Monday, May 24, 2010

The LAW Review

Dick Wolf is still doggedly clinging to his hope that the Law & Order Mothership will get that record-breaking 21st year, but as far as the media is concerned, tonight's episode is the retirement party for the veteran warhorse.  When you think about it, this has been quite the year for long-running, beloved shows ending their runs.  Lost concluded last night after six seasons, 24's eight-year run ends tonight, and Smallville finishes next season after a decade of "no tights and no flights."

Still, while all three shows are being lionized in their passing by devoted fans, it's mostly being done with the tacit acknowledgment that the timing was right for them to recede into the syndicated sunset.  It tells you something about the consistent quality Wolf's team brought to Law & Order every week that, two decades on, most of the write-ups are focusing on how it's going too soon, with a cast that was firing on all cylinders from top-to-bottom, and a new sense of storytelling energy that had given it a renewed vigor.

In a rundown of some of the other tributes the show has prompted, Allan Sepinwall from HitFlix echoes my feelings on the strengths of the current cast, while Tom Shales calls the show "an American classic."  Meanwhile, The Winnipeg Free Press looks at the other shows that began in fall of 1990 along with Law & Order -- some successful, some not so much.  Finally, in one of the best pieces of this kind, Emily Nussbaum of New York Magazine takes a fond look back at the show's remarkable staying power, which will no doubt continue unabated even after its demise.

No comments: