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Lennie Briscoe Was NOT Great: Unpopular Opinions

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TNT is showing the Mothership now, the Briscoe/Green years, S13, to be specific. My UO is, while I know many really liked the show even after Lennie and thought Sisto/Anderson gave the show a second wind, I think the show sort of never got out from under Lennie's shadow and just sort of sputtered to its end.

There were some good later episodes, but...I think the show's best seasons were well in the rear-view mirror by then.

ETA: This isn't to say I hated Lupo/Bernard, but I still think Lennie overshadowed both - and the overall show. He became sort of the Mothership Mascot. Add in another UO I already mentioned, that I didn't think Lupo/Bernard had great partner chemistry (but were good individually), and that adds in, too, I guess.

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I think after Lennie's departure, the show should've went younger with the leads. Instead of adding Fontana, Green should've been paired with a partner his age and skills like Lupo or slightly younger. Ed had enough experience by the time Lennie left to be the lead detective. For the lawyer side, I think they should've went younger sooner than later. I liked Nora but I think the show should've went with an Arthur Branch type after Adam left and then promote Jack to D.A. The show wasn't getting rid of Sam Waterston unless he wanted to leave but for growth of his character and to keep the lawyer side fresh, I think Mike Cutter should've been brought in sooner.

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19 hours ago, Arcadiasw said:

I think after Lennie's departure, the show should've went younger with the leads. Instead of adding Fontana, Green should've been paired with a partner his age and skills like Lupo or slightly younger. Ed had enough experience by the time Lennie left to be the lead detective. For the lawyer side, I think they should've went younger sooner than later. I liked Nora but I think the show should've went with an Arthur Branch type after Adam left and then promote Jack to D.A. The show wasn't getting rid of Sam Waterston unless he wanted to leave but for growth of his character and to keep the lawyer side fresh, I think Mike Cutter should've been brought in sooner.

I get what you're saying, but...I think the show did itself a bit of a disservice going almost entirely "younger" by its end. Casting-wise, I think the early years were more representative of all ages in both divisions and the show was better for it. A bit more "real". Maybe the failure of Fontana made the mandate for youth easier by the network, but it just seemed a bit superficial, to me. And Dennis Farina was a good actor in a no-win situation, replacing Jerry Orbach and his Lennie Briscoe.

You'd never see the likes of Orbach, Sorvino, Dzundza, or even Moriarty again, I think, if the show went on. Youth is fine! But I think the show fell into the same demo-obsessed trap all networks are bloodthirsty about, and the older contingent was left to do a fade, minus Van Buren. (Waterston seemed - even if he was a regular - to have glorified cameos just as McCoy's D.A. predecessors did.)

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19 hours ago, Arcadiasw said:

I think after Lennie's departure, the show should've went younger with the leads. Instead of adding Fontana, Green should've been paired with a partner his age and skills like Lupo or slightly younger. Ed had enough experience by the time Lennie left to be the lead detective. For the lawyer side, I think they should've went younger sooner than later. I liked Nora but I think the show should've went with an Arthur Branch type after Adam left and then promote Jack to D.A. The show wasn't getting rid of Sam Waterston unless he wanted to leave but for growth of his character and to keep the lawyer side fresh, I think Mike Cutter should've been brought in sooner.

I hear what you're saying, but I have to disagree a bit. We saw what happened when they tried to go younger and chase demos after Farina left. Would the show have done any better making that mistake sooner? Combined with Rohm and some of the weakest scripts in the series' run it might have been enough to kill the show.

18 hours ago, WendyCR72 said:

I get what you're saying, but...I think the show did itself a bit of a disservice going almost entirely "younger" by its end. Casting-wise, I think the early years were more representative of all ages in both divisions and the show was better for it. A bit more "real". Maybe the failure of Fontana made the mandate for youth easier by the network, but it just seemed a bit superficial, to me. And Dennis Farina was a good actor in a no-win situation, replacing Jerry Orbach and his Lennie Briscoe.

You'd never see the likes of Orbach, Sorvino, Dzundza, or even Moriarty again, I think, if the show went on. Youth is fine! But I think the show fell into the same demo-obsessed trap all networks are bloodthirsty about, and the older contingent was left to do a fade, minus Van Buren. (Waterston seemed - even if he was a regular - to have glorified cameos just as McCoy's D.A. predecessors did.)

Yeah whoever replaced Orbach was going to get dumped on. Replacing an icon at the same time the writing was starting to decline guarantees that. Going younger might have helped a bit as replacing Orbach with another older established actor might have invited the direct comparison even more, but I really think most of the criticism was for being the one to replace our favorite. As far as Waterston, he definitely had more screen time than his predecessors and was portrayed as more hands on. I thought they did a good job and wish SVU could do half as good as the mothership at promoting a lead and keeping them out front without having them do everything themselves no matter how unrealistic.

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18 hours ago, WendyCR72 said:

I get what you're saying, but...I think the show did itself a bit of a disservice going almost entirely "younger" by its end. Casting-wise, I think the early years was more representative of all ages in both divisions and the show was better for it. A bit more "real". Maybe the failure of Fontana made the mandate for youth easier by the network, but it just seemed a bit superficial, to me. And Dennis Farina was a good actor in a no-win situation, replacing Jerry Orbach and his Lennie Briscoe.

You'd never see the likes of Orbach, Sorvino, Dzundza, or even Moriarty again, I think, if the show went on. Youth is fine! But I think the show fell into the same demo-obsessed trap all networks are bloodthirsty about, and the older contingent was left to do a fade, minus Van Buren. (Waterston seemed - even if he was a regular - to have glorified cameos just as McCoy's D.A. predecessors did.)

I don't think the writing helped much either during the years after Lennie's departure. The show also did away with the formula that worked in the beginning like sprinkling in personal stories. I think the show got better in the last two seasons and went back to what worked but I think the damage was done and unfortunately it was too late to save it. By younger I certainly didn't mean 20ish. That wouldn't have been realistic. I was thinking 30-40ish on the police side and for the law like 40ish or even 50ish for the lead D.A. With the change of DA twice after Adam with Nora and Arthur, I thought it should've been sooner for Jack to move up rather than later. 

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21 minutes ago, wknt3 said:

I hear what you're saying, but I have to disagree a bit. We saw what happened when they tried to go younger and chase demos after Farina left. Would the show have done any better making that mistake sooner? Combined with Rohm and some of the weakest scripts in the series' run it might have been enough to kill the show.

Yeah whoever replaced Orbach was going to get dumped on. Replacing an icon at the same time the writing was starting to decline guarantees that. Going younger might have helped a bit as replacing Orbach with another older established actor might have invited the direct comparison even more, but I really think most of the criticism was for being the one to replace our favorite. As far as Waterston, he definitely had more screen time than his predecessors and was portrayed as more hands on. I thought they did a good job and wish SVU could do half as good as the mothership at promoting a lead and keeping them out front without having them do everything themselves no matter how unrealistic.

Ha. I should've read this before I posted my comment because I agree with some of what you're saying. :p

I think they went too young with the Beauty Queen angle.  That only works with cartoons. :) Given Orbach's presence on the show, that's why I feel Green should've been promoted to Lead Detective and get a partner that is in his age range like Lupo. I think it would've been an easier transition for the audience to accept than inserting an older guy because he would've immediately gotten compared to Orbach which is what happened. Hindsight is 20/20 and I guess TPTB examined all angles before going with what they did.

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17 hours ago, Arcadiasw said:

I don't think the writing helped much either during the years after Lennie's departure. The show also did away with the formula that worked in the beginning like sprinkling in personal stories. I think the show got better in the last two seasons and went back to what worked but I think the damage was done and unfortunately it was too late to save it. By younger I certainly didn't mean 20ish. That wouldn't have been realistic. I was thinking 30-40ish on the police side and for the law like 40ish or even 50ish for the lead D.A. With the change of DA twice after Adam with Nora and Arthur, I thought it should've been sooner for Jack to move up rather than later. 

I honestly think writing was the bigger issue in the post-Lennie years. And that the real weakness as far as characters are concerned was with the DAs and not the cops (Detective Beauty Queen excepted). Until Rubirosa came along I don't think they would have risked moving Jack up because Sam Waterston's charm was the only thing keeping that half of the show afloat. Once she was there they were able to bring in some fresh blood and move Jack up which gave them a chance to do a new take on previously visited issues.
 

16 hours ago, Arcadiasw said:

Ha. I should've read this before I posted my comment because I agree with some of what you're saying. :p

I think they went too young with the Beauty Queen angle.  That only works with cartoons. :) Given Orbach's presence on the show, that's why I feel Green should've been promoted to Lead Detective and get a partner that is in his age range like Lupo. I think it would've been an easier transition for the audience to accept than inserting an older guy because he would've immediately gotten compared to Orbach which is what happened. Hindsight is 20/20 and I guess TPTB examined all angles before going with what they did.


Reading the reply before posting only works in the Dr. Who forums.

I'm sure there were all sorts of meetings and discussions that came down to "we have to go younger and cheaper and not invite direct comparisons" vs. "we have to stick with what works" and "give the audience the same, but different or they will give up on us" repeated ad nauseum. Hindsight is 20/20 like you said but in hindsight they managed to keep going another 6 seasons without embarrassing themselves too badly compared to most other long running procedurals.

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On 8/8/2016 at 8:44 PM, WendyCR72 said:

I get what you're saying, but...I think the show did itself a bit of a disservice going almost entirely "younger" by its end. Casting-wise, I think the early years were more representative of all ages in both divisions and the show was better for it. A bit more "real". Maybe the failure of Fontana made the mandate for youth easier by the network, but it just seemed a bit superficial, to me. And Dennis Farina was a good actor in a no-win situation, replacing Jerry Orbach and his Lennie Briscoe.

You'd never see the likes of Orbach, Sorvino, Dzundza, or even Moriarty again, I think, if the show went on. Youth is fine! But I think the show fell into the same demo-obsessed trap all networks are bloodthirsty about, and the older contingent was left to do a fade, minus Van Buren. (Waterston seemed - even if he was a regular - to have glorified cameos just as McCoy's D.A. predecessors did.)

I checked because I was interested, and Dennis Farina was actually four years older than Orbach when he joined the cast at the age of sixty, but as you say Lennie Briscoe was so loved by the audience at the time of Orbach's departure that they could have hired just about anyone and the character would have failed. Sorvino was a close second to Orbach at 52, but the weather was too unfriendly to his vocal cords for him to stick around.

Further checking revealed that Carey Lowell was the oldest person to play an ADA at 35, with Rohm and Hennessy tied as the youngest at 25. I'd have thought Lowell was younger, but I always forget that Licence To Kill happened seven years before she was Jamie Ross.

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I wouldn't have thought this was a UO; I thought it was as plain as the nose on my face. I've only just learned by reading this thread that this isn't considered gospel truth:

Seasons 19 and 20 are the best of the series, hands down.

It's got my favorite cast! It's got the politicization of McCoy, now with extra indignance! It's got Van Buren smoking weed and the chief helping her cover it up! Cutter! Rubirosa! Cutter and Rubirosa! The gorgeous Lupo and his perfect foil in Bernard! 

I have both seasons on my DVR and I won't let my husband delete them. Other seasons might have better "moments," but 19 and 20 have absolutely no clunkers.

P.S. I also liked Rey. It might've just been my glee at a Latino character, even if they couldn't take the massive risk of giving him an actual Latino surname. 

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On August 12, 2016 at 6:50 AM, 303420 said:

I wouldn't have thought this was a UO; I thought it was as plain as the nose on my face. I've only just learned by reading this thread that this isn't considered gospel truth:

Seasons 19 and 20 are the best of the series, hands down.

It's got my favorite cast! It's got the politicization of McCoy, now with extra indignance! It's got Van Buren smoking weed and the chief helping her cover it up! Cutter! Rubirosa! Cutter and Rubirosa! The gorgeous Lupo and his perfect foil in Bernard! 

I have both seasons on my DVR and I won't let my husband delete them. Other seasons might have better "moments," but 19 and 20 have absolutely no clunkers.

P.S. I also liked Rey. It might've just been my glee at a Latino character, even if they couldn't take the massive risk of giving him an actual Latino surname. 

I have to agree. I absolutely love the Lupo/Benard/Rubirosa/Cutter combo. And colored me surprised because I was prepared to hate it, but I think the 4 actors all managed to flesh out their characters into living people with implied complicated backstories that remained pretty consistent and logical, all while maintaining really interesting chemistry that crackled without relying on stories where everyone got along all the time.  I felt like the show hadn't don't that in years! They would have 1 or 2 good characters or chemistry pairings going on, but rarely all four. Like Briscoe and Green were great together, but Serena never gelled with anyone, Detective Beauty Queen was a train wreck, Fontana was sort of Not-Briscoe, I liked Borgia ok but never felt like the writers had an actual character worked out. IMO, the last time the show had a core-four that worked that well was Briscoe/Geen/Carmichael/McCoy

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My favorite grouping has evolved (for a long time my foursome was Mike and Lennie!  Lennie and Mike!--yes--they each counted twice), but now it's Briscoe/Green/Carmichael/McCoy.  I like Abby best of all the ADAs, and there was a real magic when Jerry Orbach and Jesse L. Martin acted together.  However, due in part to cast changes--they lost me for a long time when they lost Lennie--and life changes, I never saw much past their time.  I like Bernardo and Lupo ok, and I think the Rubirosa/Cutter team was interesting, and it was interesting to see McCoy have to deal with the politics he had so long despised, but it was...interesting, rather than something I loved.  I'm getting to like them more, but any team that doesn't include Jerry Orbach is already starting way behind, as far as I'm concerned.

Edited by Ailianna
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My UO, relating to above, is while it seems like Ed Green and Lennie Briscoe seem to be Briscoe's fave partner pairing for many, I still preferred Mike Logan with Lennie. I didn't hate Ed at all, but I preferred Mike as a character.

And I think Kincaid, Briscoe, Logan, and/or Stone was the best dynamic.

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3 hours ago, Maherjunkie said:

I'll trade you Claire for the real Paul and you've got yourself a deal.

Fixed that for you. :-D

Also, who was Detective Beauty Queen? I know I'll feel dumb when someone tells me because I simply misplaced the information, but I see the nickname a lot and can never place the character.

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5 hours ago, Cobalt Stargazer said:

Fixed that for you. :-D

Also, who was Detective Beauty Queen? I know I'll feel dumb when someone tells me because I simply misplaced the information, but I see the nickname a lot and can never place the character.

Adding to Maherjunkie's answer, she was the only female "street" detective, and in her introductory episode there was a newspaper article that called her Detective Beauty Queen.  So we can't take credit for the nickname--the show itself did it. 

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I don't know, I got the sense that Orbach and Martin were friends, so I enjoyed their detective partnership the most.  I guess my UO is that I just don't get Mike Logan.  I've watched almost all the L& O episodes, plus CI, I  watched SATC in its original run and I just don't get it.  Granted, he was my favorite in his first two detective pairings, but once Lenny came on the scene, he was my # 2 detective.   I wish we had a Jamie/Jack/Ed/Lenny pairing.   Sadly, that was wasted on Rey.  

@Cobalt Stargazer, be glad you have no recollection of detective beauty queen.  I was watching an episode once and my husband came and watched about 2 minutes and went on to talk about how awful she was.   I can't even watch her episodes now.  I just change the channel.  

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I kind of agree with that.  I liked Mike Logan, but I didn't think he was "all that", or the best partner or was he my absolute favorite.  

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My favorite detective pairing was Lupo/Bernard, but a close second was Logan/Certetta (and that's from someone who isn't a huge Chris Noth fan).  I love Lennie with all my heart, but the Lennie/Logan partnership was too similar to me, in the sense that they were both kind of smart-asses.  I felt like the better balance was always one smart-ass, one who played it a little more straight, which is why I liked Logan/Ceretta so much.  

Also, and this might be a huge UO: my least favorite ADA was not the much derided Serena Southerlyn, but rather Alex Borgia.  She did absoluetly nothing for me, and I wasn't even all that upset when she was killed off.  

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Fuck no.  Mike Logan was why I watched the show.  Gorgeous and intense.  I don't see how anyone does not see that, but.....

As much as I loved Lennie, I think he and Greevy were probably the best combo.

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17 hours ago, Cobalt Stargazer said:

Fixed that for you. :-D

Also, who was Detective Beauty Queen? I know I'll feel dumb when someone tells me because I simply misplaced the information, but I see the nickname a lot and can never place the character.

That's because she was very forgettable. :-) Seriously though she was forgettable and they seem to run that season less than others in the various syndication packages.

4 hours ago, Princess Sparkle said:

My favorite detective pairing was Lupo/Bernard, but a close second was Logan/Certetta (and that's from someone who isn't a huge Chris Noth fan).  I love Lennie with all my heart, but the Lennie/Logan partnership was too similar to me, in the sense that they were both kind of smart-asses.

It's not just you who felt that way. That was the stated reason from the producers and the network for replacing Chris Noth - that the characters were too similar.

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Random question :  Is Cragen anyone's first choice for best Lt/Captain or is that an UO? Van Buren was on for longer, but I don't know. 

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3 hours ago, roseslg said:

Random question :  Is Cragen anyone's first choice for best Lt/Captain or is that an UO? Van Buren was on for longer, but I don't know. 

Cragen was always the Captain; and Van Buren, Lieutenant; and yeah, she was on longer, but Cragen started at SVU again reprising his role, so I think he was on longer--in the franchise. I love them both. And this I know is an Unpopular Opinion, but I really loved it during the first three years. Yeah, yeah, I'm a "bad" feminist because I don't love the succeeding seasons as much with the addition of women, and women of color. 

Sue me.

Edited by GHScorpiosRule
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51 minutes ago, roseslg said:

Random question :  Is Cragen anyone's first choice for best Lt/Captain or is that an UO? Van Buren was on for longer, but I don't know. 

I liked Cragen well enough on SVU and the mothership, but honestly, I find Dann Florek to be an atrocious actor.  My favorite foursome has always been Stone/Robinette/Logan/Ceretta, but I would've preferred Anita in there over Cragen.  She is one of the few "replacements" I like better than the "originals".   

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I can't and won't ever watch SUV (although I've seen them filming it from my bedroom window), but I do agree that Anita was better in the role.  I think having her there also added another level of complexity and depth to the cast and the storyline.   Although they never really brought the personal lives of the characters to the forefront, I like the depiction of the struggle and a black woman at that in the NYPD.  

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3 hours ago, roseslg said:

I can't and won't ever watch SUV

I know you meant SVU, but I always get a kick of that show being confused for a vehicle!

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33 minutes ago, WendyCR72 said:

I know you meant SVU, but I always get a kick of that show being confused for a vehicle!

Haha, I know it's SVU, but I always call it SUV.  I have to make a conscious effort to say SVU.  I usually joke and say Canadia instead of Canada, so now whenever I have to say Canada, I have to concentrate.  I should just start calling things as they are named.  

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I've been watching Season 11 and I gotta say...I don't hate Nora. She's not Adam and she's not Branch and I'm okay with that.
She still does her job, rolls with the political side of it and whatever shennanigans Jack and Abbie chuck at her, and is shown to actually be researching her position before she makes it. I don't think looking at all sides of a case, the consequences etc, is a bad idea for a DA. And even if she doesn't like the consequences personally, she still does her job. 

I'm not saying she is the best. I'm just saying, I don't hate her.

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On 8/27/2016 at 10:57 PM, SparedTurkey said:

I've been watching Season 11 and I gotta say...I don't hate Nora. She's not Adam and she's not Branch and I'm okay with that.
She still does her job, rolls with the political side of it and whatever shennanigans Jack and Abbie chuck at her, and is shown to actually be researching her position before she makes it. I don't think looking at all sides of a case, the consequences etc, is a bad idea for a DA. And even if she doesn't like the consequences personally, she still does her job. 

I'm not saying she is the best. I'm just saying, I don't hate her.

Admittedly I found Nora frustrating more often than not, but I also think it was an interesting contrast character-wise. Adam practically seemed like he'd been born as a DA, and Arthur must have had prior experience since he was elected to the office. As an academic, Nora was likely more emotionally removed from the cases, leaving her free to study both sides, and unlike Adam the first words out of her mouth were rarely "Make a deal!" Combined with Serena she's a little much to take, but by herself I don't mind her all that much. :-)

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I think the other thing would be she was only an interim appointment, whereas I assume Schiff had campaigned for the position and won? So that gives me the assumption that during his campaign he came to terms with things like the application of the death penalty and made those kinds of things public. As Nora was only a temp (as it were) she may not have really thought about it until faced with it - considered it hypothetically but when its a real person you're sending to their death, well that changes things.

I'm just a sucker for seeing someone listen to arguments and change their mind (with/without research). That doesn't happen enough.

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15 hours ago, Cobalt Stargazer said:

Admittedly I found Nora frustrating more often than not, but I also think it was an interesting contrast character-wise. Adam practically seemed like he'd been born as a DA, and Arthur must have had prior experience since he was elected to the office. As an academic, Nora was likely more emotionally removed from the cases, leaving her free to study both sides, and unlike Adam the first words out of her mouth were rarely "Make a deal!" Combined with Serena she's a little much to take, but by herself I don't mind her all that much. :-)

 

1 hour ago, SparedTurkey said:

I think the other thing would be she was only an interim appointment, whereas I assume Schiff had campaigned for the position and won? So that gives me the assumption that during his campaign he came to terms with things like the application of the death penalty and made those kinds of things public. As Nora was only a temp (as it were) she may not have really thought about it until faced with it - considered it hypothetically but when its a real person you're sending to their death, well that changes things.

I'm just a sucker for seeing someone listen to arguments and change their mind (with/without research). That doesn't happen enough.

I think that's what they were going for. She was supposed to have had some experience as a federal prosecutor (she worked organized crime cases with Rudy) as well as being a distinguished academic. So I don't think she was supposed to be naive or a pure theorist (although sometimes it did come across that way). It was more that she was used to thinking about all sides, was not as interested in the political implications, and hadn't had to go through the process of defining her positions on all the issues during the campaign process. And I agree that I liked her, but did find it annoying when Jack seemed to be the only one who was more interested in putting criminals in jail instead of philosophical debates.

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Ironically, one of the very few times Nora didn't seem too soft to me wasn't even on the Mothership. Lewin had a cameo appearance on CI's very first episode. Bobby had convinced the girlfriend of the perp he was after that she had AIDS and he and Carver mentioned letting her leave (knowing she'd go straight to the guy).

When Carver told Lewin there was no tail on Gia, Lewin asked Carver, "Do you trust his [Goren's] judgment?" After Carver said he did here, she then asked point blank, "Should I trust yours?"

She didn't pontificate about Gia or her choices or whatever as she may have on the Mothership.

I get the Mothership was maybe trying to differentiate Lewin from Schiff, but sometimes I think Nora went too far in the other direction.

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3 minutes ago, wknt3 said:

 

I think that's what they were going for. She was supposed to have had some experience as a federal prosecutor (she worked organized crime cases with Rudy) as well as being a distinguished academic. So I don't think she was supposed to be naive or a pure theorist (although sometimes it did come across that way). It was more that she was used to thinking about all sides, was not as interested in the political implications, and hadn't had to go through the process of defining her positions on all the issues during the campaign process. And I agree that I liked her, but did find it annoying when Jack seemed to be the only one who was more interested in putting criminals in jail instead of philosophical debates.

Bolding mine.  That's it exactly. The reason why I couldn't stand her in her first season, at least, was that she approached each case from a philosophical/ethical/defense attorney's view, instead of as a prosecutor or District Attorney point of view.

At least in her second and last season, she got tougher and did play the political game. I recall her approaching that one judge, played by McLarty (I'm blanking on his first name-the actor), who kept shutting Jack down for personal reasons and she told him if he didn't stop it, she herself would report and be at his judicial review to have him removed. And I remember yelling YES! Finally!

But Adam will always be my favorite. It's a well known fact I couldn't stand Branch Foghorn Leghorn. And I don't know if it was the writers, Wolf, or Fred Thompson, but during his years as DA, I could see where he bent politically, whereas, you never knew with Adam Schiff. It was always about Justice and politics with him. Like that one case, I think, "In the Half-Light", where he got all angry and pissy because in the end, no one was charged. He was shouting (in his soft voice of course!) about how "cops were named! Reputations SMEARED!" and with a "BAH" and a throw of his hand, stormed out of Ben's office. Ben smiled and looked at Paul and told him not to worry--Adam would get over it. But with Leghorn? He'd be spouting right wing rhetoric every now and then. I loved Thompson, don't get me wrong, but aside from a few moments, I detested Leghorn. Well, except when he fired Serena "Is this because I'm a Lesbian" Rhombot.

Whaaat? This is the Unpopular Thread, is it not? (So says me in using Perry Mason's words.[the last three]).

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On 8/12/2016 at 7:50 AM, 303420 said:

It's got my favorite cast! It's got the politicization of McCoy, now with extra indignance! It's got Van Buren smoking weed and the chief helping her cover it up! Cutter! Rubirosa! Cutter and Rubirosa! The gorgeous Lupo and his perfect foil in Bernard! 

Season 20 is on Ion today. I have to add to the above:

Cutter and Van Buren! Lupo and Bernard's party for Van Buren!

Aaaahhhhh I can't even. Season 20 kicks so much ass.

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I was never a fan of Adam Schiff. He seemed like a one note character.... "Make the Deal"         He was crusty and all that, but he never won me over. 

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I don't know if this is technically an unpopular opinion since I don't know the general consensus on L&O Characters. I HATE Fontana, he is (by far) my least favorite Cop Character

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He was always going to be on the negative list, I think, since he replaced Lennie and was designed as a *replacement* (older wiser cop with certain connections and a wise-ass comment all the time) and there is no replacing Jerry Orbach.  No actor and no character who were so similar in the same role would have stood a chance.

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15 hours ago, Ailianna said:

He was always going to be on the negative list, I think, since he replaced Lennie and was designed as a *replacement* (older wiser cop with certain connections and a wise-ass comment all the time) and there is no replacing Jerry Orbach.  No actor and no character who were so similar in the same role would have stood a chance.

I actually resisted watching his episodes for years for that very reason. Now I do watch them, and I must say that Fontana was pretty great. He was no Lennie, but who is? 

My favorite episode featuring Fontana was the one where the detectives found a child-killer, but Fontana had worked the case years before and had accused the father of raping and killing his daughter--essentially destroying the dad's life forever. That episode was powerful. 

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Mentioned it before, but might as well use the correct thread: I LOVE the 3-parter in season 7. Watched it again, and especially watching it coming on the heels of The People vs. O.J. Simpson, I think they did an amazing job. The story has twists and turns, and there are some references to O.J., but then it veers off entirely. I didn't like the personal story for Curtis and Lauren Graham, but I kind of loved it for Neal and Jamie. And the fact that Marcia Clark had her own custody battle...I just thought it was really clever. Is it different? Yeah, it's not "typical" Law & Order. But the acting is so good, and I think it was well-written and only predictable at the end (holding the knife on the stand -- Neal Gorton would've put an immediate stop to that!) that I do think it holds up, all these years later. I actually think it's better, all these years later -- out of the context of "this is not my weekly Law & Order" and more in the context of "the Law & Order movie event."

And you thought your opinions were unpopular!

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On 10/5/2016 at 4:57 PM, Morrigan2575 said:

I don't know if this is technically an unpopular opinion since I don't know the general consensus on L&O Characters. I HATE Fontana, he is (by far) my least favorite Cop Character

 

On 10/5/2016 at 5:44 PM, Ailianna said:

He was always going to be on the negative list, I think, since he replaced Lennie and was designed as a *replacement* (older wiser cop with certain connections and a wise-ass comment all the time) and there is no replacing Jerry Orbach.  No actor and no character who were so similar in the same role would have stood a chance.

Here's an unpopular opinion. Farina/Fontana saved the show and he deserves a lot more credit than he gets. The writing was starting to decline and the legal side of the show was as weak as ever while he was there with the Rohmbot and Borgia the non-entity. And when they did try to create a character who was totally different and younger their first try was the single most unpopular character in the history of the show and viewer reaction would have been harsher if she had to follow Lennie. I think he was a good actor and a decent character and the show could very well have been cancelled with a lesser actor or character.

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 I don't mean my comment as a criticism of Dennis Farina.  Just that he was stuck in a position where for most viewers, there was no winning for him.  If he hadn't immediately followed and replaced Lennie, I think he would be remembered much more fondly.

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Mentioned it before, but might as well use the correct thread: I LOVE the 3-parter in season 7.

I love love love the 3-parter. Always watch it when it's on.

Re Fontana - I have definitely come to appreciate him as a character. He had a good dynamic with Green and with Van Buren. And unlike some additions to the cast, Fontana actually had a distinct personality.

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I like(d) Jack McCoy so much better than Ben Stone.  Maybe it was the actor, but Ben's voice was like Bob Ross (the painter)--it could put me to sleep. 

Did not like Chris Noth.  There was a lot of press years ago about him abusing his girlfriend, Beverly Johnson, and anytime I see him in someone's face I am reminded of that.

Love(d) Lenny Briscoe and his sarcastic, down to earth ways.  My dog is named after him.

Like(d) Adam although I never saw him do much besides drink scotch and field phone calls from political types.  Read recently that the actor was the original guy in charge of Mission:  Impossible but they didn't renew his contract after the first season because his strict religious observations interfered with the filming schedule.  He had at least nine kids!

Love(d) Rey even though Lenny called him "Cardinal Curtis" and other funny names. 

Love(d) Eddie.  I don't get to see plays on Broadway.  What is Jesse up to these days?

Didn't like Serena.  Abby is just meh but it's fun to watch her expressions in the courtroom.

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1 hour ago, Ilovecomputers said:

I like(d) Jack McCoy so much better than Ben Stone.  Maybe it was the actor, but Ben's voice was like Bob Ross (the painter)--it could put me to sleep.

I agree about liking Jack more. He was a more interesting character as he was less predictable and less self-righteous.

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Love(d) Lenny Briscoe and his sarcastic, down to earth ways.  My dog is named after him.

Read the thread title - this is only for UNpopular opinions! Although to be fair I'm not sure if there is any consensus on this forum concerning L&O based pet naming...

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On 10/26/2016 at 3:03 PM, Ilovecomputers said:

Like(d) Adam although I never saw him do much besides drink scotch and field phone calls from political types.  Read recently that the actor was the original guy in charge of Mission:  Impossible but they didn't renew his contract after the first season because his strict religious observations interfered with the filming schedule.  He had at least nine kids!

In NYC though, people are very accustomed to taking into account the religious obligations of Jewish persons.  It's sad that it affected his career as it did, even in NYC.  When I was in school there, having grown up in the rather secular scheduling of the Pacific Northwest, I was stunned by the casual integration into the NYU calendar of many Jewish holidays.

From Wikipedia:

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Orthodox Judaism[edit]

Appearing in the play A Far Country in 1961 had a profound effect on Hill's later life. In one scene, a patient screams at Freud, "You are a Jew!" This caused Hill to think about his religion.[11] "In the pause that followed I would think, 'What about this?' I slowly became aware that there was something more profound going on in the world than just plays and movies and TV shows. I was provoked to explore my religion."[11] He was inspired by Rabbi Yakov Yosef Twersky (1899–1968), the late Skverrer Rebbe,[26] to adhere to strict Orthodox Judaism, observing a kosher diet, praying three times a day, wearing a tallit katan (four-cornered fringed garment) beneath his clothes, and strictly observing Shabbat.[11] This made Hill unavailable for Friday night or Saturday matinee performances, effectively ending his stage career and closing many film roles to him, most notably The Sand Pebbles.[11]

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Unpopular opinions?

I love Abbie Carmichael, love Fontana, like Cassady, never minded Serena, and hate the 3-part episode with the white hot fire of 1,000 burning suns.  The only criminal I can ever recall feeling sorry for was Lonnie in "Slave"...he was the kid sold by his mother to her drug dealer, who accidentally killed a woman.

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16 minutes ago, Marmiarmo said:

Unpopular opinions?

I love Abbie Carmichael, love Fontana, like Cassady, never minded Serena, and hate the 3-part episode with the white hot fire of 1,000 burning suns.  The only criminal I can ever recall feeling sorry for was Lonnie in "Slave"...he was the kid sold by his mother to her drug dealer, who accidentally killed a woman.

I remember that story and how utterly destroyed he was :(

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Here are my unpopular opinions, at least for this board

 

I loved Fontana, he is very underrated. Briscoe/Orbach was an irreplaceable legend, and anyone who replaced him would get backlash, but Fontana/Farina did an admirable job. He didn't try to be Lennie 2.0, he brought his own style to the show, and he was entertaining and unique, with his unknown past, fancy car and money, and frequently lying to suspects. I really enjoyed most of his episodes. 

I didn't mind Serena, she wasn't one of my favorite ADA's, but she didn't irritate me as bad as her successor Borgia. I hated Borgia, so sanctimonious and preachy, like a female Rey Curtis. Serena and Nora at the same time was too much bleeding heart softness for a DA's office for me though, it made the second half of Season 12 episodes hard to watch. 

I liked Arthur Branch. I didn't care for his political views but I like how he brought personality and spark back to the DA's chair after 2 years of the mostly dull and soft Nora Lewin. 

I liked the 3 parter in season 7. Yeah, that is a hated episode here, but I liked it. I didn't like the Rey Curtis romance subplot and I hated how the writers shoved how "attractive" His Holiness was down our throat, but other than that the episode was good, I liked being able to go more in depth into the case with 3 hours to see it, and I liked the California scenes as well, it was interesting seeing the 4 characters investigating a large portion of the case outside of NY, and especially Lennie's excitement over visiting LA was good. Also lots of memorable lines, such as McCoy's tirade against the LA judge, Lennie on the golf course and at the LA hotel, and the final lines between Schiff and McCoy were classic : Schiff : "Starts with a killing, ends with an execution. You got what you wanted. Take the rest of the week off". McCoy : "It's Friday Adam". Schiff : "So it is. See you on Monday". Classic final lines. 

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