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  1. an463

    Season 1: Dick Wolf Gives Us NYPD's Finest

    Now if memory serves, which it may not, the dude who reads the opening schtick ("In the criminal justice system...") plays one of the cops who is staking out the restaurant at the end (isn't William H. Macy in there, too?). Not sure if I'm completely making that up.
  2. Objection: assumes facts not in evidence! If you overrule me I'll just go the Ethics Committee on this one, and you won't even be prosecuting Jaywalkers.
  3. I would also just throw out there that if anything, Ben Stone and his impeccable ethics are the real fiction here. Take a look at what really goes on here in NYC: http://nypost.com/2014/06/04/hynes-is-the-poster-boy-for-political-corruption-in-new-york-city/ You can also google "Louis Scarcella" for some sad reading. Jack McCoy is a paragon of ethics compared to the reality. Granted Morgenthau, who Adam was based on, was supposedly great, but you have to wonder about all those lawyers and judges...
  4. I would only disagree slightly in that, if memory serves, when Jack is cross-examined the defense attorney references a note Jack left for Diana, something to the effect of "time to nail Andrew Dillard." And he implies that Jack may have really meant to frame him. But I agree with you that this is pretty weak, and we don't get the condemnation that Jack so richly deserved, and we don't get the moral ambiguity we're used to - it's much more one-sided here. But there is at least some shade thrown Jack's way in that cross. As to whether we're "supposed" to feel this way or that, it's an interesting question, because multiple people watch that episode and come to different conclusions on that issue. My own opinion now that we're getting into detail is that given L&O's roots and values (the case of Judge Thayer sleeping with Claire, the general concept of "even the appearance of impropriety", etc.) is that this would have been a great chance to impart an arc to Jack's character. Set him up as a playboy who crosses the line, then have his past come back to haunt him, have Adam excoriate him (and I mean he should be yelling about "you dragging this office into the gutter" or something) and it serves as a wakeup call. He sees the real damage his juvenile behavior had, and why there are rules about such things. He could become a better man. Instead they just went with the whole "women are crazy, amirite?!" thing. They dropped the ball on that one, and they wouldn't have in the early seasons. They were all about moral quandries.
  5. This is a great point, and I sort of feel like we should have gotten a scene somewhere in there where Adam, in his understated way, basically tells Jack there's a reason you don't buy your meat at the bread shop, and to grow the hell up already. He outright yelled at Ben for simply getting too competitive with Arthur Gold and botching a motion (Severance, where we ALSO get an extended scene of Paul asking Ben "what the hell were you thinking?"...that was a great episode) so I think he should have blasted Jack for some clearly unethical behavior.
  6. Aaaand today just happened to put on Season 8, Episode 16 "Divorce" and we get both a scene where Jack is reading a motorcycle magazine, shows Jamie a picture and tells her, "I'm thinking of buying it." AND a scene where Jamie mentions Jack being a hardass to a fellow female attorney who immediately inquires, "He seeing anyone?" to which Jamie replies, "You want an introduction?" and her friend replies, "Sure!" Definitely hammering home the Bad Boy thing. When did this start happening on this show? Was it with Jamie, Jack and Rey? Instead of Show, Don't Tell they went with the opposite - we're going to constantly tell you that these characters are hot. Was there a change in writer or producer that led to this? Also started watching Season 10, which I'd never seen before, and wow, they really, REALLY hammer home this "Ed Green is a genius interrogator" point. Like two episodes right off where he Horse Whisperers the suspect. It feels ham-fisted to me the way it's presented.
  7. You know, for whatever this is worth I have dated some girls who at the time seemed like quality people due to both the blinders I eagerly put on and their talent for putting up a facade, and it was only later that I came to realize how wrong I was. Granted, I am no Jack McCoy, there are two sides to every story, yadda yadda...but I think I'm normally a reasonable judge of character who becomes a complete idiot when confronted with a cute face and a charming personality. Diana seems like a talented charmer and liar. It's possible that Jack was just drunk on love/sex, which initially mitigated his eyebrows' special ability to ascertain, judge, and condemn Diana's character. It happens to the best of us. I guess the odd part for me is that I've just never been able to buy this angle from Waterston's acting. I never have sensed actual charisma, charm or sexual chemistry with the ladies from the way he plays that part, and it always seems forced or stilted to me. They had Noth play that role and it was much more believable (though obnoxious...which is often kind of true to life with that kind of dude) and a number of the women on the show pulled it off effortlessly. It's not a looks thing, just a vibe I guess. Maybe it's just the writing and the fact that sex is such a small part of the show in general. Maybe it's just me.
  8. Sigh....Ben was awesome.
  9. I'd just amplify this by pointing out that in Jack's first two seasons on the job we have not just mention of, but actual appearances by, two of the three former assistants in question - Sally Bell (Season 5, Ep. 9 Scoundrels) and Diana Hawthorne in Season 6's Trophy. In addition we also have Shelly Cates in Season 6, Episode 6, only half-a-dozen episodes prior to Trophy, who if you ask me is heavily implied to have been a lover of Jack's. They banter like lovers with a very unusual degree of smiling from Jack, they kiss twice in their first scene together (first on the cheek, then on the lips) and when Shelly meets Claire she asks (about Jack), "is he still bedding the redhead?" In addition they agree behind the scenes to do some fast lawyering and rope-a-dope Shelly's client, something requiring a high degree of trust between two people. Considering we got absolutely nothing on Stone's personal daliances in four seasons I'd say the writers went out of their way to feed us "Jack is a ladies' man."
  10. Agreed, and it is not a good sign. The bad things in life don't go away just because you pretend they aren't there.
  11. I've recently seen many of these episodes where certain words are bleeped, and I find it very interesting that (presumably) when these first aired twenty years ago it was all fine, but now they find the need to bleep some very odd things. I think in some ways we've swung back toward the 1950s.
  12. Frequently, a scene starts at someone's apartment/house where the detectives/lawyers are just sitting down to a cup of tea or coffee that the questionee has prepared, usually as the questionee carries the mug from the stove/counter to the table. The scene might take 30 seconds up maybe to a minute or so, and then they've clearly got the info they need, end of questioning. All I can ever think is, what did they they talk about the whole time they were coming into the place, sitting there waiting for the water to boil, then for the coffee/tea to brew, and then are they going to sit there and finish the whole mug and shoot the sh*t now after they're done questioning? Also I don't know if this counts as a trope, but L&O overuses and abuses the same stock car horn sound effect as a scene transition. Usually right after a quiet interview scene like the kind above they'll hard cut to the detectives outside and the exact same jarring car horn.
  13. Couldn't agree more - not only is MM frigging fantastic, but that episode is the sort of explosive, divisive issue that the show didn't shy away from and would examine in-depth and from all sides. That's what made it so great in my opinion, and I think nowadays in particular it would stand out to a first-time viewer. When I saw some of those early episodes for the first time I just thought, "I can't believe that aired on network television." Abortion, race, religion, homosexuality - this show didn't back down from anything. Sure, Trophy has some great acting and some neat guest stars, but at its foundation mostly it's this person slept with that person, conflict between this lover and that one...the same thing you see everywhere, and Law and Order for me was always (well, mostly) above that sort of thing. We all have our own personal lives, I don't need to see Jack McCoy's. Show me something outside the realm of my own experience - homicide investigation, legal proceedings, people grappling with life-or-death issues and struggling with their ethics and morals. There is the ethical quandry at the heart of Trophy, but I mostly feel like they just wanted to use the Jack's Two Lovers angle.
  14. an463

    Season 6: A Charming (?) Rey of Sunshine

    You know, I totally agree, because wow, he's a completely different person, and the kind of person that Paul always saw right through and was disgusted by. But the one tiny sliver of credit I give the show as a whole - and again, I totally agree that the new Paul isn't Paul at all - is that at least there was a setup and a pay off with his change of heart. The writers at least put in the minimal effort to go back and check the character's history and find some way to at least TRY to justify the character arc. I guess considering the way things eventually went downhill with this show, I'm impressed by the earlier years when there was more thought and effort (however minimal or misguided) put into things. There were a couple of times in early seasons where they at least setup the idea that Paul was unsure of his identity and was searching for an answer: the discussion he has with Ben (which he references in Custody) about whether he's a black lawyer or a lawyer who's black, and an episode where Marcus Tate's widow tells him to look into the hearts of the men he has coffee with every morning, and we see him stop alone in the dark at the end of the episode, clearly questioning things. So when he finally shows up again, it pays off those moments, though in no way do I think they actually planned for that so far in advance, nor do I think the answer he would have arrived at is his new persona. Also...Richard Brooks did get paid, so there's that.
  15. an463

    Season 6: A Charming (?) Rey of Sunshine

    Thanks, I think you're exactly right! I re-read a synopsis of the episode and apparently the origin of the case in question was 30 years prior (don't know why I didn't notice that before) and Adam prosecuted it himself. So probably the first time he said something along those lines was 30 years ago when he prosecuted the case, and clearly both times he let a nasty case affect him personally.