A break from the political

I was watching an episode of Law and Order last night, as is my routine — something about it comforts me, even when Sam Waterston is yelling — and I thought, “This time, they’ve just gone too far.”  While they often play fast and loose with the law (I think the police portion is the better part of the show), this was just over the top.  I missed the very beginning, but it seems a doctor had been murdered, but the police had figured out that it had been a mistake; the killer had meant to kill a different doctor.  Eventually this leads them to South Carolina and they discover that the intended doctor target had executed — by administering a lethal injection — prisoners who’d been sentenced to death.  So, they gathered, the doctor must have pissed off the family of one of these prisoners.  They somehow figure out the culpable one, but the doctor won’t admit that he’s an executioner since it’s not something that people often brag about and apparently there are (understandably) confidentiality rules in place to protect the identity of those who administer the injections.  Well, this is clearly a problem because now they can’t link the killer to the doctor, or at least not convincingly so.  They need his testimony!  So, what do they do?  Duh!  Obviously they charge him — in New York — with illegally adminstering injections — in South Carolina — because … ?  Oh, right, because the U.S. Supreme Court had not yet ruled on the prisoners’ petitions for certiorari review, so carrying out the death sentence was premature.  WHAT?  I don’t think it takes a lawyer to figure out that that charge makes absolutely no sense.  Putting aside the obvious jurisdictional issue (which the show shirked by hanging its jurisdiction on the doctor’s license; espcially odd since they had made an earlier point that South Carolina doesn’t require its executioners to be doctors), what kind of crime is it to administer the lethal injection when the Supreme Court hasn’t finished its review?  I mean, sure, it’s completely wrong and it’s a slap in the face of the judicial system.  But where does this crime fit into the New York penal code?  Or, maybe the better question is, where in the world would NYC get its standing to bring such a charge?  Argh, it was so ridiculously bogus even I had to question the comfort I take in watching the show.

Which brings me to my next point.  This episode — on TNT, of course — was followed by a rerun of The Closer, the new-ish cop show with Kyra Sedgwick.  I’ve heard people talking smack about this show, but I don’t understand why.  I’m coming out of the closet on this: I think the show is really good.  I love that it’s actually a cop show.  The only real story we get aside from the crime at issue is about the main character, Deputy Chief Brenda Lee Johnson (she introduces herself, I’d say, several times an episode).  I think this is good.  I don’t want to know about every cop’s home life.  I think that that’s the quickest way to turn a cop show into a soap opera, ala NYPD Blue.  Obviously, some like the soap opera-esque shows — I know I do at times — but I also want some cop shows to be cop shows.  And I really think The Closer is.  The show focuses on a crime and the solving of it, which is mainly done by detailed police work + getting the culprit to confess, which is a pretty realistic take on the job, as far as I can tell.  Confessions really make things easier for prosecutors.  Generally.  Anyway, the other aspect I really like about it is that it features a really strong woman as the lead, who is frequently viewed as — if not outright called — a bitch.  I love it!  It’s so spot-on.  She’s not, of course, but because she’s unapologetically (despite her often saying, in her sing song-y way, that she’s so sorry) demanding and a woman, she’s often seen as such.  There’s something about this latter element that strikes me as really rare in television that I just relish it.

Ok, lay into me.  Tell me why you hate it.

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20 Responses to “A break from the political”


  1. 1 Kristin October 7, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Well, I don’t like Law & Order, so I don’t need to comment on that portion of your post. I did watch the Vincent D’Onofrio version for awhile because I heart him, but I got bored of that too. I really just dislike cop and lawyer shows in general.

    So why am I raining on the parade and commenting here? Because my mother loves The Closer like nobody’s business and talks to me about it ALL THE TIME. She loves it. That and Mad Men are the best shows on TV according to her. So even though I don’t watch it (The Closer) I feel like I do sort of. I know bits and pieces about it and it sounds fab. And I have always loved that Kyra Sedgewick.

    That is all. I don’t have a fave show as I am lame and only watch PR and election coverage and PBS documentaries. And sometimes Mad Men.

  2. 2 Heather October 7, 2008 at 10:39 am

    I used to also watch one epsiode of law and order before bedtime, but eventually just got sick of it and now i can’t even bring myself to watch one (especially as i have seen almost all of them, which seems impossible because i think they’re still making them). dale thinks that the wire ruined it for him, but to me the wire is in a completely different category of cop show. it’s not tv, it’s hbo, after all. haha. so i think i also just got sick of the ridiculousness of it. and the fact that fred thompson is on it doesn’t help.

    i have only seen parts of one episode of the closer, and it looked intriguing, although i was a little thrown by her affect. but, i was also thrown by vincent d’onofrio’s affect for awhile, but grew to love it. i do like kyra sedgwick. is she still with kevin bacon?

    do you like mad men, Kristin? i tried to get into it via watching 1 epsiode. it looked like it could be good, but could also be very annoying and celebratory of obnoxious men.

  3. 3 kateandgracie October 7, 2008 at 10:45 am

    I was wondering if someone would bring up the Wire. I think too, though, that it’s a totally different category of show. It’s certainly a cop show, but it’s really more than that. It’s just so much more ambitious, I can’t really fault other shows for not getting there. I love Vincent D’Onofrio and I think if you can get into him, you can get into Kyra Sedgwick. Maybe. The southern accent is pretty thick, but I kinda love the idea of this brazen Southern woman bossing around LA cops. She and Kevin B are mos def still together.

  4. 4 Kristin October 7, 2008 at 11:33 am

    I so love Mad Men. I watched most of the first season and now have gotten back into it again. I see what you mean about celebrating obnoxious men, but…I think it’s unbelievably well done and honest. And ridiculously dark, of course.

    One thing my mom told me about the Closer is how she keeps junk food in her purse and will just pull out a candy bar. I loved that.

    And the Wire. Haven’t delved into that yet, although I will. Definitely not a cop show I am going to shy away from.

  5. 5 kateandgracie October 7, 2008 at 11:40 am

    Yeah, she’s totally into junk food. At some point, she tries to go off of it and is completely out of sorts. All she can do is eye other peoples’ donuts and things. She’s very obsessed. It’s a nice touch.

  6. 6 Kristin October 7, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    New layout!! I liiike.

  7. 7 kateandgracie October 7, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Do you like it? I kinda do. I feel like it’s a little, um, I don’t know, softer. But I did like the blue. I feel like this is a little easier to read, though.

    Thanks to Kristin. It’s long, but really interesting.

  8. 8 Kristin October 7, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Look at the new avatars! Could they be more random? Love it.

  9. 9 kateandgracie October 7, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Thanks! I didn’t realize I had any control over the avatars — they just seemed to appear one day. But today I found I had a few choices of random ones to assign. These are monster somethings.

  10. 11 rose October 7, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Well Kate so far you’re out of luck. No one hates the Closer. I don’t watch it though (I can’t watch everything!)
    As for Law and Order–I go through cycles. I was addicted for awhile (when I went from never having seen ANY episodes to watching one a night on TNT). I also can’t watch Fred Thompson (even if he was only on for a few minutes). I don’t think I would have picked up on that detail though Kate. They usually just sort of zoom past details like that to get to where they want to go (and at 11pm I’m not usually thinking too critically).
    The new avatars are super cute!

  11. 12 kateandgracie October 7, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    You’re right — no one has bashed it yet. Phew. That makes coming out of the closet a lot easier. Sometimes I think it’s funny Fred Thompson is on. Not that he’s funny, but it’s so odd.

    I totally love the new avatars. They make me smile in a way the old ones never could, sorry old ones.

  12. 13 Sarayu October 7, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    I have never seen the Closer. It’s terrible. I try to watch most shows at least once but I haven’t gotten to that one yet. I have t say I’ve heard nothing but great things about it, and I’m going to watch it soon. I promise.

    As for L & O. That’s a hangover show for me. Mindless format that draws me in, if I start an episode but not something I’ll tivo. I like the one Vincent D’onofrio the best too. It always seems like the kind of show wouldn’t want to act in unless I got play one of the crazies. It just seems so boring and formulaic for everyone else.

    Like the new format but hard to see the comments as I’m typing. Or is it just my eyesight going?

  13. 14 Sarayu October 7, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    I’d like to note that I see all my puncuation typos now that it’s posted. Aargh. I need glasses to do this.

  14. 15 kateandgracie October 7, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Yeah, it’s weird how when you’re writing the comments, the type is light and small, but when posted it is larger and dark. Almost the opposite of the last format.

  15. 16 Sara H October 8, 2008 at 8:57 am

    I need to post something so I can see what kind of monster I will be!

    I haven’t seen the Closer, unfortunately, but it looks good, so I can’t be the first one to bash it. I still sometimes get sucked into L&O SVU because I like Mariska, but don’t really watch much other L&O. I think the legal stuff on those shows is like the medical stuff on shows like Grey’s – poppycock, in a word.

    And I haven’t seen the Wire or Mad Men, either, but I have heard they are great shows. Bad TV watcher!

  16. 17 Sara H October 8, 2008 at 8:57 am

    Is that a monster or a dog biscuit?

    And also, when I tried to post this, I got a message that said “you are posting too quickly. Slow down!” WTF?

  17. 18 Heather October 8, 2008 at 9:05 am

    I really like my new avatar–sort of a tomato-monster. The geometric avatars were ok, but these are way cuter.

    Wait, although right now no one has an avatar. Maybe it’s because I’m posting?

  18. 19 kateandgracie October 8, 2008 at 10:46 am

    WordPress told you to slow down? Wow. How fast were you posting? These avatars are way cute, even if they resemble dog biscuits, tomatoes and lemon drops.

  19. 20 Sara H October 8, 2008 at 10:49 am

    A biscuit with a belly button! Or I think maybe that is the monster’s mouth.

    Apparently twice in the same minute was too close together, I had to slow down with my dog biscuit reaction.


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