Briscoe and Green catch three murder cases and one kidnapping on the same day, and one murder is tied to a fourth murder which happened ten years ago. Each case apparently involves domestic disputes ...
The show follows a crime, ususally adapted from current headlines, from two separate vantage points. The first half of the show concentrates on the investigation of the crime by the police, the second half follows the prosecution of the crime in court. Written by
George Dzundza left the series after the first season, because he tired of the commute to New York City from his Los Angeles house. He was replaced by Paul Sorvino. Sorvino left in the third season, because he disliked show's work schedule, and, because he was an opera singer, he wanted to preserve his vocal cords. See more »
Throughout the series, the detectives (or the Crime Scene Unit Forensic Technicians) are able to ID a bullet caliber from the wound size. In reality this is impossible. A 9mm, .38, .40 and even a .45 all make wounds that are indistinguishable from each other on a body. The police also often look at a bullet and ID the pistol from it. While possible, this requires forensic analysis and is generally not very conclusive because the bullet is too deformed. The conformation of a particular bullet coming from a particular gun using "ballistic fingerprinting" has never resulted in a conviction. See more »
At the start of the season one episode "Torrents of Greed, Part 2" the customary "In the criminal justice system..." opening monologue and screen title were replaced with a monologue and screen title about manipulation of the legal system. See more »
This intense drama, now in its 15th season and still going strong, set the stage for ensemble drama, in which the cast plays a secondary role to the story. Law & Order, as originally conceived, drew the viewer into the process by which American law enforcement and litigation works, or doesn't, depending on the viewer's opinion. The first half-hour is devoted to the investigation of a crime, the second to its prosecution. Cases are made or lost by evidence, lack thereof, a technicality, or even judicial whim. Dick Wolf made it clear from day one that the cast was expendable; no prima donnas here. The first cast was all male, with one African-American. Wolf apparently caved to fan pressure for a more politically-correct spectrum, but it really didn't matter so long as the actors could carry the story forward. His best casting choice was Jerry Orbach, his worst Elisabeth Rohm, but with or without these people, the drama continues. In recent years, L&O has lost some of the grittiness that made it so compelling, and I do miss actors such as Steven Hill, Michael Moriarty, Chris Noth, Jill Hennessy and now Orbach, but the show is still far superior to the majority of what passes for prime-time programming. It only suffers in the rare episodes when a politically-correct message is pushed into the story, i.e., whenever it deviates from its original format of presenting how the criminal justice system works. Ignore the spinoffs; the original Law & Order is still the best.
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