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CSI, Law and Order, Without a Trace, etc, etc, etc, etc...

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So, NCIS now has its first spinoff - NCIS Los Angeles. I watched this the other night, mainly because of the casting of Linda Hunt. When she entered her first scene, I could not help but think of a Pixar character. I guess I wasn't the only one.

Actually, both characters appear to owe something to Edith Head.


Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

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Oh, wow! Yeah, I'd say they do. I can't count how mnay films I've seen with Edith Head costumes, yet that's the first time I've ever seen a picture of the lady herself.

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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These shows take their good versus evil stories so seriously, and yet, when I walk away I feel like I've eaten a cheap hamburger... that there's nothing there of lasting significance. In the morning, I've forgotten all about it ...

CSI: Las Vegas, CSI: New York, CSI: Miami, Law and Order, NCIS, The Closer ... forget all this crap and just watch The Wire

Seriously, turn your network cop TV show (that's just the same as the other thousands of cookie-cutter cop TV shows) OFF. Go to your local blockbuster (or misc. video store). Pay $1 for the DVD of Disc 1 of Season One of The Wire. And go back home and watch it.

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After 20 seasons, NBC cancels the original Law & Order.

Interesting to note the part of the story that Law & Order was challenging Gunsmoke as TV's longest running drama. Even had Law & Order been picked up, it would only have exceeded Gunsmoke in the number of years on air, but would have been nearly 200 episodes short of Gunsmoke's output in its 20 year run.


Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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This post on last night's Law and Order: SVU, guest-starring Isabelle Huppert... yes, that Isabelle Huppert... is hilarious.

It’s not like Huppert had the show to herself or anything: Sharon Stone’s own ongoing guest arc as assistant D.A. Jo Marlowe was nearing its own zenith as well. And when Huppert’s “French and mentally unbalanced” Sophie was accused of kidnapping her 8-year-old son in a plot to flee to China, you couldn’t help but anticipate a hardcore showdown between the two actresses. Viewers kind of got it, but as the episode spun more and more wildly out of control — [spoiler ALERT] the real abductor drives off a bridge, killing himself and the child — SVU was no longer simply Wednesday night’s ham-fisted bastion of deduction, intuition and catharsis. It was out-of-this-world melodrama.

Seriously, I cannot overstate the freakazoid batshit texture of what happened. Mostly I just need to know: Did you see what I saw? Especially at the end:

· Did Sophie really shoot Melinda Warner when her husband ducked?

· Did Stabler really crawl through an airduct to break up the Marlowe/Sophie stand-off?

· Did Marlowe really attempt to talk Sophie off the ledge by recounting her own double mastectomy that cost her her lover?

· Did the pistol-wielding Huppert really keep a straight face while delivering lines like “You can tell God — in person!” to the husband who tearfully confessed to the fatally botched kidnapping?

· Did Marlowe really offer the boy’s corpse to Sophie, like a peace offering, entreating, “Your son needs you!”

· Did I really see Michael Haneke’s favorite devastated heroine cradling and singing a French lullaby to her dead kid on a morgue floor?


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Law and Order: LA will star... Alfred Molina.

Hmmm.

The fact that this guy isn't finding more high-profile big screen roles is a shame. He deserves them. But a lead role on weekly TV is money and steady work, so... who can blame him?


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Deadline asks why TV procedurals rule the world:

For a start, procedurals are the TV equivalent of comfort food. By the end of each episode, justice is done, the disease contained, order restored. They're reassuring for viewers. Crucially for foreign audiences, the format is easy to understand. Also, there’s hardly any serial component, so shows like CSI Miami and NCIS can be viewed in any order. Go on vacation, miss a couple of episodes? No problem, nothing has changed. That’s why Blue Bloods -- a show which sounds a bit dull on paper -- does so well internationally compared to a critics’ darling such as Mad Men.

Alyssa Rosenberg at Think Progress has this to say:

There’s no denying that shows that you don’t have to make a major commitment to are very effective at gaining casual viewers, be it Ace of Cakes or Law & Order. But police and medical procedurals also are a very effective way to get American audiences to reconcile their conflicting feelings about authority. Procedurals don’t just demonstrate police or medical effectiveness within the hour; they also let audiences acknowledge that police brutality and bullying patients are bad things while making the argument that it’s worth accepting those behaviors as long as they contribute to someone ending up behind bars or not dying of an incredibly baroque disease. In that respect, procedurals are a conservative genre: they undermine arguments for reform, suggesting that reforms might upset the efficacy of the status quo. But I have no idea how those arguments play abroad, whether they’re part of the appeal of American procedurals, or a limiting factor, and what they mean for how other countries think about justice in America.

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In the interest of keeping abreast of the latest hip and trendy procedural shows, I give you:

This thing exists. Criminal Element has proof. I've no idea if it's any good, but the trailer had me cracking up--particularly the line about having a bad day.

Edited by NBooth

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Entertainment Weekly asks why every TV cop uses PowerPoint to solve crimes.

Can you imagine Andy Sipowicz sitting in a room with a bunch of CSI: Miamis, listening to a model-pretty scientist give the group a guided tour of the victim’s esophagus? No, you can’t, because Andy Sipowicz seemed like an actual cop, and most modern TV cops seem like wealthy management consultants living in a perpetual Casual Friday.

And yet, by and large, this is where most broadcast TV cops do most of their investigating. There are two ways of looking at this trend: 1) All broadcast TV shows are actually set in the future, which means that if you’re a fan of NCIS: LA or CSI: NY, then you’re actually a total nerd, you nerds. 2) The cop drama — a genre that used to value traditional All-American ideals of intelligence, perseverance, and teamwork — has now become a genre which mostly values the modern All-American ideals of “looking attractive” and “making PowerPoint presentations.” We deserve better TV cops. Or maybe we don’t.

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This isn't exactly the right thread, but it's as good as any. Poirot: The End is Near

 

Four upcoming films will mark the end of Agatha Christie’s Poirot, and see David Suchet reprise his iconic role as the world famous Belgian detective for the very last time.
 
The Big Four forms part of the thirteenth and final series, which includes Dead Man’s Folly, The Labours of Hercules and Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case. Elephants Can Remember was the first film from this final series to be broadcast in June and attracted a consolidated audience of 5.7 million viewers and a 23% share.

 

 

FWIW--and I seem to be in the minority here--I think the Poirot series has had a massive jump in quality over the past couple of series. Admittedly, my overall familiarity with the series is a bit scattered, but it seems to fall into roughly three periods: early, where the episodes were solid though not brilliant; middle (early 00s), where quality dropped precipitously; and late, where suddenly the series moves from good to breathtaking. I'm sure there's a finer example of detective television than is to be found in Three Act TragedyMurder on the Orient Express, or Third Girl, but since I've not watched Foyle's War, I'll plead the fifth. The first two, particularly, do some really interesting stuff in terms of adaptation and staging.

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