Friday, January 11, 2008

Criminal Intent: The Pick of the Law & Order Litter?

I’ve been a faithful Law & Order Criminal Intent watcher since day one. I’ve always liked the show, despite some bad times. Remember when Goren (Vincent’D’Onofrio) was partnered with Detective Bishop (Samantha Buck)? OK, I think many of us just want to have those episodes permanently wiped from our memories.

Criminal Intent has always been the cerebral Law & Order. D’Onofrio is the perfect fit to play Goren, since D’Onofrio does quirky and mentally unbalanced better than anybody else. Even with the changes a few years back with adding another pair of detectives – Mike Logan (Chris Noth) and his partner du jour – the show has continued to deliver interesting stories. In fact, I think adding Chris Noth to the cast has recharged the show. In all honesty, I was getting a little tired of Goren. It seemed as they continued to focus more on Goren’s personal issues, I became less interested in him. I prefer a little more mystery with my Law & Order characters. Now that he’s not on every week I like the show more.

I admit I was initially disappointed when they moved the show to USA, partly because I don’t get USA in HD, and partly because I thought USA would let the quality of the show slide. I continued to watch it, though, and am happy that it seems to have found life on USA, and the quality and the feel of the show has actually improved. With NBC now re-airing those first-run USA episodes, I’m going to watch them again.

After watching the first three episodes of this season’s Law & Order, I’m not happy with what I’ve seen. It’s one thing to introduce new characters, but at the same time the show seems different in subtle things like its camera work, weak dialog, flimsy stories, and we’re getting too much personal information on the characters. And the drama is absent. I’m also very disappointed in SVU because the whole chemistry of the cast is off and the story lines are flat. And then there’s Adam Beach (I shuddered as I wrote that).

Criminal Intent may actually be the best show of the franchise right now, with interesting actors and interesting plots, and overall good cast chemistry.

I do have some hang-ups with Criminal Intent. For starters: that horrid introduction music, which I think was taken directly from the failed Law & Order Trial By Jury. It just doesn’t fit the feel of Criminal Intent. And I still miss Captain Deakins (Jamey Sheridan). I can’t warm up to Captain Ross (Eric Bogosian), who seems a little too wooden for my tastes. And I also hope that Alicia Witt is a short-timer because she’s just plain annoying. But I can look past those things, as long as the stories, and the rest of the cast continues to deliver.

So if you haven’t checked out Law & Order Criminal Intent since it moved to USA, give it a try now that it’s re-airing on NBC Wednesdays at 9:00 ET. It would be criminal to miss it.

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Sharpei said...

I love USA! It's one of the best networks, and I was happy that they moved it to USA, because it's just easier to remember. I totally agree w/ you on Alicia Witt. I hate her character.

Anonymous said...

I liked when my Vincent and Chris Noth worked together in that wonderful two part episode concerning the judge and his son were suspected of covering up the crime of rape and murder of a young stupid teenager.

I also liked the episode(with Sanabtha Buck) when they investigated that series of murders on a small island just of the mainland of NYC.

I would love it if they would team up the buys one episode, then the female detectives in another, and then also alternate the ttwo teams as usual.

Since they are also delving into Goren's life, why not have him go on a drunk with Mike Logan as they commiserate about their terrible childhoods?

Bobby needs someone to talk with that understands, and has been there!

Anonymous said...

I love CI, always have, even during the Buck eps. This show always struck me as the more personal, more intimate show. It's less "high, phony drama" than SVU (if I have to endure another Stabler/Benson family crisis--I'll scream). It's more together and tighter.

As for the mothership...I fall in the I love this season camp. My husband was impressed by the new season as well. I've noticed that it's either I hate it, can't stand it, wish it were like the "glory years" or this is the best it's been since the "glory years". I'm just glad I have Sam and Epatha to enjoy.