat panels for caller id.  I saw the detectives go from checking pagers and using payphones to holstering their cell phones alongside their weapons.

But it’s not just the nostalgia of changing times that will make me miss you, Law and Order.  It’ll be all the times I spent with you that I miss the most.

You were there for me with a Saturday afternoon marathon when I was desperate to avoid homework.

You were there for me with regularly schedule early morning repeats on weekdays for hung-over college students, senior citizens, and stay-at-home moms (at various times, I fit all but one of these categories).

You were there for me everyday, like clockwork, when I was stuck on bed-rest with 1) a broken toe; 2) a bum knee; 3) a nervous breakdown; 4) pregnancy related illnesses.

You were there for me when nothing else was on.  I knew that even if the current season wasn’t to my liking, as it has increasingly been, there would be re-runs of you somewhere, out there on the web or the thousands of channels provided via satellite.

And so, I’ll miss you.

I’ll miss your legal nuances and blunders.  I’ll miss your “ripped from the headlines” stories and the ones that were just too bizarre to be true.  I’ll miss your “da du”.  I’ll miss the ironic one-liners.

So goodbye, dear Law and Order.  Adieu.

I’ll see you in re-runs.


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