As most of you who know me know, I’m not much on television viewing… at least not mainstream crap like reality shows.
Law and Order SVU – NBC
I do have a favorite or two when it comes to drama, though. One of them is the Law and Order series. The original L&W wasn’t my favorite, even though it was quite good I thought. My favorite is Law and Order SVU with Law and Order Criminal Intent as a close second.
I sat down on Wednesday night anticipating a wonderful season opener of SVU, but… I can’t really say it was bad. It was just sad with a different feel to it. **SPOILER COMING** — just in case you didn’t get to see this episode yet. Detective Eliot Stabler resigned from the NYPD. And two new (and younger) detectives will be making their presence felt in upcoming episodes.
It seems that the actor who plays Stabler on SVU, Christopher Meloni, couldn’t come to terms with the show’s bosses on his contract for this season. That’s sad. I think a show that had such a tight knit group of actors for so long (a dozen years) loses some of its magic when one or more of those actors are gone.
Stabler was a hothead. He was cocky. He was a loyal family man, co-worker, cop, and all-round decent human being, though. While the two new kids in the bullpen are both being portrayed by pretty good actors, Kelli Giddish (Chase) and Danny Pino (Cold Case), they’re intro into the mix changes the chemistry of that squad room, I’m afraid.
It remains to be seen how fans are going to feel about this.
Harry’s Law – NBC
Hmm… I really liked this program when it appeared last season as a fill-in for the failed sci-fi drama The Event. I liked Kathy Bates as the cynical ex-patent lawyer who throws away here successful career and starts a semi-charity criminal law firm in a shoe store. The characters were rich and deep. They were played well by many new and totally unknown actors. There was emotion to the show. It was tear jerking and funny; with a moral tale thrown in. Sure, it was a bit kitschy, but I found it entertaining.
I tuned in the other night to watch the season premier of this show and… WTF?! The atmosphere of this show morphed into the old The Practice from a few years ago. It was just a totally different show from last season. Harry’s little shoe store office has been transformed, seemingly overnight –or at least over the summer rerun break, into a real law firm. The shoe store has been relegated to the ground level, literally and figuratively.
I’ll watch it next week… and for a few more weeks, just to see how things pan out. Maybe it’ll get back some of its original feel. Maybe I’ll even like its new feel. We’ll see.
Person of Interest – CBS
OK, this one was somewhat entertaining, yet a bit disturbing. Mr. Finch hires, a supposed ex-special forces soldier known as Mr. Reese. Reese is the muscle. Finch is the brains. Using Mr. Finch’s data, Reese goes around preventing crimes from occurring. The data is provided in a limited way via a backdoor (hacker’s term) that Mr. Finch uses to access the government’s surveillance system that he originally designed to assist the government to detect terrorist activity. With me so far?
Well, Finch has realized what a monster he created and decides to use it for some good. He needs Reese to be his field operative, though. Reese is a discontented shell of his former self who seems to be committing slow suicide by bottle when Finch finds him and offers him the job. Reese turns Finch down at first, but comes around eventually. Like you didn’t see that coming, right?
I watched it. I was somewhat entertained, but the jury’s still out.
Prime Suspect – NBC
I like! I like it a lot! Which means, sadly, that it’ll probably get canceled. 😦 Anyway, Maria Bello plays a newly promoted homicide detective who is the latest Daniel thrown into the lion’s den of a good ‘ol boy homicide squad room in some NYPD precinct. She’s struggling with nicotine withdrawals. She’s attempting to get her wind back by jogging in the park. She’s dealing with a boss and four homey dicks who are not very happy to have her around.
She needs to prove herself to gain their respect, of course. That’s pretty formulaic as far as scripts go. However, the cast of this show along with some talented writers may take it far. Maria Bello is a passionate believable actress. She had a recurring role in a couple episodes of Law and Order SVU as a child of a rape victim and a serial rapist (played convincingly by R. Lee Ermey). She can be intense.
Her boss is played by another sometimes intense actor, Aidan Quinn. I first saw Quinn as Brad Pitt’s character’s big brother in Legends of the Fall. If he brings his usual intensity and professionalism to this new roll, it could be a great anchor character a la Captain Cragen from SVU. I’m looking forward to seeing how Quinn’s character evolves as the series plays out.
I think this show has some potential. I hope it hangs around long enough to develop.
So, after watching these shows, turn your TV off and go read a book. 😉
Image credits: Benson and Stabler – photo from unknown source, most likely owned by NBC, though. If you have copyright information for this photo please contact me. I will amend as needed. ~Eric