Monday, May 22, 2006

Goodbye, Annie

So Law & Order killed off Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Borgia (Annie Parisse) last week.

She was one of my favorite assistants - she actually looked like a New York lawyer to me. Hyper, sleep deprived, intellectually curious. I don't know that they gave her much of a character, but she was a huge step up from Elizabeth "did you fire me because I'm a lesbian?" Rohm.

I'd love to see Jesse L. Martin disappear (Michael Imperioli needs a regular gig now), but the real problem is Sam Watterston's Jack McCoy. He had a good run, and for a while I liked him better than Michael Moriarty's Ben Stone. I've since switched allegiances, mostly as McCoy's throat wobbling self righteousness has grown increasingly stale. Stone was a more internal creature, harder to read, but ultimately more interesting.

And, of course, no one has been able to step into the shoes of Stephen Hill's Adam Schiff. Please make Fred Thompson's Arthur Branch a lesbian and replace him with Yaphet Kotto. Or maybe Roy Scheider.

Dennis Farina, while mildly disapointing, cuts the right figure and could flourish - epecially if paired with Imperioli.

So, should McCoy be replaced? Who should take his place?

Alan Alda? Peter Coyote? Mark Harmon? David Morse?


  1. Okay, I'll bite (and you said lessons in rhetoric were off-topic!):
    It seems to me that the series itself should go gay and go away. The list of actors you name (perhaps intentionally) illustrates the scarcity of people who might be able to bring L&O back to its glory days.

    I am, by the bye, happy to have company in my Moriarty fan-club; I never could fully accept the move from Moriarty's understated conviction that law is worth upholding to Watterston's bluster.

    New York itself, for better or worse, has become too much of a theme park to remain convincing as a back-drop for a crime drama; the replacement of Jerry Orbach's hang-dog cool with Farina's tailored suits makes the point better than I could hope to. . . .

  2. I will repeat: my rhetoric comments were a joke. All is off topic in the offseason.

  3. I will clarify: my rhetorical comments about your rhetoric comments were themselves in jest.

  4. I find it best to leave humor aside when talking about a 16 year old tv show on a college basketball blog.

    Okay if you had to chuck Farina and his fancy duds, who do you bring in? Scott Glenn in short sleeves?

    Who's the new mccoy?

    Mandy Patinkin? Oliver Platt?

    Is it time for Jimmy Smits to hop onto another long running tv show? (l.a. law, nypd blue, west wing)

    Actually, the scenery chewing Bruce McGill would be great as either a cop or a prosectuor.

  5. I didn't know anybody still watched that show.

    Jill Hennessey was definitely my favorite assistant. ;)

  6. I do still watch sometimes, and I saw that episode last week. I don't know if I liked Borgia as much as CR did, but I didn't like how cruelly they dispatched her, showing the corpse and all. Did the writers have it in for her or what?

    She was the best ADA since Carrie Lowell, who was my fave. Still, I don't know if Lowell was the best on her own merits or if it was just that the writing peaked during her era.

    The problem isn't really the cast members; Farina, Senator Fred, Jesse Martin, etc. would all be fine if they had good lines to say, but the writing has been mediocre for several years.

    The writing is also the reason I still prefer Waterston to Moriarty. Both characters were self-righteous, as I'd imagine a DA would have to be in spades. But McCoy has also shown flashes of arrogance, duplicity, even lust. Ben Stone was a choir boy up until his great final episode.

    Peter Coyote! Nice.

  7. yes, the writing is a problem. I caught most of a rerun this weekend from what was probably A. Harmon's first season (Bratt was on hand) and the writing was noticeably sharper.