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An Already-Bleak Take On The Diane Whipple Dog-Attack Case Is Not Improved By The Law & Order Debut Of Serena Southerlyn

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One thing I've recently grown to appreciate about Law & Order is how seriously it treats crimes against animals, and not just because they may be a precursor to crimes against people.

So, while McCoy's stunt in the first episode of bringing the dog into to courtroom is absurd, I do like that they also made the point that the dog itself also never really had a chance.

But also, way to upstage your brand new ADA - I had no recollection at all of who else was in the courtroom with McCoy, much less that it was her first episode.

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I've only seen an handful of these episodes. The screenshot of the Big Love wife looks ridiculous!
I'm going to have to scrounge up the season somewhere.

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Many libraries have added DVDs of the complete L&O series to their collections since the early seasons are not available on Hulu or Netflix.

Edited by shapeshifter
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I find Season 12 to be one of my least favorite seasons, because of the second half having both Nora and Serena, two very similar, little personality, bleeding heart very soft for a DA type. I love Briscoe and Green but the second half of those episodes are difficult to get through for L&O. Besides, the stories seem a little subpar for L&O, not as original and not quite as edgy, maybe after 9/11 they weren’t sure what stories to do.

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"maybe after 9/11 they weren’t sure what stories to do"

I think that's part of it; 9/11 and the stories generated by that, and of course the wars, seemed to dominate especially in the latter seasons, which was in its way very New York-y but at the same time became fatiguing, at least for me.

Part of it too is likely that SVU and CI were siphoning off certain types of storylines that Mothership would have addressed before the spin-offs were created -- leaving only "straight" homicides with no sexual-assault, child-endangerment, or conspiracy elements. Not that this isn't doable, but I can see the strictures stifling creativity over the course of 24 episodes.

Irrespective of that, Rohm I believe is trying her best, but her best is just not very good, and Wiest is 1) miscast here IMO and 2) saddled with punny kiss-off lines to wrap up pretty much every episode that do not help her/the character. Schiff would have a handful of them a season, and Steven Hill had a "you believe this is the line?" delivery that helped sell them; Wiest plays them straight and they make Lewin seem like a doofus. Thompson's/Branch's politics were not my cup of meat, but at least he brought some energy.

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5 hours ago, Sarah D. Bunting said:

Part of it too is likely that SVU and CI were siphoning off certain types of storylines that Mothership would have addressed before the spin-offs were created -- leaving only "straight" homicides with no sexual-assault, child-endangerment, or conspiracy elements.

True, but I'd argue that all three fed off each other at various points. There'd be obvious tangents and tweaks, but I'd sometimes see the same story done on two out of three of the shows. If the story it was ripped from was really famous or whatever, all three would often put their spin on it.

Besides 9/11, though, I think this was when simple age was just starting to sprout up. Let us remember, by 2001-2002, the show was already 12 seasons in. It's a testament to the writing (and likely writer turnover to keep things fresh!) that the show made it another 8 seasons, but on an average show, 12 seasons would show strain/cracks, and I think the Mothership wasn't immune. I think what helped it from going completely off the rails and managing to redeem itself was that the cast stayed fresh throughout the series, too. So you could use new characters with different reactions or mindsets from their predecessors.

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2 hours ago, WendyCR72 said:

Besides 9/11, though, I think this was when simple age was just starting to sprout up. Let us remember, by 2001-2002, the show was already 12 seasons in. It's a testament to the writing (and likely writer turnover to keep things fresh!) that the show made it another 8 seasons, but on an average show, 12 seasons would show strain/cracks, and I think the Mothership wasn't immune. I think what helped it from going completely off the rails and managing to redeem itself was that the cast stayed fresh throughout the series, too. So you could use new characters with different reactions or mindsets from their predecessors.

I'd have to agree with this. I think that they had done almost 250 episodes and felt like they had covered just about every social issue and every famous crime (and they were probably right!) and were kind of casting about for anything fresh. Which was probably one reason that national security vs. civil rights and terrorism were so prominent - not only was the subject dominating the headlines they were ripping from, but it was providing stories they hadn't done twice already. I think the point about characters changing is well taken too - one of the reasons that the last couple of seasons were so good was not only that the actors were all great, but with new ADAs and new detectives they really felt free to reuse premises and stories since only Van Buren and McCoy were around from when they had been done before.

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True, but I'd argue that all three fed off each other at various points. There'd be obvious tangents and tweaks, but I'd sometimes see the same story done on two out of three of the shows. If the story it was ripped from was really famous or whatever, all three would often put their spin on it.

Very true.  I want to say all three L&O's at the time did their own version of Jayson Blair.  Though I agree that the show really did seem to struggle with post 9/11 storylines, and obviously Elisabeth Rohm wasn't exactly lighting the screen on fire with her acting.  And that doesn't even get into the Mao-jacket blandness of Nora Lewin.  That isn't to say that I liked DA Foghorn Leghorn, but at least he had something of a personality.      

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6 hours ago, txhorns79 said:

Very true.  I want to say all three L&O's at the time did their own version of Jayson Blair.

Out of curiosity, since it was an interesting topic, I looked this up. Law & Order original recipe covered Blair in Season 14 in the episode, "Bounty". And Law & Order: Criminal Intent covered it in the Season 3 episode, "Pravda".

No mention of SVU covering this. But, yeah, two out of three there, too!

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Out of curiosity, since it was an interesting topic, I looked this up. Law & Order original recipe covered Blair in Season 14 in the episode, "Bounty". And Law & Order: Criminal Intent covered it in the Season 3 episode, "Pravda".

No mention of SVU covering this. But, yeah, two out of three there, too!

That's a my bad then.  I thought all three had done that story.  Though all this talk of Serena has definitely gotten me wanting to end all my conversations with: "Is this because I'm a lesbian?"     

Edited by txhorns79
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Does anyone else want to talk about how Lenny rocks bootcuts, or is that just for me and my therapist?

 

2017-12-29-lo-action-lennie.jpg

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