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Thursday, 25 of February of 2021

Tag » Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Law & Order: Criminal Intent – “Loyalty” (Parts 1 & 2)

Oh, it’s fun here.”

That is a gun in Nichols' belt. And he is happy to take over this show.

I held back on the review of the first episode of season 9 due to its two-parter nature, and that I didn’t have much to say beyond repeating the word “Exposition” 500 times (the minimum amount of words I like to supply for an entry). With the second part, the story comes into focus, as well as motivations for the departure of Goren and Eames.

As a way to hand the show over to Nichols and Stevens (the former’s new partner) the show does this oddly, with some degree of effectiveness. Ultimately what makes the episode (as I’ll treat the two-parter as a single episode) feel a bit off is the issue of jurisdiction, an issue that the episode grapples with as well. Read more »

Law & Order – “Brazil”

We deal with disagreements with emotional detachment and reason.”

I invented Law & Order bingo last night:

  • Ripped from the headlines story (often with an anvilicious message)
  • Mildly callous one-liner to kick off theme song
  • Special guest star looking for an Emmy nomination
    • BONUS: Special guest star is better known for comedic work, trying to prove their range/be taken seriously as a thespian (or the network is trying to pull in a different demographic)
  • Some tidbit about a character’s personal life is revealed
  • Show hits the Law & Order twist (red herrings, on the stand reversals, defense attorney shenanigans, etc.)
    • BONUS: Twist doubles the story back into another ripped from the headlines story
  • Schiff One Liner at the close of the episode

You see that? That’s the bingo arm of “Brazil” waving in the air.
Read more »

Law & Order – “Brilliant Disguise”

Maybe the thing to do here is to keep letting him think he’s clever.”

Last week it was horrorcore and oversaturation of violent media that were destroying America. This week it was graduate students that represent a threat to America’s moral fiber (thankfully, it was one from the social sciences, not the humanities (we’re harmless! (it’s why no one fears cutting our budgets…))).

The graduate student, while much maligned, isn’t exactly the villain of a 1990s period piece (we’re not paid enough to be really dangerous in any decade), like I discussed last week with the show. Instead, “Brilliant Disguise” offers an example of an idea that would’ve probably been better served by being on Criminal Intent instead of on Law & Order. This boils down to the differences in the two show’s formulas, and what characters and stories feel more at home on which show. Read more »

Finding the Formula in the Characters

With Lost’s upcoming return, I wanted to take a brief moment to discuss the shows that aren’t exactly innovative in terms of narrative or character or having a big honking mythology. Yes, I’m talking about the other hour-long dramas that are on TV and that, let’s be honest, may not necessarily get the critical love and attention that they may deserve. More importantly though, I want to, hopefully, parse out some of the differences in between these shows and see how they ultimately survive compared to other shows like Lost that burns us up inside, but fizzle on screen.

I’ll admit that Lost’s return isn’t the only motivating factor here. Burn Notice is on tonight, one of my favorite formula shows, and ABC’s Castle was just given two more episodes (presumably based on either the strength of last week’s series high ratings or to cover some post-Ugly Betty spots in the schedule, but in either case it’s a sign of confidence in the series), so it seems appropriate to discuss the issue of formula on TV right now. Read more »