Saturday, January 5, 2008

What I'm Watching: Law & Order (Season Premiere)

Law & Order: Season 18, Episodes 1 &2 "Called Home" & "Darkness" (B-)

It is hard to believe, but I had never actually watched a full episode of the original "Law & Order" series before this. I had seen a couple "Criminal Intent" installments, some with Vincent D'Onofrio, and another when I heard that Annabella Sciorra was joining the cast (what a disappointment that turned out to be). Additionally, I watched the past two Emmy-submitted episodes of "SVU" for Mariska Hargitay. But the original eluded me. What better time to start than when the strike is keeping basically every other show off the air?

The two episodes both had their merits, and I was half-invested in each of the cases. I could use a bit more dynamism from the central cast members. The addition of Jeremy Sisto to the cast is pretty much unexplained and he is one of the blandest characters I have seen in a while, in stark contrast to his vivid portrayal of the often psychotic Billy on "Six Feet Under". Jesse L. Martin and S. Epatha Merkerson seem jaded and generally uninterested. Sam Waterston grumbles like an old man while constantly chastising the hotheaded executive assistant D.A. played by Linus Roache. Roache is by far the least appealing character on the show, constantly glued to his cell phone and just generally obnoxious. The only one I find remotely interesting or alive is Alana De La Garza as the assistant D.A. The show's procedural nature hardly helps matters. In any other season, this show would be quick to be dropped off my list. But after a quick look, I realize that there is absolutely no television I will be watching on Wednesday nights any time in January so this looks like my default Wednesday night show for the next few weeks, if it holds my interest.

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