Saturday, April 19, 2008

CSI, CSI Miami, Law & Order SVU Cast Shakeups

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Fans, still reeling from the writers' strike and a stunted season for many favorite shows, now see the axes start to fall. In my opinion, some are welcome changes, some are not.

Let me get the welcome change out. Adam Beach, who plays Detective Chester Lake on Law & Order SVU, will be leaving at the end of the season. I only wish he could have already left, or maybe never even started with the show at all. This was a serious case of terrible miscasting coupled with a very poorly conceptualized and poorly written character. While Beach has done good work in other efforts (“Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”) he just did not fit here. And maybe, just maybe, Beaqch's leaving means we get more John Munch (Richard Belzer) who was horribly ignored this season.

Two changes were made that have me on the fence. The first is Diane Neal, who played ADA Casey Novak, also on Law & Order SVU. I didn’t like Diane in the role to start, and it seemed over her time with the show they tried to change her look a bit. I wasn’t sure if they were trying to harden her or soften her. Sometimes her character was there to protect the victim, sometimes she seemed to work for the defense, sometimes she just seemed downright incompetent. I think my problem was not so much with Neal as it was with Novak. But, I say this may be a good change for SVU in the long run. Let’s get a guy in there as ADA this time.

The other one where I’m on the fence is Khandi Alexander, who has played Medical Examiner Alexx Woods since the start of the show. I’ve always been put off a bit by her overly made up appearance and the sight of way too much cleavage for an ME. She seemed to tone it down a bit this season – not completely mind you but just enough to make me look at her as an actress and not just another CSI Miami piece of meat. TV Guide’s Michael Ausiello is reporting the word may be that a man may replace her. I say this is a good move for the show. The only question is how will David Caruso be able to share screen time with another man! Gasp! I will stay tuned to watch the fireworks. By the way, news reports indicate that Khandi is not leaving under happy terms.

The one that makes me sad is Gary Dourdan, from the “original recipe” CSI. I always liked Gary in his role of CSI Warrick Brown. I felt the show gave him a lot of attention in the early seasons with some great storylines, then seemed to have him fade into the background behind the omnipresent Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger). But, over the last few years Dourdan has been involved in some not so positive publicity, so I guess it’s no surprise he’s out.

Of course, quite some time ago it had been announced that Jesse L. Martin, who is Detective Ed Green on Law & Order, will serve up his last episode on April 23, and it looks like he’ll be the subject of the case. Jesse was a great find for the Law & Order franchise and he will be missed, but it sounds like he is on his way to bigger and better things, one of them the starring role in a movie about the life of Marvin Gaye, called “Sexual Healing.”

I expect that there will be more down the road. We already know that some major character from NCIS is supposed to exit the show in a dramatic fashion before this season ends. What other changes for other shows could be coming? All we can do is….stay tuned!

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Anonymous said...

Khandi leaving the show leaves a lot of open questions. If the diet-coke swilling primadonna (David Caruso) had a hand in it?

Sara said...

To the blog owner: Congrats, the first comment posted by "Anonymous" is none other than Gabriele Huber, Caruso's stalker who failed to appear for a court date on Wed. in Austria. A warrant has been issued for her arrest. In case you don't know, Gabriele has been charged with stalking and threatening to murder David Caruso. She has also threatened his 23 year old daughter and posted pornographic comments about Caruso's 2 year old toddler.

While she's on the lam armed with her laptop, she's flooding every blog, fan site and board with disparaging remarks about Caruso.

Check you site stats--she usually posts from Austria, Germany, UK, Mexico or the Dominican Republic. But those countries can change as soon as she logs onto to her proxy server.

And she'll return under a different name to respond to this comment as well. The woman has no life with the exception of bashing David Caruso 24/7.

Just me said...

Well, I know I'm going to miss Khandi Alexander. She has an unique style.

Mama Smiley said...

Please help a dedicated SVU fan who has the misfortune to live in the UK which is so far behind series wise. Can anyone tell me when Series 6 will be available in DVD box set over here?

Yours in desperation LD

I Like to Watch TV said...

Mama Smiley, I haven't been able to find anything on the UK release date. The only thing I located was its availability on ( ) and it has season 6 for UK delivery. BUT - it specifies you need a region-compatible DVD player to use it, and there may be import taxes as well.

Sorry I am not much help here, but if I do find something on it later, I will let you know.