Tuesday, April 05, 2011

LAW Moves

With less than a week to go until Law & Order: Los Angeles has its high profile, high stakes relaunch, with Skeet Ulrich leaving, Alana De La Garza joining, and Alfred Molina switching seats, TV Guide's Kate Stanhope explains how the pressure to perform is about more than just the show itself: it's about the viability of the entire brand, which has been in a steady decline for several years now. Also interesting is this reflection from executive producer Rene Balcer, who segued to Los Angeles from the cancelled mothership, on why the new show may have had a tougher time catching on with longtime fans:
"The fans were understandably upset when the mothership was canceled...Some of them kind of took it out on LOLA, which was a little mystifying. I don't think LOLA is trying to replace the original in the hearts and minds of fans."
Balcer also talks about the corners that may have been cut in rushing to get the show ready for a fall premiere with less than six months of prep, with a lack of focus on how much to differentiate LOLA from its predecessor and how much to stay in the same vein (this is something I also addressed in my review of the series pilot, by the way):
"There were a lot of decisions made in a hurry to get on the air quickly. It's taken us six months to focus on how different do we want it to be from the mothership and what areas do we want it to be a little familiar to the viewers."
While I'm certainly not someone who resented Los Angeles, I do think that any resentment among fans may have come from its trying too hard not to be like the original. I'm glad that there seems to be an awareness of this among the show's creatives and a desire to address it, including a return to the traditional older detective/younger detective pairing and (perhaps?) a traditional Law & Order-style opening theme. I guess we'll see how (and if) it all comes together when the newly rebranded Law & Order: LA returns next week.

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