LO:LA - Disgusted

Monday, April 11, 2011

LO:LA - Disgusted

One of my biggest irks at the end of last year's TV season was the news that NBC was cancel­ing the original "Law & Order" series one shy of what would have been it's record-setting1 21st season.

(Wha-at? Would the Baltimore Orioles have sat Cal Ripkin Jr. out on September 6, 1995 so he and Lou Gehrig would re­main tied in the record books for Consec­utive Games Played?)

Even more annoying was the news that the peacock was adding a new "L&O" to its Fall schedule: "Law & Order: Los Angeles."

Dutifully, I watched the debut of "LO:LA".

It was awful and went right to the bottom of the list, in terms of quality, of all the "L&O" series... six, at last count, and the only one I haven't seen is the UK-based show.

And while the only one I stayed with was the original... though I kinda liked the short-lived "Trial by Jury" spin-off... I was incredulous that series creator Dick Wolf would lend his name to something so b-a-d!

I kept watching... and it kept getting worse!

The writing was bad, the casting seemed more like a fire sale at William Morris Agency, and only Terrence Howard2 showed to any advan­tage... and a marginal one at that.

(And Skeet Ulrich? His career peaked in 1996 with Scream... when he was 25!)

NBC tried a number of things to get the show going, even crossing several characters over to Wolf's current longevity king, "L&O: SVU" in the vain hope that some of that audience might followed them back to "LO:LA."

It didn't work, and without much fuss, it simply disappeared from the peacock's schedule aside from sporadic re-runs.

Then last month, came the big announcement: the series was being "re-booted," which is digital tech-speak for holding down the ctrl + alt + delete buttons all at once and hoping one's computer will restart from a frozen state.

The "re-boot" launched at 9:00 pm this even­ing, and by 9:32 pm, it was apparent that NBC should've simply pulled the plug in December.

Ulrich and some others have been given the boot, Alfred Molina's character has been bust­ed (by the writers) from an Assistant District Attorney back to LAPD Detective (don't ask!) and other tweaks have been applied.

Even the addition of Alana De La Garza to reprise her role of "A.D.A. Connie Rubirosa" from the final four seasons of flagship "L&O," while welcomed, felt more like a stunt.

But I have a terrific idea for NBC!

Get down on your corporate knees and beg Wolf to get on the 'phone with Sam Waterston, Jeremy Sisto, Anthony Anderson, S. Epatha Merkerson, De La Garza and Leslie Hendrix ("M.E. Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers")... they could lose Linus Roache as "Executive A.D.A. Michael Cutter"... to reassemble in Manhattan, and get on with a 21st season of "L&O."

Hell, I still tape re-runs five afternoons a week on cable TNT... third or fourth viewings are still superior to most of what's on network TV now.

C'mon, you clowns at 30 Rockefeller Center, suck it up and do it... you know you want to, and now you know the truth, you need to!

This has been a lousy season for network TV, especially for NBC! Bring back"L&O!"

Your jobs may depend on it!

Notes
  1. It remains tied at 20 seasons with CBS' "Gunsmoke" for longest-running prime-time TV series.
  2. He apparently decided to drop the "Terrence Dashon Howard" billing several years ago.

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