Thursday, September 30, 2010

Law & Order: Los Angeles “Hollywood” Recap & Review

All photos from NBCU

Law & Order: Los Angeles (LOLA for short) premiered with the episode “Hollywood” and it’s the same Law & Order…only….different. The formula is the same, the “doink doink: is the same. But let’s get this point out of the way right away: Los Angeles is not New York. Both cities have different cityscapes, different weather, and different light. New Yorkers are often described as being “real” people while Los Angeles is known more for its “fake’ and superficial people obsessed with appearance and cosmetic surgery. I did not expect to tune in to Law & Order: Los Angeles and see the same Law & Order that had been on the air for 20 years, I was going into it thinking there would be change and I should just accept it. The original Law & Order mothership had been ditched and like everything in Los Angeles, some felt the show needed a facelift. (I wasn’t one of those people; I loved the last two seasons of Law & Order). LOLA seems an attempt to breathe new life into a formula that viewers enjoyed over the years but that some thought had become tired and old.

The first obvious difference is the absence of the usual intro with Steve Zirnkilton, AKA “The Voice of Law & Order”. By now everyone expects any episode of any show in the Law & Order brand to open with it, but I have to admit that it has become so routine that I don’t even hear it anymore. I don’t think I will miss it. There isn't an opening theme that plays off the original, and no title cards with the pictures of the key players. The three second tune which plays between the end of the first segment and the first commercial break hardly counts as a theme. Intro music sometimes puts a stamp of personality on a series, and I think it will be missed at first. I understand that most shows are getting away from lengthy intro themes so they can spend the time earning money from commercials. I’m sure I will get over an absence of a Law & Order theme just made for LA. I am just grateful they didn't name the show Law & Order: RHD after the robbery-homicide division.

I’m not going to spend a lot of time on critiquing the episode – it was OK and entertaining, despite being predictable. I was more focused on getting a good feel for the cast. My first reaction is that Alfred Molina and Corey Stoll were better than the rest. Molina seemed comfortably authoritative, and Stoll seems to light up the scenes with his personable approach. I laughed a bit when the photographer wanted to photograph Rex Winters (Skeet Ulrich) as if to highlight that he’s supposed to be the attractive one. Me? I would have rather photographed Corey as he has a much more expressive face. Skeet Ulrich seems too flat and bland for my tastes, with his monotone delivery of his lines. Again, this is only the first episode so I may feel more comfortable with his style as the show progresses. Regina Hall also seems to be going through the motions with her lines and there is no spark.

Los Angeles is a lot brighter than New York City, and the landscape more colorful. There are other crime shows set in LA ("The Closer" and "Southland" for examples), so I find the brightness and vibrancy of the scenes were nothing new. But the glossiness does seem to take the grittiness away, and the grittiness is what I love about the other Law & Orders filmed in New York (especially in the first few seasons). Again, I will get over it and I view it as a non-issue.

The bottom line is that Law & Order: Los Angeles is what I expected – the same show, the same format, just in a different place. This may help to keep fans of the original watching the new show, but is it enough to bring in new viewers, or viewers in the coveted 18-49 demographic? Only time, and a few more episodes, will tell.

Here is the recap:

Chelsea Sennett (Danielle Panabaker), and her mother Trudy (Shawnee Smith) are riding in their convertible and arrive at a nightclub to many paparazzi. Club owner Nick Manto (Oded Fehr) directs them to a table. Colin Blakely (Travis Van Winkle) is also there, but Colin’s girlfriend Miranda Clark is at home. Chelsea and Colin meet up at the club, but at home, Miranda hears a noise. When she runs to check it out, she is surprised by an intruder and is beaten.

The next day, Detective Rex Winters (Skeet Ulrich) arrives on the scene, Detective Tomas "TJ" Jaruszalski (Corey Stoll) is already there, working the scene. TJ tells Rex to tell Casey he is sorry, it sounded like he woke the baby. Rex says the baby is cutting his first tooth and nobody sleeps. The blood on the scene belongs to Miranda Clark who is in the hospital with multiple cuts, bruises, concussion and a possible skull fractures. Her boyfriend Colin Blakely – the new “Shadow” - appears to have an alibi. There are 8 other similar crimes where the victims are high profile Hollywood, there was no forced entry and no prints. Rex asks where “The Shadow” is now and TJ tells him he’s at Kaiser; he insisted on riding in the ambulance. The burglars stole $3,000 in cash and what looks like 8 Rolexes, as evidenced by the 8 empty Rolex boxes. He also had a safe, which he didn’t use. Rex comments “Genius” and TJ quips, “Actor.”

Winters speak with Miranda in the hospital and she tells them about her attack. She tells them Colin was with someone else. TJ speaks with Colin who said he spend the night with a buddy ay his place. When TJ presses Colin for a name, he balks, then says he loves Miranda and admits he was with another woman who is also in the business, and denies cheating on Miranda.

TJ says Colin cheated on Miranda with Chelsea Sennett. They did E at the club and did coke back at her place. Rex says his daughter loves her and that 99% of girls would kill to be the illegal drinking, E-popping, club crawling Chelsea Sennett. TJ responds, “Ain’t America grand.” Rex says, “Not if you have a 12 year old daughter.”

The detectives question Chelsea with her mother present, and Winters takes her mother off to the side while TJ continues to question Chelsea. He tells her that they are tracking a burglary ring that up until now had only targeted empty houses. She looks at a sketch and she tells them to ask her friend Vicki as she had some stuff taken a few months ago.

At the Style One Salon, they speak with Vicki DeMille who tells them about her robbery, which she never reported. A one of a kind t-shirt was stolen, and she shows them a photo. It was worth about $2,000. The night it happened she was out with Chelsea.

Afterwards, TJ says there are probably 20 more Vicki’s out there who don’t know they’ve been ripped off. Rex says burglary is still burglary and Miranda is not Vicki. TJ asks how do you fence a $2,000 one of a kind t-shirt? Rex says first you have to find somebody willing to wear it. TJ thinks you’d wear it where it would be noticed and think the t-short needs its own Facebook page.

Later, Rex and TJ speak with a girl at a nightclub who was wearing the t-shirt who said it was from a 3 year old collection. She bought it from an Asian girl, Kai, who was at that place at Sunset Plaza and she had shopping bags full of clothes and she really wanted it.

They take her down to the division. TJ sees photos of Chelsea and Colin on the web. Winters ran some IDs and the girl in the stole t-shrt picked out Kai Ng. They wonder if Kai was also at the club at the same time as Chelsea and Colin so they decide to talk to the photographer who took the photo.

At X-Ray Photo, the photographer shows them the video he took and Kai is in it with another blond girl. He can’t ID the person in the sketch. Winters asks if they can give him a list of the other burglary victims to see if he can find them in his footage. When TJ returns later with some food, he shows them the videos her found. One video shows Vicki, Chelsea, and Kai. They also find Chelsea Sennett on the footage for February 10th, March 5th. It seems all 4 times Chelsea was with the burglary victim the night they were robbed. It’s a pattern.

Elsewhere, Sam is showing the stolen Rolexes to Manto and Manto lowballs an offer since the media is all over the case. Later, in a car, Kai (Jessica Lu), Tanya (Lauren Sweetser) and Sam (Wyatt Russell ) are in car talking over their situation and Kai wants to do one more job. The burglary team enters a house and Sam heads upstairs and sees a necklace lying on a table. He hears the floor creak and turns around. Outside, several two gunshots can be heard, and the two girls race from the house.

At the house, the detectives ask Chelsea’s mother if she’s ever seen the dead guy before; she hasn’t. She later recounts what happened that night which caused her to shoot him. She says she wasn’t supposed to be home that night. Chelsea, meanwhile, is speaking behind the gate of their house to the throngs of press about her mother’s bravery and TJ watches.

Later, back at RHD, DDA Evelyn Price (Regina Hall) meets the detectives and asks if they have a minute. She says Morales wants a copy of their report on the Sennett house shooting, and with all the press he does not want to let it hang. The detectives tell her that the rest of the crew is still out there and Chelsea Sennett is in too many right places for it to be a coincidence, that she may be part of the burglary crew. Price is shocked, commenting that Chelsea’s mom just shot one of burglars. TJ tells her mom wasn’t supposed to be home. Rex adds Chelsea had a necklace on loan for a magazine shoot and thinks she set up the crew up to steal it but mom got a migraine and got in the way. Rex says she is a neurotic star who got fired off her last two jobs and she pours through money like it is water. TJ says she is also single handedly supporting two agents, 3 publicists, and her mother. Price says she will tell Morales to stall the press while they take a hard look at Chelsea but be quick about it. Rex says they should talk to Chelsea’s ex, the one she threw her drink at, TJ commenting he’s the kid with the reality show.
Later, KK (John Patrick Amedori) is filming his reality show when the detectives arrive and show him the photos of the suspects and he says he took and acting class with the guy. He says Chelsea is the best.

At Jay Bickson Acting Studio, they speak with Bickson (Jim Piddock) who identifies the guy as Sam Masterson. They also find the photographer for Sam’s head shot was Maria Olson. TJ is amazed because Olson only shoots famous people. Winters wonders how a jobless kid paid for world class photography.

They speak with Maria Olson (Mira Furlan) who says Sam paid cash. She met the girl – Tanya Green – who was doing his makeup which was a disaster, Tanya’s friend was Asian and she identifies Kai form the photo. Olson asks to take Winter’s picture and he refuses. She tells them did the shoot for Sam at the SLS Hotel.

At the hotel, they find there is no information under the name of Sam Loomis, Sam Miller, or Sam Masterson. Chelsea has been banned for the hotel for two years as well as her mom for an “encounter” in an elevator. They later see the tapes, and Chelsea’s mother Trudy is in the elevator with Sam.

Later, at a press conference, DDA Morales (Alfred Molina) steps up to the podium for a press conference. He makes his statement that death is tragic in any form and the LA County District Attorney’s office, in conjunction with the LAPD, will conduct a full and comprehensive investigation into the shooting at the Sennett home and until that is complete the case will remain open. He is not considering any charges until the investigation is complete.

When Morales returns to his office, Rex and TJ are waiting to tell him that Trudy Sennett was sleeping with Sam Loomis and that Trudy lied about not knowing Sam, maybe to protect Chelsea. Morales thinks maybe she was distraught or she couldn’t see him in the half light. Or, maybe she didn’t look when they showed her the body. He wants to prosecute somebody for those burglaries, and tells them don’t look at him like he just stole their lunch money. Rex tells him that Sam’s father is coming in from Houston and they will see what they can get. Morales tell them to bring him some good news.

A City Center Motel, the detectives speak with Sam’s father Frank Loomis (Jim Beaver). He tells them that Sam called home every week and sent home money from a commercial her did. TJ tells Loomis he was never in a commercial. The only address he ever had was POP box in Hollywood and he also stayed with a friend Tanya Green, it was her grandmother’s place. Later, the detectives enter RHD with Tanya and Kai, they found them at grandma’s pool.

TJ questions Kai and Winters questions Tanya while Morales and Price watch. Tanya tells them that Nick Manto fences the stuff and it was Sam’s idea to rob Chelsea’s place. Morales tells Price to move up the food chain and get warrants for Manto’s home, car and the club.

Later, with Manto in for questioning, Morales shoves the bag of watches over to Manto that were taken from Colin Blakely’s house that were found in his desk. Morales reminds Manto’s lawyer, Mr. Corker (Bruce Katzman) that those watches make Manto an accomplice in the attempted murder of Miranda Clark which, along with the 9 burglaries, means Manto is facing 25+. Corker says that Manto can give Morales the real leader of the burglary crew, but he wants transactional immunity. Morales says, “No chance.” Manto asks Corker if he can give him a hypothetical, and Corker allows it, with no admissions. Morales says, “Wow me.” Manto tell him about a woman with money problems and a boy on the side with a plan to steal jewelry that she has on loan and refers him to others that are better targets. He would cut her in for half and use her daughter to keep the marks out of the home. Morales is surprised that Manto is selling him Trudy Sennett as the leader of the burglary ring. Corker reminds him they are still hypothetical. But Manto says Trudy played on Sam’s ego and when he realized she was using him, he threatened to tell Chelsea. Morales wants corroboration and Manto tells him to cheek the TMZ tip line. Later, the police are arresting Trudy, who says it is all a mistake.

Trudy is being questioned by Morales and Price, and they play her a recording of Sam Loomis implication Trudy on a tip line. Her lawyer (Michael O’Neill) says it all rests on the work of Nick Manto, and Trudy says Nick is her husband. He attorney says they re asserting spousal privilege.

Later, Prince and Morales speak again with Manto and he said they are separated and that Trudy was supposed to take care of it. Later, with Manto’s lawyer, they argue marital privilege with a judge. The judge says privilege can’t be used to hide a conspiracy and she agrees with Morales.

Later, Price and Morales question Chelsea and Chelsea says she will lie for her mother. Morales seems to cave in too easily and leaves the room, Price chasing after him. He tells Price he does not want to bully Chelsea into getting information as the jury will hate him. He says she won’t testify

At the Supreme Court Building, Chelsea and her mother arrive to paparazzi. Later, on the stand, Rex Winters says when they interviewed the defendants she claimed not to recognize the victim and he found that 9 months earlier she and the victim were filmed by a security camera making out in a hotel elevator. Morales brings out the stills from the video recording and hands them to the jury. Under cross examination, he implies that Trudy was in shock and that Trudy didn’t really look at the body.

With Nick Manto on the stand, he tells them Trudy got a cut from the robberies and that Trudy promised Sam a career but just strung him along. Under cross, he admits that he suggested the targets but denies he was the mastermind. He said it was all based on Trudy manipulating Chelsea to keep the marks away from home. He admits he is still attracted to Trudy but denies that he saw Trudy making out with Sam at her club, and the defense attorney makes it sound like Manto hated her. He adds that he lent Trudy $400K and she paid him back in 3 weeks.

Later, back at the DA’s office, Manto tells Morales and Price that Trudy was dipping in to Chelsea’s accounts and needed money to cover it. He doesn’t know where she got the cash to pay him pack, but Price finds there were three deposits from three into Trudy’s personal account totaling exactly $400K. Morales tells her to have Winters and TJ check back to find the sources.

At the home of K.K. Culllen, at 1529 Blue Jay Way, he says the $400K it was a producing fee but they know that is not true. He admits he paid her off because Trudy said she could get Chelsea to date him for 6 months but said Chelsea did not know.

At Superior Court, Trudy is on the stand testifying in her own defense. She denies Sam was part of a theft ring and didn’t realize Sam was the boy she was shot. She said she was concerned for Chelsea. Morales questions her about how she made Chelsea into a star but couldn’t do the same for Sam. She did not want to trade on Chelsea’s name. But Morales brings out how Trudy is taking advantage of Chelsea’s money and only benefits because of Chelsea. She denies exploiting her or getting money to have Chelsea have sex with a boy. Morales calls K.K. as a rebuttal witness and before he can do so, Trudy asks for a moment with her lawyer.

Later, she begs Morales not to do this and that K.K. has nothing to do with Sam. She says she loves her daughter. Morales says he will take second degree murder with 15 to life. When her lawyer says her deal with K.K. stays secret, Morales says he’ll tell the judge.

The judge later accepts her plea and sentences her to 15 to life and she is remanded. Chelsea is crestfallen and hugs her mother. Winters and TJ watch from behind, commenting that someone should tell her the truth, but she wouldn’t believe it. Winters looks back to see Chelsea standing alone, sobbing. When Chelsea exits, the paparazzi are waiting for her. Winters steps in and asks her if she needs someone to take her out the back. They step into an elevator and she looks back and as the cameras flash, the elevator door closes and we fade to black.

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © unless otherwise noted

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.


Osiris said...

I did not like it. There was no personality or spark, like you said.

Sara said...

When the epidsode opened, I felt like I was watching LOCI circa Jeff Goldblum. As you said, this L&O incarnation lacked grittiness. What I really missed were the hand-held camera shots from a vintage staion house depicting the captain and detectives solving the crime. Also missing was a "Stephen Hill" character doling out legal advice to the ADAs. And the editing was almost too seamless for my taste. It was almost too slick and paced too fast. I am looking forward to seeing more of Wanda de Jesus; her 3-second appearance was much too brief. As with anything new, I see a lot of potential here, but Wolf and gang have a lot of kinks to work out first. The original L&O was a thinking man's, uh woman's, show. I trust Wolf will give the 18 - 49 demo a little more credit where the gray matter is concerned.

Esaul said...

I don't have much of an opinion as of yet. It's still the first episode of the show. I'm willing to see it through still.

All Things Law and Order said...

Sara - Wanda wasn't originally going to be in the episode at all as she had been cut from the series. Her scenes were supposed to be reshot so I was surprised to see her there at all!

janethyland said...

What happened?It was terrible and tedious. they even managed to "flatten" the Molinas character so that his usual expressive eyes just stared empty.Anyone could have played that didnt need someone of Molinas stature. He was wasted, and that was probably the best character in it.

There were some really nice artistic flourishes in the use of camera shots, stage sets and lighting ( one shot in particular as they crossed the set in front of some amazing lighting effects).

Lots of beautifully staged shots,like the one above in your summary of Molinas at the podium with radiating lighting effects that accentuate his sense of authority.
That really is their triumph, the way they bring such depth to their sets and camera shots.

I also liked the use of opening music to "label" an episode,and especially the way they echoed one line of the old theme on Dick Wolfs name in opening credits...that was a nice touch for him.

So the music, the artistry and even use of the acronym LOLA like the acronym LOCI, all these things remind me of the best of Criminal Intent more than anything else.I think that must be coming in with Balcer because the writing certainly wasnt Balcer!

The writing was flat and functional with predictable storylines that allowed no real character development.Nothing of Balcers thematic structure or metaphysical content. In fact Id rather have the Moralogues of the Mothership to this emptiness.

Is that LA then,all style and no substance,with nothing new or original to say about crime or criminal?Is LA without character or complexity?

Im sad.Here was a missed opportunity for renewal,a chance to revitalise. I know Wolf is obsessed with his formula and canmt let go of it, but cant someone make it live again like it did in its origins?

Im not a Law and Order Fan but I wanted to engage with LOLA as I once did with LOCI, but I just didnt connect. In fact I didnt "feel" anything, even when they contrived that situation to show how "kind" the detective was at the end.

Maybe they enjoy making it, but i didnt enjoy watching it.I guess LOLA is pretending to be something it isnt,like its namesake in The Kinks old pop song.

John said...

I'm sorry, but it seems like every other cop show now. I've deleted it from my Tivo. I really feel let down by NBC. They took the best show ever (to me), and gave me garbage.

Anonymous said...

The ADA had possibilities - then, at the end, the murderer refers to the ADA's father, and he folds and gives away the store: no reference to the way she had whored out her daughter, man-2 for a premeditated murder, and he stumbles from the room a broken man. Alix would have icily put the knife in her ("he supported me, he didn't make me support him from the age of 3" - but icier), Casey would have laughed in her face, Cutter would have said, "ok, you don't want your meal ticket to know the whole story? Man-1, 25 to life, and it's a deal."

They're putting the money into fancy pictures, not the writing, obviously.

There was simply nobody (or any idea) to connect to - a bunch of thefts from stupid people, most of whom didn't realize their stuff had been stolen, the death of one of the thieves by the gang's ringleader, a woman who pimped out her daughter, the daughter being too naive (in Hollywood?) to realize she was being used, with the crime solved by a couple of cops who could have been better played by the guys in Detroit and Chicago Olivia talked to about rape kits, and an ADA who in the end didn't care enough to go after the killer.

The red background of the title page was the best thing about the show.

I wonder how Lupo is doing in law school?

Anonymous said...

I felt the show has promise. First episodes are always hard to take especially in this case when the mothership got canceled when the stories were getting so good. I will continue to watch.

Corey Stoll is sexy. Such great eyes. I though Alfred Molina did a fine and I liked his character right away.

Skeet is a dud on the screen.

Give the show some time. It will be OK.

Esaul said...

Just want to share this:

Anonymous said...

Its hard to judge a show like this on one episode, or even one season. What the original Law & Order shows in New York were able to do was to incorporate the city as a character in itself, it showed so many different faces of the city, showed the city in its many parts and in many different lights. Obviously, you can't achieve that in one episode. One of the major concerns I noticed that Law & Order fans had after the announcement of LA was that it would lack the "grit" of the New York setting. I didn't buy that necessarily, as every city has many different faces and many different stories to tell, as the Law & Order NY shows proved, but having the first episode revolve mostly around celebrity culture was disheartening.

Another thing was that none of the actors really jumped out at me. Now, they are new at this show, so I'll give them time, but no one, to me, had the instant charisma that someone like Sam Waterston or Jerry Orbach or Mariska Hargitay or Chris Meloni has, the kind that draws you to that character and keeps you watching the show, and in turn makes the rest of the cast stronger and more interesting as well. I just didn't see that with anyone here, none of them really interested me in particular.

I'm not going to judge it based on one episode, I really went in wanting to like it, but I was disappointed by this first episode.

Anonymous said...

I thought the episode was really bad.

Going to disagree that the lack of a theme music, title cards and the Zirnkilton intro doesn't matter. That is part of the Law & ORder brand, even on UK, which is brand new too. Taking that out was a huge mistake and robbed something that to at least this L & O fan, is a very important and special part of the series.

The show itself had promise if they had continued with a crossover from SVU and perhaps continued on with some rape cases in CA. Instead, we get this super-lame Hollywood-like show with terrible acting and a boring storyline that was all too predictable. Just really bad writing and below the standard that L&O fans have come to expect. Too CSI Miami for me.

As for the actors themselves, I like Molina and Ulrich a lot, but thought Stoll was only average and that the female ADA was downright awful.

I also am not a fan of the two-ADA teams and thought that not having Coyote make an appearance was somewhat odd for a first show when you're trying to introduce everyone.

I'm not sure what grade to give it. Not an F but not a B.

This had better improve quick or it will be cancelled for simply being a bad show.

Esaul said...

The show had a solid premiere, I don't see the show getting canceled at this point. Just gotta give it some time.

Loyal Follower said...

I miss the original L&O. This one looks similar to Shark and CSI Miami, but worse! Don't really care for any character. Will try to watch a few more episodes, if it's not improved, I'll quit!

Anonymous said...

So I expected this to be The Cleveland Show to L&O's Family Guy, and so far it looks I'm right.

Anonymous said...

I am going to stick with it. It's only the first episode. It's better than most of the garbage NBC put out there this year.

Yes there are changes, no voice over in the beginning, no big song to get me pumped up. Those are little things and I am not going to lose any sleep over those things.

Anonymous said...

The debut had a solid Nielsen rating - much better than the retings of the Mothership L&O at the end.

If the Nielsen's old up, the show will be a winner - we all know that every L&O series has gotten better along the way, especially in the early seasons.

Remember we started with George Dzunda - Wolf won't hesitate to dump any cast member not holding up their end of the log.

Matt P said...

I thought it was an okay episode.

I doubt it's staying power though. I would expect it to drop in the ratings for next week. I loved the mother ship but its ratings were tanking for years. This seems to follow the Mother Ship formula to the letter, aside from the switch of coasts.

I will be watching, but I doubt it will get the people that had ditched the Mother Ship or grab and keep newbies.

As for the lack of title cards, I think often pilots of shows do not have them. We may see a full title card next week with the traditional cast walking shot in it.

As for the voice over, I read that there is not one for the first two episodes but then it kicks in after that.

Anonymous said...

Several other sources who have already seen the first and second episodes have already said the voice over, the title cards, and the themes are gone. I would not expect to see them in the second episode. Maybe theu will change their minds...?

This show also went straight into production, the first show was not considered a pilot.

Joshua Morton said...


IT WON'T be "LAW & ORDER" until Rene Balcer writes an episode, Steven Z. comes back with his voice-over, along with a PROPER opening sequence: that 13 second crap was indeed CRAP!

I'm sorry at first LOLA was something I was interested in, I'll watch until the fifth episode; if I'm not satisfied - I'm going to dump LOLA (a pick back up with CI).

I've heard rumors that in 2011 Wolf is trying to move "Law & Order" to the South coast (i.e. "Law & Order: Miami) - shame.

But as for LOLA's premiere - I give it a 6.5/10. Not what I expected, I enjoyed the 'Order' part w/ Molina/Hall but the 'Law' part with Ulrich/Stoll; I lacked a lot of things!

And if this show is trying to follow CI it needs to be renamed to "Law & Order: Criminal Intent - Los Angeles"!

SVU on the other hand was MARVELOUS - I hope Jennifer Love Hewitt gets nominated for (and wins) an Emmy!

gahks said...

Maybe part (or most) of the problem was that Rene Balcer didn't have a hand in the first episode, despite being an exec. producer and head writer, at all?

Tony said...

This episode was well-crafted and smart, with discreet yet impressive work from two of the regular actors (Stoll and Molina). The other actors didn't seem great but weren't bad either. More dry humor in the best mothership tradition would be welcome, along with regular appearances by a squad commander (an alternative would let Jaruszalski become a sergeant and take charge of several detectives, including Winters).

Shelly said...

We liked the first enough to watch it again, but I admit we weren't overly wowed. On the plus side, I thought the two detectives had a nice rapport. It was really hard to tell much one way or the other on the "order" side but hopefully we'll start to see some cohesiveness as the cast moves along.

The biggest negative was, as others have said, this just didn't feel like a L&O show. Maybe that was intentional, maybe it wasn't, but if you didn't know it was a part of the franchise, you sure as heck wouldn't have known it from watching this. Add me to the group that misses that traditional opening, and while I did hear a ching-ching a time or so, I don't believe it was used as regularly as they do in the other series.

Re the grittiness that was clearly missing. LA can be "shot" to look gritty - just look at Southland and the old NBC series, Boom Town. I do hope that the plan is to find that grittiness as the series moves forward.

Thanks as always for the recaps All Things...

Sara said...

Chris, thanks for reminding me about Wanda de Jesus. I was obviously confused--I thought she was the replacement. And I'm sorry I was wrong. She was great on CSI Miami, the short time she was there.

Anonymous said...

Here is hoping the confusion over the title card and intro theme is resolved by them reinserting it soon. That is a big deal, as I've seen dozens of comments here and on Facebook about it.

The disasters that are Outlaw and Undercovers should show us all that the mothership should not have been cancelled...they should have at least held a January launch possibility open.

Mary G. said...

I thought LOLA was okay (even though Steve Zirnkilton's voice-over was very missed along with an opening sequence that 'actual' shows the LOLA cast. L&O is not a drama that takes a cheap way out by cutting the opening sequence - they COULD have used CI's old theme, or even TBJ's as well - they really should fix that)

I think Ulrich will open up more in the next episode. Alfred Molina and Corey Stoll were the best (IMO) and I think Regina Hall needs to play off Molina as Ulrich and Stoll do each other ("I would love to take your picture.", "No", "He means yes.", funny L&O line).

I hate we won't see Molina next week (or Wanda De Jesus) but we WILL see Terrence Howard!


Can't they at least wait until CI gets off the air?!

Anonymous said...

"Can't they at least wait until CI gets off the air?!"

This may stop abruptly if LOLA doesn't pick up the pace.

Anonymous said...

The Criminal Intent fans need to get ovefr themselves. LOLA was not intended to be a subtiture for CI so why all the griping? Who cares about the CI Miami rumors? From what I hear, it's coming from a few nuts on one or two CI forums that think if they creaye fake buzz for a Miami show they will get it. Grow up already and stay on your CI messag boards, I want to talk about LOLA - which is what this topic is supposed to be about.

Anonymous said...

I want to talk "All Things Law and Order" so LOCI fans are in the right place (whether the topic is CI or SVU)!

I want to stop hearing Mothership fans gripe that the show is gone! IT HAD 20 YEARS, where CI is just now getting to it's 10TH YEAR!

So IMHO Mothership/Anti-LOLA fans need to chill! And if Dick Wolf wants to create a Miami based Law and Order, THAT'S HIS BUSINESS!

nygma619 said...

A few notes:

-Alfred Molina's character has presence and a scene usually picks up when he's on screen.

-Does anybody feel Terrence Howard would've been better served as a cop, instead of an attorney?

-No classic Law and Order intro or opening? I think that's like a cardinal sin NOT to have those on a law and order show.

For those still complaining, keep in mind that the mothership went through some growing pains of its own. Hell look at SVU in the first three episodes of this season. About six months, people were crying foul about how Neal Bauer needs to be off the show, and how hope for the show to get better was gone. WHERE ARE THOSE DETRACTORS, RIGHT NOW?
I'm just saying things can change for better or worse in an instant, sometimes its a matter of making the right tweeks to a show.

Personally I think the criminal investigation part of the show could use some work.

janethyland said...

According to NBC LOLA site, the opening music for this episode was "Kill me" by Make the Girl Dance. Can anyone else corroborate this?

janethyland said...

OK. I have it. Its a French electric rock group! Can we all come out to play?

jj said...

I've never watched a L&O episode before this one for I don't like the genre in general. I really only tuned in to watch Ulrich as he is my favorite actor, and for those not familiar with his work or talent, please do not go by this episode alone in judging him. He is actually very brilliant and likable, and I think he was the main reason so many Jericho fans sent in nuts to bring back that show.

I think the writers need to punch up his character more. I know they want to have defined characters, like TJ is the 'sarcastic one' and Winters is the 'serious' detective (straight man to TJ's jokes), but that will make Winters come across as bland and uptight -- not very likeable from the viewers perspective.

I thought Corey Stoll was quite good and Molina did stand out this episode.

My recommendations would be to have more bantering between the two detectives, but equal in terms of ribbing each other, making snide comments etc the way real cops would tease each other. I know this was just one episode, and so I will definitely give it time to develop.

I hope the other fans of the original L&O won't rush to judgement yet and give them a chance.