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Approach The Bench: Law & Order General Discussion Thread

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Since there was another Law & Order Topic, I wanted to differentiate/separate those from the original/mothership that led to 3 spin-offs.

For me, ignoring the Rhombot years, the original, for me, remains to be the BEST of them all. Revolving doors of cast members and all.  None of the others have Lennie Brisco, or Ben Stone or Jack McCoy. Only CI had Mike Logan, but only for 3 years.

So, as TWoP comes to a sad end, we can all at least talk about our love/hate/shock/awe/etc. for this show. And we can create episode threads!!

Or do you want to just keep a single thread for episode discussion, but different threads for characters?

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Oh, no question. Original recipe is the best of the Law and Orders. Criminal Intent was good when I was younger and thought it was gritty television. Also, they had Stephen Colbert on an episode so they get bonus points. SVU is horrible. It's depressing and it used to be the same case all the time until fairly recently when they decided to just make things crazy. 

But yes, good, old-fashioned Law & Order is still the gold standard for police procedurals. It is the bar against which everything else is measured. Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin, and Benjamin Bratt years were the best years for me. Dennis Farina was never as good as Orbach and the less said about Jeremy Sisto, Anthony Anderson, and Milena Govich, the better. Obviously Sam Waterston as Jack McCoy made the show. As for all the ADA's, I would go 1. Abbie Carmichael 2. Claire Kincaid 3. Alexandria Borgia 4. Serena Southerlyn 5. Jamie Ross 6. Connie Rubirosa.

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Wow, I'd forgotten Stephen Colbert was on a L&O: CI episode. Yes, that ups the cool factor for CI.

I did sort of like L&O: SVU in the early years before Olivia was raped every week - or so it seems - and before Elliot became a raging douche, bordering on Hulk levels of angry and generally being a dick. That said, I liked Chris Meloni, so I stayed until he left. Now, meh.

I do agree original recipe is/was awesome, even early on with Ben Stone, Greevey, etc. It truly came into its own with Jerry Orbach's Lennie Briscoe, no doubt, but the early years were damn good in their own right. I mean, S1 gave us "Indifference", which I still hold to a gold standard (and why the follow up with the inconsistencies in S15 did bug me).

Sam Waterston played the hell out of Jack McCoy, but as important as Jack was, he could be a bastard when it suited him. But he could also kick ass. Ben Stone had his moments, as well. Even a simple derisive "sir" to a defendant was often made of win. Of the DAs, Adam Schiff still tops all for me. Arthur Branch was okay. Dianne Wiest, while a fine actress, was miscast as Nora What's-Her-Name, though.

And in terms of the ADAs, for me, it went Claire Kincaid, Paul Robinette, Abbie Carmichael, Alexandra Borgia (L&O loved its females named Alex, all 3 series having one!), Connie Rubirosa, then tied together waaaaaay down the list, Serena Southerlyn and Jamie Ross. UGH.

Edited by WendyR72
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I think episode threads for this show would be largely pointless, for anything but the super significant episodes (Character departure, finales, etc.) I could go for season and character threads, though.

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Power ranking ADAs? I love this topic already. I haven't seen a lot of the earlier/later seasons because if Jack McCoy AND Lenny Briscoe aren't in it, it's not Law and Order to me, so I won't power rank. Casey Novak is my all time favorite ADA though. 

Sidenote: Has anyone seen Law and Order: Britain or whatever it's called. I saw half an episode and was like "ooh! Apollo from BSG!" and thought I might enjoy it.

...then they put on the wigs and I couldn't take it seriously.

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...then they put on the wigs and I couldn't take it seriously.

 

No, I didn't watch any British spin-off. But I did get that same feeling watching a few episodes of Accused when it was on Netflix. 

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I think I would like character threads, like Wendy created in CI, just so I don't derail and go off topic, when discussing the Logan episodes, heh.

For me the first five seasons are the bestest. Partner team wise--it's a tie for me: Logan/Greevy/; Logan/Brisco, with Logan/Ceretta coming second. Only because, again, I see the layers of Logan. I know my girlfriends have always given me the side-eye when I told them I preferred this show when it was all men, and threatened to take away my feminist card. I can't explain why. It just seemed more gritty/realistic to me. I...can't explain it.  I hated the post Orbach years, especially that half season when Jesse L. Martin was off doing Rent and Imperioli took over, and I was like, When did the mob take over playing cops? Then again, after Orbach left, I became a more casual viewer until Rohmbot was gone. And then watched faithfully the last four years. 

As far as ADAs, I love Ben Stone the best and his partnership with Paul. And well, I didn't care for Clair (blasphemy! I know!), but adding in her personal issues, and how she had an affair with David Groh's judge in that one episode (whose name is escaping me), and saying excuuuuse me for wanting a personal life as an excuse for not letting Ben and Schiff know, just rubbed me the wrong way. Especially since she knew they were looking at him. And then there was another episode with Jack, and sorry I can't even remember which episode, where she goes off on Adam. I dunno. I can't explain it. And then feeling stupid for not catching on until "Aftershock" the season six finale, that she and Jack had been lovers. And it wasn't until I came to TWoP that others clued me in on it.

Female wise, Jamie and Abbie were my faves. Yep, Jaime. She didn't take shit from Jack and was confident in what she was doing. I will forever be miffed that they never had Jaime reside over one of their cases, when we found out in Trial By Jury, that Jaime was now a judge.

And I loved Mike Cutter; he was a good hybrid of Ben and Jack for me, and Linus Roache was and is oh so pretty.

Adam remains my favorite of the DA's, with his quips and one liners and well, presence. I could buy him as an actual DA; something I couldn't with that blowhard Foghorn Leghorn, also known as Branch. Though I like Diane Weist, her Nora Lewelyn was SO miscast as DA. In the end, I came to accept and love Jack as DA, though I though that his conversion to thinking like a politician was too quick. It should have taken at least a season, and not the season he was appointed.

Cragen and VanBuren are equal for me. too bad, they couldn't like, have Cragen as the CO one episode and VanBuren another.

Not only was Colbert on CI, but Jason Jones, Samantha Bee and Asif Mandvi have all appeared on the mothership! Mandvi, more than once and also on CI, SVU and the short lived Trial By Jury.

And I just realized--Lewis Black was the sleazy porno director in "Aria" which aired yesterday! I didn't recognize him with all that curly 70s hair! It was the voice. The voice that's so distinctive.

I think Jon Steward and John Oliver are the only Daily Show staff to NOT appear on the franchise, heh.

Boy, that was a mouthful, wasn't it?

And since I'm a technoturd, I don't know how to create threads within a thread. So I leave that to those more tech savvy than me!

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ScorpiosRule, you liked Jamie? Jamie?! And hated Claire? <Does Borg headshake of disappointment> Ah, well, guess we can't agree on EVERYTHING, but that's okay. We still have Rohm-Bot to hate. Hee.

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With that looong post of mine my love for Jaime is the only thing you responded to?! Hee.

Yeah if we all agreed on everything how boring things would be! As long as we agree in the Logan/Stone/Brisco/Robinette/Schiff love, we're good!

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With that looong post of mine my love for Jaime is the only thing you responded to?! Hee.

Hey, the shocking stuff stood out!

Yeah if we all agreed on everything how boring things would be! As long as we agree in the Logan/Stone/Brisco/Robinette/Schiff love, we're good!

Since we do agree there, it's all great. Hee.

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Pro se with Denis O'Hare in 1996, where the judged tears up when O'Hare is crazy again at the end, very powerful. One reason I hated the English one from the start is they did that episode and did it so daly,

The other one that really stood out to me was season 10, "blood money" with the Holocaust insurance scam and the old man testifying about how he'd carried his sister to Italy and she died anyway, and how the nazis didnt give out death certificates, damn this show was once so good.

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I watch the British version of the show.  Half the fun is trying to figure out what American episode each episode is based on.  

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From the Criminal Intent thread:

 


So I was browsing eBay the other night out of boredom when I discovered there was an actual L&O: CI video game that exists! Complete with VDO on the cover. Not personally my thing, but I must say I was kind of surprised there was such an item out there!

 

Like I said over there, Facebook has one for the mothership, but instead of Logan and Briscoe, it has Fucking Rey and Briscoe.  And now that I think about it, I don't think it's a game you can play on Facebook, but a game you can download to your 'puter.

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I agree Scorpio, I prefer L&O when it was all men too.  I almost don't acknowledge non-Logan episodes but Lennie at least eases the pain. 

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Female wise, Jamie and Abbie were my faves. Yep, Jaime.

 

 

Wait, is liking Jamie unpopular?  I  really liked Jamie.  I always thought she had a quiet confidence about her, and I enjoyed that.  I actually think she would've been a great partner with Stone.  

 

The first four seasons and the last 3 seasons of the show are my favorites.  I try not to think of the Dennis Farina years - I like him a lot, he just wasn't a good fit for the show.  However, he was never going to be as bad as Cassidy, which I try and block from memory.  And it kills me, because I really like the Chevy Chase episode and seeing her on it ruins the episode for me. 

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I didn't know where to post this, so created a new topic. If a mod can find a proper place for it, please feel free to move and delete this topic.

 

As we all know, Sundance airs the mothership, and has that promo about how stars before they were stars appeared, or those that appeared moved on to become super stars.  Here's my question to y'all: The one that shows the Dallas style of Samuel L. Jackson, some other dude and Jennifer Garner, where the voice over says, moved on to become stars? Well, I know Jackson and Garner. Who's the dude in the middle because I sure as hell don't recognize him. Is he a star as well?

 

Color me confuseded.

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Ohhhh, okay. I thought small talk was for all talk not associated with the show at all. You know, our real names, what we do for a living, where we live, blah, blah, like a meet up market of sorts.

 

So, does anyone know who the dude in the middle is?

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Ahhh...I get it you were asking about a commercial that says "these guys that were on L&O are now famous"? Or was the promo for Sundance channel? I thought you were watching the show and there was a Sundance channel promo that showed people. Still slightly confused and leaving this here. :D Also I don't know the guy since I am obvs clueless! I bet the answer is here: 12 stars before they were stars

Michael Pitt maybe?

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No, it's the promo, if you will, on Sundance channel, showing all the guest stars that appeared on the original show before they became stars. They show scenes and dialogue of Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Douglas, Felicity Huffman, and then say how some big star also appeared, and cut to Gary Busey.  It's very choppy, because both Busey and Julia Roberts were already stars when they appeared. Most were unknown when they starred.  The one "promo' shows a bam/bam/bam of Jackson, white dude and Jennifer Garner. I just wanna know who the white dude is. It's not Michael Pitt.  Maybe the sundance channel will have that promo on their site?

 

And now it's going to bug me until I can figure out who he is!  I know they also have a scene of shoot, I forget her name, but I think she was on Mad Men, but she also starred in Sundance's original series "Top of the Lake" last year.  in L&O, you can tell she's realllllly young. Long hair and she says "she's dead."

 

That list is soooooo missing, Samuel L. Jackson, Felicity Huffman, Sarah Douglas, and that dude who was in Season two--he played the older son, who was a fisherman, and the episode was about his younger brother and an Asian kid being in competition. Kelly Bishop played their mother. See! Another name missing! Kelly Bishop!

Edited by GHScorpiosRule
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Elizabeth Moss! That's the Mad Men/Top of the Lake woman! I tried to find the promo but that link was the only thing I found. I'll do some searching on YouTube and see what I can turn up! Now I'm curious!

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I caught some vintage Law & Order original recipe today on WE. It struck me as much more... lawyer-y. There was still a lot of ideology but the dialogue felt wordier. Also, the camera was throwing me off a little. I wasn't sure if it was shaky cam or the way it was panning but there was something a little off about some of the shots.

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I caught some vintage Law & Order original recipe today on WE. It struck me as much more... lawyer-y. There was still a lot of ideology but the dialogue felt wordier. Also, the camera was throwing me off a little. I wasn't sure if it was shaky cam or the way it was panning but there was something a little off about some of the shots.

 

Well, in the first season dvds, Wolf said they used 16 mm cameras and were going for a half drama/half documentary look...you can see by the second season, the show looked...less grainy and more sharper.

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I know who the guy in the middle is! It's Peter Sarsgaard. It took some sleuthing on IMDB, but I found it. That commercial kind of annoys me because it features Julia Roberts and Gary Busey, who were famous long before they appeared on Law and Order.

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I know who the guy in the middle is! It's Peter Sarsgaard. It took some sleuthing on IMDB, but I found it. That commercial kind of annoys me because it features Julia Roberts and Gary Busey, who were famous long before they appeared on Law and Order.

 

Thanks GarnetGirl!!!!! It was bugging me like nobody's bidnez.

 

And totally agree about Busy and Roberts, though Roberts' stint left  a LOT to be desired and made me wonder, how'd she get to be a star? Oh, and that list that radishcake posted up thread doesn't include Laura Linney, either!

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And totally agree about Busy and Roberts, though Roberts' stint left  a LOT to be desired and made me wonder, how'd she get to be a star?

I hate the episode with Julia Roberts with the fire of a thousand suns.  I know they only capitalized on the fact that she was dating Benjamin Bratt at the time, but terrible stunt-casting.  

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I know virtually nothing about the TV biz, but maybe someone here has an explanation for this. What is the reason for the large number of producers on this show? Not so much in the early seasons, where there are only a few an episode. But the number keeps increasing, and at a certain point it became routine for there to be 15-20 people with the word 'producer' somewhere in their title listed in the credits. Does it really take that many people to 'produce' a roughly 45-minute episode? I've never noticed this on any other show.

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What is the reason for the large number of producers on this show? Not so much in the early seasons, where there are only a few an episode. But the number keeps increasing, and at a certain point it became routine for there to be 15-20 people with the word 'producer' somewhere in their title listed in the credits.

 

A variety of people, often writers, can end up with a "Producer" credit.  Here's a bit of an explanation:

http://johnaugust.com/2004/producer-credits-and-what-they-mean

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I liked Jaime, and Fontana.  I have an unreasonable love for Dennis Farina, though, so that may be why.  I wasn't a huge fan of Claire or Serena, although I don't exactly dislike either one of them.  I always felt Jill Hennessy had no real presence, and was surprised when she got her own show.  

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Had the WE marathon on last night, and even though I was only watching with half an eye, it stood out how prudish that network is. Twice, the word "ass" was bleeped out, and in one scene the detectives were in an X-rated video store, and the covers of the videos were fuzzed out! It looked really odd.

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This is for Maherjunkie, who wanted me to elaborate on the S15 episode, "Fixed", the follow up to S1's excellent "Indifference" since we were discussing Logan in the CI forum and this came up.

 

The episode had to do with Jacob Lowenstein getting out of prison (which was a huge discrepancy from the original episode) and being involved in some social worker reform experiment. Well, despite his parole having the condition stating he was not to be around kids, Lowenstein had moved in with his fiancé who, if I recall right, met him through writing prison letters or something, and had a kid. The kid soon had a broken arm and was being walked to school by him, and the social worker thought he had caused the injury - and did a hit and run on his scummy ass. He ended up losing his leg, and later, his life.

 

But not only did we see Jacob Lowenstein again, we saw his ex-wife Carla, who was also inexplicably out of prison and basically a broken meek woman who tells Van Buren she dreams of a day where she [Carla] can forget she ever met her ex. Their son, Ezra, was also shown as a high school student with his adoptive father. And Cragen made a crossover from SVU to talk about the nightmare of the original case (probably as exposition for anyone who didn't see or recall "Indifference" in S1). Which, okay, he was the captain then when Logan and Greevy investigated, but he didn't investigate it, which is what it sounded like in "Fixed" (the follow up).

 

But, as I said, the whole premise of this one was forgetting that Lowenstein wasn't ever supposed to get out of prison to begin with, and it kind of made zero sense. (Even a line about some testimony or piece of evidence being thrown out could have explained it, a bit. But there was nothing.)

 

And I like Jack McCoy but, again, he had no history with the original case. Too bad ol' Ben Stone, along with Logan, couldn't have made a cameo appearance since this case affected him so deeply. Had the show explained Lowenstein being out, I would have loved to see Ben rage about it all.

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Had the WE marathon on last night, and even though I was only watching with half an eye, it stood out how prudish that network is. Twice, the word "ass" was bleeped out, and in one scene the detectives were in an X-rated video store, and the covers of the videos were fuzzed out! It looked really odd.

You know I've noticed that in the Netflix versions they don't bleep slurs. The n-word and then the episode with the kids who killed the Jewish teacher who found out they were cheating, they don't bleep the k-word either. It was kind of jarring. But it really does have a punch that a bleep doesn't. Ouch.

You know the fuzzing out of the X-rated video store might have been for licensing and not content. Sometimes those are time limited so in reruns they have to blur out stuff that they no longer have a license to show.

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You know I've noticed that in the Netflix versions they don't bleep slurs. The n-word and then the episode with the kids who killed the Jewish teacher who found out they were cheating, they don't bleep the k-word either. It was kind of jarring. But it really does have a punch that a bleep doesn't. Ouch.

You know the fuzzing out of the X-rated video store might have been for licensing and not content. Sometimes those are time limited so in reruns they have to blur out stuff that they no longer have a license to show.

 

No, I think it was for content; because Sundance does the same fucking thing. Not blurring, but bleeps, or silences out words like 'crapper', n word, ass, dyke, except for that one episode where a Jewish man was killed by Tardasian? And his brother set it up or something. Sundance! A channel that airs R-rated movies and doesn't bleep out ass, fuck, shit, godamn, etc. YET, TNT does not bleep out any of the words, no matter what time of day it's airing this show.

 

It's all FCC censor related, I tell ya!

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If anyone was streaming L&O (or L&O: CI) on Netflix? Forget it. As of 10/1...poof! You have to go the DVD route (or buy streaming via Amazon). Greedy idiots. Yet SVU is still up. It sucks. I loved having it at my fingertips!

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:( Our rewatch days are over. Booo.

 

At least there are a lot of comments about it there. Maybe it'll get some notice? Yeah, probably not.  :-(

 

And because of boredom, because I'm a nerd, and a combination, I actually used the chat link to ask a Netflix worker about it. Of course, I got the usual how my comment will be passed on, but on the plus side, the dude was friendly and said he missed the L&O shows, too. Shrug. <Sheepish grin>

 

Eh, made me feel better to have a say. LOL!

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:( Our rewatch days are over. Booo.

If you have WGN America, they are airing season 2, so it's still doable. Unfortunately I can only read, as I'm recovering from surgery, which makes typing difficult and painful.

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A lot of channels air L&O. The trouble is, if one wants to do a sequential rewatch, these channels seem to show different seasons. Which is why having it on Netflix was so convenient. Idiots. Hate they removed all L&O shows except SVU.

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Saw "School Daze" last night, and can I just saw how much I loved Abby's TWOP attitude towards the parents of the school shooter?  I didn't really feel sorry for them at all.  They covered for their son when they knew he did it.  This wasn't just a case of someone that snapped after getting picked on too many times; remember the father revealed that he broke his sister's arm once.  So all that talk about how he needed help made me mad: if they had gotten him help sooner, the school shooting could have been prevented.  I know there's only so much parents can do, but come on...

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You know I've noticed that in the Netflix versions they don't bleep slurs. The n-word and then the episode with the kids who killed the Jewish teacher who found out they were cheating, they don't bleep the k-word either. It was kind of jarring. But it really does have a punch that a bleep doesn't. Ouch.

 

The bleeping is absolutely bizarre to me.  I don't understand how that language was appropriate for network television 15 or more years ago, but is too much for basic cable.  If it was strong sexual content, I might see the justification, but if the point of the episode was to show some kind of bigotry, bleeping out the language ruins it.   

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The bleeping is absolutely bizarre to me. I don't understand how that language was appropriate for network television 15 or more years ago, but is too much for basic cable. If it was strong sexual content, I might see the justification, but if the point of the episode was to show some kind of bigotry, bleeping out the language ruins it.

The oddest thing of all is that TNT, doesn't bleep or silent out those words, but WGN, WE, and Sundance bleep them all out and Sundance is a premium movie channel. Find it makes no bloody sense.

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The oddest thing of all is that TNT, doesn't bleep or silent out those words, but WGN, WE, and Sundance bleep them all out and Sundance is a premium movie channel. Find it makes no bloody sense.

 

That would make me not watch the repeats on those channels. I'm an annoying purist. I hate even watching old '80s movies, a la John Hughes, that have dialogue or scenes altered, either. I mean, you know the risk of what you're airing. Put in a damned disclaimer and leave the shows/movies intact - or don't show them at all.

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That would make me not watch the repeats on those channels. I'm an annoying purist. I hate even watching old '80s movies, a la John Hughes, that have dialogue or scenes altered, either. I mean, you know the risk of what you're airing. Put in a damned disclaimer and leave the shows/movies intact - or don't show them at all.

That's what's fucked up about that-they put disclaimers about the theme, language, which would make me assume the language would NOT be bleeped out. But noooo, they bleep it out!

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I saw the episode "The Corporate Veil" on WE.  It's from Season 3 back in 1992.  They bleeped the word "crapper," but left in the word "bastard."  It's so weird.   

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I saw the episode "The Corporate Veil" on WE.  It's from Season 3 back in 1992.  They bleeped the word "crapper," but left in the word "bastard."  It's so weird.   

 

This is why I miss Netflix and am glad for the DVDs.

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