We Submit to the Jury, Why Law & Order Rules:

The Show is the single largest employer of out-of-work actors in New York City.

A recent New York Times article exposed the reason behind a million double takes on the streets of New York. Yes, that is the victim's brother from last night's Law & Order serving you coffee. On the way to fame and fortune, Law & Order is a requisite step to recognition. To wit, every actor on Broadway, almost, has a Law & Order credit.

If you think I'm kidding, go to the Law & Order Repeat Offenders page: http://members.tripod.com

Unlike the rest of Hollywood, Law & Order loves the oldies.

It is a pleasure to see older actors given the opportunity to shine again in juicy dramatic roles—Beverly D'Angelo playing a lawyer, Tovah Feldshuh in reoccurring appearances as a criminal defense lawyer, Donna Hanover as a judge, even Fran Liebowitz cracking one-liners from the bench. And, to have talented old-school actors as regular cast members namely Dianne Wiest, Jerry Orbach, and Sam Waterston, shows that age really does matter.

The show's formula is so formulaic it seems fresh.

Dick Wolf, Law & Order's exec producer, has said that he wants every episode of Law & Order to be timeless. That means no matter if you are watching a 10-year-old rerun on TNT, or a brand new episode, everything will be magically similar. The actors might be different, but the timing and progression of the show will stay the same. It's the same trick the Catholic Church and McDonald's use to maintain stability in the free world. No matter where you go, there you are.

Mr. Big in re-runs.

A few years ago, I was buying tickets for Cabaret at the old Studio 54 and turned the corner on Broadway and literally bumped into Chris Noth. Now, granted, it seems that Mr. Big, the character he plays on Sex & The City is consistently "bumping into" Carrie, so I shouldn't be surprised. Or should I?

Back in the early days of Law & Order, Noth played tough Irish detective Michael Logan, and I thought back then that it would be his break-out role. I had to wait a few years until Sex producers expertly cast him as Mr. Big so he could show his big guy sexy side.

And he is a very big man (mind out of gutter)—when I bumped into him, I think my forehead smudged the middle of his tie. He apologized and kept walking. Sigh.

Interesting stories never stoop to the gross-outs found on Law & Order: SVU.

Very seldom do the stories on Law & Order mirror the real world as much as the "ripped from the headlines" sensational tales found on SVU or even Criminal Intent. Sometimes I wonder if SVU remembers that this is network TV, not HBO. Geez! Clean it up folks!

Briscoe's one-liners.

The first five minutes of Law & Order (aka the body discovery segment) must contain one flippant remark by Det. Briscoe, played by Jerry Orbach. Example:

Good Cop: The guy came running out like a bat outta H-E-double-hockey-sticks!
Det. Briscoe: What precinct are you from, Sesame Street?

It is a moment of levity that is always met in our house by cheers of "Orbach! Orbach!"

-Alisa Welch

Features: Interview: Ann Rule | Interview: Texas Justice | Law and Order | Kid Fears | What You Should Know The Next Time You're Arrested |Vacation: Alcatraz | Murdered Denizens of Green-wood Cemetery | Quiz: Are You A Criminal? | Photo Gallery: Crime Scenes Before and After | BONUS: Stupid Laws | Crime: That's Entertainment!

In Every Issue: Miss Lonelyhearts | Criminally Bad Fashion | Calendar | Letters To The Editors | Crime Links | annabelle store & The Pencil of The Month Club | About Us | Submissions

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