You wanna know what, given how much I love television, it’s a little weird that I’ve never written about?
Law and Order.
Seriously, I’ve never written about it. Not here, not on my old blog. (Popgirl Lives! It wasn’t great…sometimes it was OK, but not usually.) So I’m taking a two part look at Law and Order (The original, while I have grown to love SVU out of necessity, I’m still not around to Criminal Intent, and the less said about Trial By Jury the better.)
As we all know, in the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups, the police who investigate crime, and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders. These are the police.
There were many Law and Order detectives over the years. I mean, the show ran for twenty years, and there were just so many. Here are my favorites:
Detective Mike Logan (Chris Noth)
Frankly, the only thing I remember about Detective Mike Logan was that he was kind of a hothead, and that he was possibly more sarcastic than Lenny Briscoe. Also, while he and Rey Curtis (Benjamin Bratt) were together they were the handsomest cops in all the land.
Detective Rey Curtis Benjamin Bratt
I love Benjamin Bratt, and Rey is a big reason why. I loved him. I loved his flaws, I loved the way he tried to save his marriage after he had an affair. I loved how dedicated he was to his daughters, I loved how he acted with Lenny (I bring up Lenny a lot, he was the best, but we’ll get there, oh we will get there!). Yes, they weren’t quite the dream team, but that doesn’t matter.
Lieutenant Anita VanBuren (S. Epatha Merkerson)
My cultural feminist heart loves everything about Lieutenant VanBuren, as does, well, everything. Here was a woman of color, who was in charge and unapologetic about it, but it was also never a thing. If there were more characters like Anita on TV, well, there aren’t and that’s the point right? Anyway, she was great, and I always loved when she stepped in on interrogations and got EXACTLY WHAT THE INVESTIGATION NEEDED out of the suspect.
The Dream Team: Detectives Lenny Briscoe and Ed Green (Jerry Orbach and Jesse L. Martin)
I could talk about their amazing chemistry. I could talk about how they were both played by Broadway veterans. (The year that Jerry Orbach died, Martin paid tribute to him at the Tony Awards by singing “Razzle Dazzle” from Chicago, everyone cried.) I could talk about how Lenny Briscoe is one of the greatest characters in the history of TV (right behind Hawkeye and President Bartlett.) I could talk about how the two of them were consistently the best part of the show for years, even when the show was at it’s best. But you know all of that. Because, really, who hasn’t sat around in their PJ’s all day watching Law and Order reruns at one time or another? Who doesn’t know that Briscoe and Green were the best of everything? If you don’t know that, or don’t think that, then go back to wherever you came from, because you are clearly not an American.
Coming on Friday: The District Attorneys Who Prosecute the Offenders. Who do I prefer? Claire or Abbie (The answer may surprise you!) and why Jack McCoy is the perfect man!