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Season 1: Dick Wolf Gives Us NYPD's Finest

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Yeah, yeah, hokey, corny, stoopid, title, but I suck at those, so feel free to edit change, etc.

 

This is a show that premiered when I started college and made me want to work for the New York District Attorney's office, because of Michael Moriarty's Ben Stone alone.

 

Gritty storylines, that didn't shy away from showing or airing real to life language. No sheen to the look.  I fell in love with Detective Michael Logan (but that's no secret) and loved the whole cast, actually.

 

Let's talk about the first season here!

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Season 1: Episode List

 

1 Prescription for Death 1990-09-13
2 Subterranean Homeboy Blues 1990-09-20
3 The Reaper's Helper 1990-10-04
4 Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die 1990-10-11
5 Happily Ever After 1990-10-23
6 Everybody's Favorite Bagman 1990-10-30
7 By Hooker, By Crook 1990-11-13
8 Poison Ivy 1990-11-20
9 Indifference 1990-11-27
10 Prisoner of Love 1990-12-04
11 Out of the Half-Light 1990-12-11
12 Life Choice 1991-01-08
13 A Death in the Family 1991-01-15
14 The Violence of Summer 1991-02-05
15 The Torrents of Greed (1) 1991-02-12
16 The Torrents of Greed (2) 1991-02-19
17 Mushrooms 1991-02-26
18 The Secret Sharers 1991-03-12
19 The Serpent's Tooth 1991-03-19
20 The Troubles 1991-03-26
21 Sonata for a Solo Organ 1991-04-02
22 The Blue Wall 1991-06-09

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I'm not sure where to put this thought, but this thread seems as good as any.  Seeing how freaking well they did storylines with racially motivated crimes (Subterranian Homeboy Blues, Out of the Half-Light, etc) early on makes me so sad on how they bungled those same types of stories in the early to mid 2000s time period.  

 

And even though she appeared throughout the seasons, I'll throw in here that Lorraine Toussant might have been my favorite recurring defense attorney.  Not because I always agreed with her stance, but because I thought she was such a fantastic actress, and the way she and Michael Moriarity acted against each other was fabulous.  They had great acting chemistry.

 

I mentioned this in the rewatch thread, but Indifference is still one of the most disturbing, yet well acted, hours of tv I've ever seen.  

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Oooh! You've just given me the idea to create a thread for our recurring defense attorneys! Who we loved, and who we loathed. Melnick is the TOP of the LOATHE list as far as I'm concerned!

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I HATED Melnick!  Just the sound of her voice sets my teeth on edge.  I would love that thread; I have many, many thoughts on recurring defense attorneys (like how lucky Peter Herrmann is to be married to Mariska Hargitay, because the guy can't act).

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Well, I started one for the mothership! Let's go!

 

And Peter is one sexay animal. If Olivia should have shacked up with anyone, it should have been his character. But, that's a rant for the SVU thread.

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Sundance is off my dvr, because it seems they're only airing seasons 5-12, and some of three...so I've gone to WGN where season one is airing, and am watching "Subterranean Home Boy Blues" and I'm sorry, but I just don't give two figgety fucks about Laura Deeebeeeeahzeeeee and her whimpering crying ass, when she's arrested. If she didn't think she did anything wrong, then why'd she leave? Throw the gun away? Gah, I can't stand her whiny ass.

 

I really love Max here...saying how they need to follow the law, and investigate it like they would any crime, instead of letting her whiny, woe is me, don't arrest me Dibiasi ass...well, until his daughter got roughed up at school and he did a 360.

 

I don't care how unpopular or unfeminineist this is of me, but I fucking love the first season. So raw, so real, so great. Love Ben, Paul, Max, Don, and of course, one hunky, hot-tempered, Detective Michael Logan.

 

What?

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Kind of funny to see (blonde) Cynthia Nixon and Chris Noth share scenes in SHBB knowing they'd meet again in SATC just a mere 8 years later or so... As an aside, it's odd that S1 showed the episode titles for a bit before being phased out. Must've been a '70s/'80s cop show holdover thing.

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Shut the fuck up, Jack. Loved Ben's smack down to him at the end of the episode in response to his demand who was Ben to use him as a whatever it was...still watching it now, ("The Reaper's Helper"); will come back with the exact dialogue in a bit...

 

Jack Curry: "What gave you the right to use me?"

 

Ben Stone: "Unfortunately, you did. Not once, not twice, but three times."

 

Me: SUCK IT, Curry!

Edited by GHScorpiosRule
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Watching the official pilot, "Everybody's Favorite Bagman" and OH.EM.GEE! Mike/Noth looks like a veritable BABY! Then again, it was filmed in '88, aired in '90.

 

Other than not having Schiff as DA, there aren't enough words to express how much I love this episode.  And here we meet Maggie, who was mentioned in "Kiss The Girls and Watch them Die" which was two episodes before this one aired.

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Bought Season One at Barnes and Noble and it is treat. Never saw it before and I am L and W affict. Chris Noth really sounded like another person. Great trench coats from day one.

Edited by whatsatool
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Watching the official pilot, "Everybody's Favorite Bagman" and OH.EM.GEE! Mike/Noth looks like a veritable BABY! Then again, it was filmed in '88, aired in '90.

 

Other than not having Schiff as DA, there aren't enough words to express how much I love this episode.  And here we meet Maggie, who was mentioned in "Kiss The Girls and Watch them Die" which was two episodes before this one aired.

 

"Bagman" was filmed in 1988? Wow, talk about delayed airing!

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Watching the pilot "Everybody's Favorite Bagman." Can't remember the last time I saw this episode. Good Lord, Paul Robinette looks like a baby.

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.

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"Bagman" was filmed in 1988? Wow, talk about delayed airing!

Yeah-Wolf was shopping it around but no one wanted it. It's been awhile since I watched the first season interview where Wolf was talking about how they finally got the show on air.

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"Indifference" is going to be on WE in fifteen minutes. One of the greatest episodes ever.

But every time I hear "pookie", I want to puke-y.

 

Thanks for the update!  I love this episode, especially since we get more insight into Mike's personal life.

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Oooh! Some really good episodes tonight! I really thought "In The Hall Light" should have aired last night only because of Paul's awesome line about Marin Luther King, Jr. since yesterday was his holiday. But it loses some of the impact because WE is one of the channels that bleeps out words, and the use of the N-word here was not egregious. If TNT was airing it, there would be no bleeping.

Edited by GHScorpiosRule

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The stone-faced contempt on Mike's face when dealing with Carla Lowenstein was so brilliant.

God, that bitch...the first TV show that proved not all battered women are sympathetic. The way she shot fuck-me eyes at her husband during the trial made me sick. I wanted to slap her ugly face SO BAD. There were moments that you could see even Shambala Green was disgusted by her. I still can't believe she wound up getting released and teaching kindergarten in the follow-up episode years later. No therapy in the world would EVER make it okay for that you-know-what to be anywhere near kids!!!!!!!!

And Dr. Lowenstein truly was "beyond contempt". The way he whined to the judge about how he lost his family...Ben was right, put them on a wheel and annihilate them

Edited by Spartan Girl
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The stone-faced contempt on Mike's face when dealing with Carla Lowenstein was so brilliant.

God, that bitch...the first TV show that proved not all battered women are sympathetic. The way she shot fuck-me eyes at her husband during the trial made me sick. I wanted to slap her ugly face SO BAD. There were moments that you could see even Shambala Green was disgusted by her. I still can't believe she wound up getting released and teaching kindergarten in the follow-up episode years later. No therapy in the world would EVER make it okay for that you-know-what to be anywhere near kids!!!!!!!!

And Dr. Lowenstein truly was "beyond contempt". The way he whined to the judge about how he lost his family...Ben was right, put them on a wheel and annihilate them

 

Thank you. The follow up disturbed me when I saw Carla Lowenstein was working around kids! Yes, she was on coke and was abused. But a crime of that magnitude? No way to being near children.

 

And I HATE it was never addressed - besides a screw up on the part of TPTB - as to why Jacob Lowenstein was out when he was. The judge said 25 years to life. That would have been 2015, NOT 2005.

 

Sadder still to know - as we know by the ending disclaimer - this was based on a very real case.

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"In The Half Light" was based on the Tawana Brawley case. It was all over the news here in 1987. Only to discover she lied. I recall the real case was her accusing cops or something.

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"Life Choice" is on! I absofuckinglove Ben's last line to Rose Schimmer:
 
"If abortion is murder, then no matter how you feel about Mary Donovan, aren't you guilty of the murder of her unborn child?"

I was like, "Oh SNAP!"



"In The Half Light" was based on the Tawana Brawley case. It was all over the news here in 1987. Only to discover she lied. I recall the real case was her accusing cops or something.

 
Yes, it was a hoax, and yes, the "victim" accused cops;

 

And then this line from Paul to Eaton from "In the Half Light":
 
"Paraphrasing Martin Luther King’s thoughts won’t lend credence to yours. King walked with the angels...you slide in slime on your belly to get what you want."
 
I LOVE this Paul! This was the REAL Paul!

Edited by GHScorpiosRule
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Plastic hair clips! Scrunchies! Big hair! 1990 L&O really was a microcosm of '90s fads/last of the '80s holdovers as most early '90s shows were.  :-)

 

Even some of the musical cues in the early episodes seemed more '80s-like than '90s.

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I love Max. But he can be a TOTAL ARSEHOLE. Like he was in "Life Choice" and "Prisoner of Love."

 

But I really hated his attude in "Life Choice."  The way he kept trying to justify the anti-abortionists' actions of bombing clinics, which led to his hypocritical statements how teens shouldn't be having sex, blah, blah, blah, to Michael. And I fucking LOVE this exchange between them, and how it shuts Max right up, but good:

 

"Okay, Don Juan. Any of your girlfriends ever have an abortion?"

 

"One ex-girlfriend, who's now married with two kids. Neither of them mine."

 

Me: On SNAP!!!!

Edited by GHScorpiosRule

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"Indifference" aired on WGN Monday!

 

I have to roll my eyes that this network and all networks NOT TNT will air men moaning and groaning at Lowenstein's office, but will bleep/silence out the woman with Lowenstein.

 

Some really good lines in this episode.

 

"Are you in charge of this ape?"

 

Max looks over at Mike.

 

"My cross to bear."

 

I'll post the other two, which I find really good over in the quotes thread.

Edited by GHScorpiosRule

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I am watching Subterranean Homeboy Blues, which I hadn't seen in years, on Sundance right now. This is pretty much what happened.

 

"I know the woman who is playing the accused. I know I know her. Why do I know her?"

 

*does some fast Googling*

 

"Holy shit, that's Janis Donovan.....I mean....Cynthia Nixon."

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Yeah, Cynthia Nixon. And how funny she shares scenes with Chris Noth's Mike Logan...only to reunite 8 years later as Miranda Hobbes and Mr. Big on Sex And The City.

 

Nixon was on all 3 L&O incarnations. The casting director must have loved her.

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So, The Serpent's Tooth" and "Troubles" aired over the weekend. I love "Troubles.". I really, really do! But damned if fucking WGN didn't go crazy bleeping out what they see as "offensive" words. It wasn't the N-word. Now I have to go back and watch on my dvd to figure out which words they bleeped. Probably derogatory terms for the Irish? Middle Eastern? Mexicans? GAH!

 

My favorite part though, is when Stone brings in the woman, who Anthony Heald's character, who was IRA, had murdered.  How he took her hands and squeezed them after her testimony, puts on his spectacles and says "There's your human error."

 

OH SNAP!!!

 

But at the same time, I'm sad, because this was George Dzunda's last episode.  Pity.

 

And though "The Serpent's Tooth" was totally a rip-off of the Menendez brothers, and  they did get a mention by Cragen, it is one of my favorite episodes. Hell, I don't think there's an episode in the first season that I don't like or love.

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WE's airing the first season right now. I haven't seen most of these shows since A&E aired them so I've forgotten alot. Right now I'm watching, "Everyone's Favorite Bagman". How long was Alfred Wentworth D.A. before Adam Schiff appeared?

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Aww, John Spencer on "Prescription For Death". He was a great actor. As for Wentworth, I think he lasted only as far as the "Bagman" pilot went. So not long.

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Aww, John Spencer on "Prescription For Death". He was a great actor. As for Wentworth, I think he lasted only as far as the "Bagman" pilot went. So not long.

Ah. Thanks. That explains the set. Silly me didn't read the previous comments above. Would've answered my own question. :)

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WE's airing the first season right now. I haven't seen most of these shows since A&E aired them so I've forgotten alot. Right now I'm watching, "Everyone's Favorite Bagman". How long was Alfred Wentworth D.A. before Adam Schiff appeared?

This was the unofficial pilot. You'll notice that Max has more hair and he's thinner. It wa filmed in 1988, and Wilf spent two years pitching the show before NBC finally picked it up.

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This was the unofficial pilot. You'll notice that Max has more hair and he's thinner. It wa filmed in 1988, and Wilf spent two years pitching the show before NBC finally picked it up.

Yeah it's probably best to think of this as kind of a glimpse of a L&O alternative universe. If it wasn't Dick Wolf it probably would never have aired since it's so obviously not in continuity. Today it would probably be a DVD bonus feature but back then the only way to make money from it was to put it on the air.

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Attention, GHSR!

 

Indifference will be airing at six PM on Tuesday evening on the WE network. If you are already in possession of this information, you can disregard this. If you are not, you can thank me after you return to your usual upright position. ;-)

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I'm not GHSR (well, duh, right?), but I also thank you for the "Indifference" info, Cobalt Stargazer! (As an aside, besides the episode itself, the postscript at the end detailing the outcome of the very real and horrifying Lisa Steinberg case always makes me sad.)

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Attention, GHSR!

 

Indifference will be airing at six PM on Tuesday evening on the WE network. If you are already in possession of this information, you can disregard this. If you are not, you can thank me after you return to your usual upright position. ;-)

 

 

Thanks Cobalt! I just hope they don't bleep or edit out any language that they deem is unfit, which would be so hypocritical because of the kind of reality shows that network airs.  I have to remember to dvr it tonight since I have a class tomorrow night.

 

That scene where Mike tells Max about his abusive mother. LOVE it. I wonder if Noth ever submitted that for an Emmy? It was so subtle and didn't hit you over the head with Mike's Mommy Issues.

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Just saw Indifference on WE. Damn. Very powerful show. They really didn't make shows like these in the later seasons. It was definitely Emmy worthy. Very sickening this was loosely based on a real story

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That scene where Mike tells Max about his abusive mother. LOVE it. I wonder if Noth ever submitted that for an Emmy? It was so subtle and didn't hit you over the head with Mike's Mommy Issues.

 

I checked Noth's IMDB entry, and surprisingly he has no awards to his name, although he's been nominated a handful of times for his TV work. He's never been up for an Emmy at all.

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Just finished watching Mushrooms, and cognitive dissonance abounds. Not only was the mother of the young victims played by S. Epatha Merkerson, but the drug dealer who was responsible for setting up the botched hit was portrayed by James McDaniel, who would later show up on NYPD Blue as Lieutenant Arthur Fancy. I know that Van Buren and Paul Robinette met later, but it's still very weird to see Merkerson standing next to Brooks as Not!Van Buren, especially since she only comes up to his shoulder. Also, Richard Brooks appeared on The Good Wife this past February, in one of Chris Noth's episodes, bringing it full circle.

 

"What about the boy who actually pulled the trigger? He'll be out in seven years. My baby would have been eight by then. Would you be satisfied?"

 

Ouch.

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I felt some sympathy for him not being able to read.

 

Thing is, for me that just makes it even worse. Like Indifference, there are so many people who were reponsible by proxy for what happened in Mushrooms that it would have been impossible to cast a net wide enough to catch them all. Whether you blame the developer's greed, the dealer's willingness to get a child to do his dirty work, the kid's parents for not monitoring the boy much more closely, the schools for not teaching him to read, or society in general, the kid was the one who cost a baby the chance to grow up and put another kid in a wheelchair for life, and they still had to charge him as a juvenile because of his age. And all because he wanted some street cred or something equally stupid.

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Also, Richard Brooks appeared on The Good Wife this past February, in one of Chris Noth's episodes, bringing it full circle.

 

Whuuut? I gave up on that show two seasons ago.  Just tell me that Robinette Brooks and Logan Noth share screen time together and I may hunt up that episode to watch it. Otherwise, I won't bother. What would be the point if they're not sharing scenes, you know?

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GHSR, here is a link to the episode:

 

 

I can't recall if Noth and Brooks shared scenes or not, and I erased the ep from the DVR to make room for other things shortly after I watched it. Putlocker is an awesome site, just in case you've never heard of it, btw. They do not, however, have any of the Mothership on it. *sulk*

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