Sunday, November 18, 2007

Criminal Intent - A show with a split personality?

When Law & Order Criminal Intent started its run, Detectives Goren and Eames (Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe) were the featured detectives of the major case squad. Sometime in 2005, however, the show decided to add another detective – and dimension – to the mix, with the return of Detective Mike Logan (Chris Noth). In my opinion, it was a welcome change to the show. LOCI seemed to be slightly confused on exactly which Bobby Goren we were going to see each week. Would he be the intense detective who found an obscure clue to solve the case, or would he be the loose cannon detective who seemed like he was one step away from going off the deep end?

As the years passed, the character of Goren seemed to become more fragmented. During that time, Vincent D’Onofrio was hospitalized, twice, for exhaustion. Shortly following these events, the show introduced Mike Logan to the mix.

The character of Mike Logan seemed to be a little more world-weary, but seeing Logan in action was a nice change of pace. The only problem is they paired him with a rather lifeless Detective Barek, played by Annabella Sciorra. I’m not quite sure if Barek was written to be lifeless, or if Sciorra was just going through the motions. Either way, she didn’t seem to work. Logan has been paired with two other detectives since then, and seemed to have relatively good chemistry with Detective Megan Wheeler (Julianne Nicholson). While Julianne was off having a baby, she was replaced by Alicia Witt (as Detective Nola Falacci). I find that either Witt's character is being presented as particularly annoying, or, if she’s doing the annoying act very badly. I find myself thinking that someone like Erbe could have pulled it off better. So right now I’m giving this new detective a low score as far as being a good match for Logan.

Since the show alternates the detective team each week, it sometimes seems like a different show each week as far as writing style and even the cases handled. And I like that. Maybe D’Onofrio really needed the reduced time, and maybe the show needed to close out some issues with Goren, but the character seems a little more stable. Likewise, Chris Noth has taken Mike Logan up a notch by making him the (gasp!) voice of reason in the episode “Courtship.”

It may seem like we’re seeing a series that’s got two personalities, but I like the change. Sadly, the show is no longer on NBC, and I’m forced to watch it on USA, which I don’t get in HD. So while the quality of the show has taken a step forward, my ability for my eyes and senses to enjoy it have taken a step back. But I’m still a faithful fan.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very much how I feel about the show as well.

Although I love both teams - I'm in the minority in that Logan/Wheeler are my fave duo . The quirky Goren and INCREDIBLE Eames are great as well of course. Regardless of the team - its still my favorite show. Even with the annoying Falacci.