Friday, February 8, 2008

Law & Order: The Drama Is Back!

On January 3, I wrote in this blog that I was on the fence about Law & Order, after the show’s lackluster season premier.

This week, I’ve jumped off that fence and onto the side that is very happy with the last few episodes (Bottomless, Driven, Political Animal, Quit Claim).

Why the change of heart? The show finally got away from the personal baggage of Detective Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto), and also seemed to get back on formula. There’s nothing wrong with shaking things up a bit, but the first few episodes of the new series seemed to be too much of an earthquake.

In the last few episodes, we’ve seen Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) become very comfortable in his job. In fact, I think that they’ve set up the situations and dialog for McCoy so that it seems like he’s an improved version of his old self. EADA Cutter (Linus Roache) seems to have found his balance, and ADA Rubirosa (Alana De La Garza) seems to have softened her look but at the same time gotten more confidence and resolve. In fact, her character is probably the one where I am most happy with her transformation.

Lupo and Green (Jesse Martin) now seem like very comfortable partners, and Green seems much more “in charge” and in control, which is what I expect him to be as the more senior partner. Van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson) has been given a little more screen time and involvement, and it has real purpose, it’s not just gratuitous appearances.

But even better are the story lines. Yes, we did have the huge red herring with “Political Animal” with the pseudo-Larry Craig scenario that we could have done without. But the subsequent story was compelling enough to make up for it. For the most part, the stories in the last few episodes have actually been interesting and felt new and different.

So I’m glad that the show is back, and I hope the trend continues, because sitting on the fence is not something that I like to do. Especially for my favorite show.

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