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Posts Tagged ‘TV’

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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There are so many days that I break the “good mom rules” that I think I should rename this blog “the bad mommy blog”.  So here’s my bad mommy update for today:

I’ve been conscious of Baby C’s TV intake since he was born, vacillating between what is too much and what is acceptable.  Lately, I’ve noticed that C’s attention to TV is growing very focused.  And while this is good (in that his attention span and ability to retain information are growing), this is also not great because he could be spending that time learning something or working on his balance or something more important than Elmo talking to a puppet shaped like the sun.

However, as I’ve discussed before, sometimes Elmo and various puppets are the only things that keep him (and me) from freaking out.

So today, after both breakfast and lunch went badly, I decided to play all my Baby C cards.  I made slow-cooker chicken meatballs and mushroom ravioli, one of his favorite meals.  I made sure his juice cup was filled to the brim so the slightest tip would provide a sip and we could avoid any frustration.  And given that he was very, very tired after having only slept a total of one hour all day (as compared to the typical 2-3 he should get), I opted for a little tv time DURING dinner.

Now, here is where the over-reactive AAP and judgy moms will freak out.  TV DURING dinner?!?!? OMG!! Bad mom alert!

Yes, I did it! I admit it! Throw the alphabet books at me!

Of course it might be worth noting that for the first time in days, C ate his entire dinner, not protesting once.  He simply took piece after piece of offered food and placed it happily in his mouth.  It was one of the smoothest dinners we’ve had in months!  Possibly since he finished cutting his last two teeth.

I even managed to swallow all my feelings of guilt and inadequacy in motherhood as I watched my happy baby eat (and I actually ate a full meal too)……

Until C rubbed tomato sauce in his eyes.  Then no amount of tv, favorite foods or juice would save me.

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Like you, my dear reader, I enjoy TV.  I have my favorite shows.  I look forward to seeing my favorite characters as if they were characters in my own life.  I set my DVR faithfully.  My family enjoys discussing our favorites together.  They seem to be the dialogue that is always running in the back of our lives.  When there is nothing else to say, there is always TV to talk about.  It’s the language that we all speak in this day and age.  And like you, dear reader, I have found the silence deafening.

So here are some ways to enjoy the writer’s strike without resorting to making your own TV shows:

1. Catch up on series you’ve missed or never seen.  For example, my husband I use Netflix regularly.  This lovely service offers not only movies and documentaries, but TV series.  So we’ve been taking advantage of this service and watching series we’ve never seen before, like Weeds.  Prior to this last year we never had movie channels so we always missed those original HBO or Showtime series.  But this is a great way to make the most of our free TV time!  Weeds is now one of my favorite shows and I got to watch all 3 seasons in a matter of weeks, instead of years! Freaking awesome!

2. Stop watching TV and start watching movies.  How many amazing movies are there that we’ve never seen?  Think of all those Oscar nominated movies for the last 60 years that you’ve never heard of, let alone watched.  Now is the chance to become the impressive movie buff you’ve always wanted to be!  TCM runs a month of Oscar nominated movies in January/February.  Not only do they show the movie, the host of that movie fills you in on what nominations it received, actors stories, and film background, providing you with everything you wanted to know but never did.

3. Don’t watch anything at all!  Crazy, I know, but what better time to pick up the half finished book you’ve been putting off (you know the one I mean, my reader).  This is the perfect opportunity to find new genres or authors that might hold your literary interest well into the days that new TV comes on!

4. Find a hobby!  Personally, I’ve always enjoyed arts and crafts.  So I’ve been using this time to finish some old sewing projects I started.  While this may not sound super glamorous, it keeps my fingers busy and my attention focused.  I still put the TV or music on in the background while I sew, but suddenly, I don’t really care what’s on.

5. Play a board game!  Lately, this has become the new obsession in my group of friends and my family.  Our communal favorite is Apples to Apples.  We’ve played this on Christmas Day with family (including grandparents), at our New Year’s Eve party with friends, at the end of book club, and on many, many late nights.  It’s a different game every time depending on who you play with.  But if that’s not your cup of tea, there are always the classics, like Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit (which now has a DVD update).  Or there are always new games coming out like Catch Phrase and In a Pickle, which I’ve heard are both quite entertaining.  It’s difficult to play these games just mano y mano, so this brings me to my next point…

6. Get together with friends!  It doesn’t matter what night it is!  We’re adults!  No one tells us our bedtimes!  I recently heard an alarming statistic that Americans today have fewer intimate friends than at any other point in history.  I think a large part of this has to do with the endless amount of entertainment constantly surrounding us, particularly TV.  Bored? Turn on the TV. Nothing on? Change to one of the 600 other channels you have available!  Nothing on any of those?  Flip open your laptop and read about anything that tickles your fancy.  Or play a game against strangers you never even speak to.  With all these choices it’s no wonder that so many people would rather isolate themselves in the safe world of technology and television than to venture out to deal with actual people, who may actually affect their lives.  So my suggestion is this: get together with friends for dinner or drinks.  You don’t have to go out and spend money.  Have them over to your house for cheap, comforting casseroles and inexpensive wines or beers.  Linger over dinner, enjoy good conversation, play board games late into the night or just debate who’s football team looks better for next season.

My point is, if there’s nothing new on anyways, why waste time watching the junk they’re filling the time slots with?  Find something better to do!  Hey, you could always start a blog!

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