I was watching the Law & Order series finale. It was a pretty intense episode, about a blog that posts threats of shooting up a school. I thought the twist was pretty neat-o for Law & Order, and I was certainly tense at the end. The NYTimes has a good write-up
of it, and I agree that the Department of Ed. and teachers' unions probably won't be pleased by how they were presented - on the other hand, I also thought the episode was a little too soft on teachers as the totally innocent victims of crazy, lying, psychopathic teenagers. I mean, in the context of things like this
. I know some children can be cruel, but...
Jesus Christ, all I talk about is educational administration. I'm sorry.
Anyway, I thought the NYTimes dude had some good points to make about L&O: The Original Series:
The acting on “Law & Order” in recent seasons has been at a level far above that on “Lost” and “24,” shows often singled out for their performances. More mystifying — or galling — has been reading the weepy comments about how much the complex characters of “Lost” will be missed. Elaborate back stories don’t make characters any less two-dimensional. The police and prosecutors of “Law & Order” may have spent most of their time in dingy offices and had no personal lives to speak of, but we’ll likely miss them more in the long run than the hothouse heroes of those other shows. That’s what happens when you focus on the writing and the acting for, say, 20 years.
That's of course subject to taste. I also liked this commentator ACW's comment:
What made L&O work was that for the most part it was NOT about the characters. With the notable exception of Lenny Briscoe, with his past drinking problem and his bitter and eventually doomed daughter, L&O episodes mostly kept out of the personal lives of the characters and concentrated on the cases and the issues they raised.
This is as it should be; when you are at work, do you spend all your time, as it often seems in other shows, swapping witty banter and/or intimate bodily fluids with your co-workers? (That is, between fist-fights and shoot-outs.)... Which is not to say the characters were stick figures. The actors fleshed out the characters by inhabiting them, and their performances told us more, subtly, about the characters than any expository dialogue could - which made them real, and which also explored the issues by portraying plausible reactions by intelligent people.
Best scene of the episode though was definitely Jack McCoy putting the beatdown on the teachers' union rep. Not because it was the teachers' union rep so much as because Jack ends up screaming in righteous rage, and Jack has always been my favorite character. Totally not ashamed to say that Jack/Sam Waterston's politics MAY have played a role in influencing mine, at least in high school. The courtroom scenes that stick with me the most are from "Gunshow" and "Vaya Con Dios," neither of which appear on the internet. But have this one:
It's like a combined
Fuck Yeah! and Fuck You! moment. Anyway, Jack is awesome