Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Law & Order LA “Plummer Park” Recap & Review

All photos from NBCUniversal

Law & Order LA “Plummer Park” was an episode that clearly aired out of sequence, being completed before the “reboot”. As a result,Detective Rex Winters (Skeet Ulrich) was not dead and TJ’s (Corey Stoll) mustache had grown back. Terrence Howard was also sporting a different look – but his acting was still wooden. I actually found the first half of the show much more interesting that the last, and felt the legal side of the case was plodding and dull. My opinion is that it was the legal half of the show that was in more need of fixing.   With the addition of Alana De La Garza to the cast, I had some hope that she would draw in viewers. Sadly, it wasn’t enough to give the series another season.

I don’t quite understand why this episode could not have been aired before Rex Winters was killed. My opinion is that they would have been better off by not going off the air for so long during the reboot; this cost the series momentum.

This episode was titled "Plummer Park" and the only connection to the case was that a bunch of Russians - including the kidnappers -  played chess there.  It is such a waste to name an episode after such an inconsequential connection to a much bigger case. If there is any chance whatsoever that Law & Order LA gets a second chance with another network, they should reconsider the practice of  naming episodes after locations in the Los Angeles area and come up with episode titles that build excitement.

Here is the recap:
When a neighbor, Mrs. Lang, calls police to tell them that a car was left running outside Nick Libergal’s home,  they knock on the door, and two beeps of a nearby car horn also sounds. A man, speaking Russian, waits inside with a gun and when he opens the door, the police see the gun and shoot him, and also another man who comes forward with a gun. The police find a gruesome scene – Nick Libergal (Michael Enright) is dead in the bathtub.

Detectives Rex Winters (Skeet Ulrich) and “TJ” Jarusalski (Corey Stoll) are called to the scene. Coroner Nishizawa (Tamlyn Tomita) tells them Nick’s body was being dissolved in the bathtub using quicklime. He was also beaten but likely died from a heart attack. Nick is a goldsmith. They find a bag with items in it that appear more for a kidnapping than a killing. They think Nick died of the heart attack during the kidnapping and the kidnappers did not want to drive around with the body.

They can’t find any info on the dead suspects and they check out the car and find nothing. Nick was a Russian immigrant who came over in 1988 and does not appear to be a man with money. They think someone had been watching to house to wait until Nick was alone.

They speak with Mrs. Lang who noticed a honking car there that night and she also saw it there 2 days ago. It was a town car. Near the location of that car, the detectives find cigarette butts and spicy peppermint gum wrappers.

At RHD, Amy Libergal (Amy Benedict) is there speaking with the detectives and Lt. Arleen Gonzales (Rachel Ticotin). She does not know the men who were shot in her home. Nick used to send money to his family in Russia. He has a younger brother in the oil business who is rich.

Afterwards, Gonzales says Homeland Security had a hit on their suspects, who came in via LAX two weeks ago from Moscow.

They check with Homeland Security who says that the men were met in the terminal but never checked into the hotel where they were to be staying. They list a local contact as the Eagles and Bears Friendship Club.

They head to the club and find that the location looks like a storage facility. They find a cable bill but no TV and head over to the billing address. TJ finds spicy peppermint gum wrappers on the ground so they approach the home with guns drawn. They enter the home and Rex finds a room that appears to be where the kidnappers were going to keep Nick. TJ finds a hole dug outside and assumes once the money was paid they were going to kill Nick.

They check with a local store to check out a purchase the kidnappers made. They paid with cash, and the woman at the store recalls a Russian man making a purchase twice and she helped him get the items he needed. It was almost the same list both times, but one list had sanitary napkins and a hairbrush. The detectives think the kidnappers have a woman somewhere in the canyons.

Back at RHD, the detectives discuss this with Gonzales who tells them to put someone on to watch the store. The house had been rented through Craig’s List so Gonzales tells them to check other listings. They find one of the suspects’ cars got a ticket 10 days ago in West Hollywood. There was a chessboard at the house so Rex thinks they should check out Plummer Park.

The detectives question some chess players at Plummer Park and one person recognizes them as no good chess players that looked too much at married women, one of them was Anna Ackroyd who has not been there for a few days.

At Anna Ackroyd’s home, the detectives see her husband Dennis (Raphael Sbarge) at home and he looks nervous. TJ later fakes being a delivery man and gets Anna’s husband to sign for a package. He then tells him to stay calm and that they know his wife is missing an are here to help. His daughter Mila (Skyler Day) and uncle Andrei is there and Mila thinks they are going to kill her mother.

Later, the detectives and Gonzales are in a nearby surveillance van with taps on all the home’s lines. Anna Ackroyd is a Russian native and has been in the country for 18 years. Anna is a librarian and her husband is a teacher. They think the uncle has money. They see the uncle and daughter out for a walk and when TJ thinks Mila would talk to them if they got her alone, Gonzales says she should be at school so pick her up for truancy.

The detectives have Mila at RHD and she doesn’t want to make any mistakes, she just wants her mom back. Separately, an officer speaks with Dennis Ackroyd who says Mila was with her uncle Andrei and they just snatched her away. The officer enters the interrogation room and whispers that Mila’s father is there and that a supervisor said they have to let her go. Gonzales tells Mila she can save her mom, and Mila tells them that she came home from school and the house was messed up and her mom gone. The kidnappers skyped them on their computer. The guys were in masks and her mother had tape over her mouth. They men were talking in Russian and her dad can speak it, and they told him they wanted money. Her father had spyware on the computer and the call was recorded and she thinks the video is still on the computer. TJ gives her an email address and asks her to try to find the video and send it to them. They release Mila to her father.

Later, they get the video from Mila and they look at it. A translator tells them what is being said. The kidnappers ask for $10 million and tell them Anna’s family has money to pay. They gave them one week to get the money or they will start cutting her. Gonzales tells them to send the video to the lab. TJ notices one of the men has stitching on his label that looks like something he saw in the junk mail at the Eagles and Bears Club – a flyer for a tailor – Lenny’s of Brentwood.

They head to Lenny’s and they show him a photo of the suit and he knows who he made the suit for. The man’s name was Oblomov but only has a phone number. Rex tells them their technicians will come there and then the shop owner should call Oblomov and tell him his suits are ready and must talk to him as long as they tell him to.

Later, the detectives arrive at the location where the caller's cell phone GPS signal have been coming from. The police barge in and find Anna (Alla Korot) hiding another room. They also see another grave dug outside.

The detectives and ADA Lauren Stanton (Megan Boone) later speak with Anna who doesn’t recall much as she has not been sleeping. She is clearly traumatized. Her husband and daughter arrive.

Later, Rex tries to question one of the kidnappers, Mr. Kolbichek. He wants a lawyer. TJ speaks with the other kidnapper who also won’t talk. Stanton, and DDA Joe Dekker are watching and Dekker wants to put the kidnapping gang out of business.

At the DA’s office, Dekker tries to question the Ackroyds before the hearing. Dennis tells them that Anna’s family in Russia live like kings but they don’t share the money. He admits that they came up with a plan with a friend to get money from that family and no one was supposed to get hurt. Their lawyer admits it was a show for Ackroyd’s uncle. They wonder if the Ackroyds are being pressured and TJ and Rex tell him there was another attempt at a kidnapping. Their lawyer says the Ackroyds will not be testifying in any kidnapping case.

Later, Dekker, Stanton, TJ and Rex speak with the uncle. He tells Dekker maybe they know the wrong facts. He does not want to file a police complaint, it is just only family business. He tells the detectives they are good police and he leaves. But TJ think this was no act and thinks the family is afraid. TJ reminds them Anna was not restrained when they got to the house. The airport video was not clear enough to tie the two men to the kidnapping. Dekker doesn’t like the idea that they think they can come here and commit crimes with impunity.

Afterwards, Rex recalls that Mila said the house was in shambles meaning Anna did not go willingly and wonder if SID can find evidence of the grab.

Later, the detectives present Stanton with evidence that SID found of forced entry and glass shards in the living room. Latent got a print from the uncle’s bedroom which matches a print from the FBI, described as an unknown person of interest found at a suspect residence in Washington 10 years ago.

At the FBI, the detectives speak with an agent (Harry J. Lennix) who tells them it is a national security matter, and that it was found in a home of a suspected spy and they believe the print was from his handler. The detectives tell him the print belongs to Andrei Kalugin (Eugene Alper) and he is booked to fly out soon. The FBI agrees to help.

The detectives explain the spy angle to Stanton which may explain why Dennis and Anna want this all to go away. They wonder if this really is their uncle and if the Ackroyds are really who they say they are.

At the Canadian Consulate General, they find Dennis is Canadian and that he never left Canada – he died in 1989. The identity was stolen. There is no record of a marriage to Anna and that she never resided in Canada.

The detectives explain this new information to Dekker and Stanton, and that the FBI thinks they are spies. Dekker thinks that now that they know the secret they can get them to cooperate, and tells them to call the FBI and get the Ackroyds in.

Later, Dennis and Anna are arrested and Mila is shocked to find that she has to go with family services.

With Mila at RHD, she finds out about her parents. She asks to stay with her best friend Natalie. Meanwhile, the FBI and Dekker and Stanton have Anna and Dennis in for questioning and explain the other kidnapping. Anna agrees to testify against the kidnappers.

The FBI agent explains that the Ackroyds were sent to the US to befriend academics and policy makers and gather information on policy and trade but now the information is freely available on the net. They are low level operatives. The FBI got word that they are interested in a trade for the Ackroyds but they have one weekm but the trial is two months away. The FBI guy suggests Dekker wrap up his case quickly.

Dekker and Stanton later makes an offer to the kidnappers and tell them that their target was a spy. Dekker offers then 25 to life and wants names of accomplices, or they will be deported to Russia and the will not look kindly on them. One of them thinks Dekker has no case and the Russians will trade spies and there will be no more witnesses. He says no deal.

In court, Dekker tells the judge about the time constraints against the case for the kidnappers. The judge allows the questioning to go on immediately.

Anna testifies about the kidnapping and identifies the kidnappers. The defense attorney only asks if she ever met the men before the kidnapping and she says no. The defense then calls Mila to testify to impeach what Anna just said.

Mila testifies that 2 weeks before the kidnapping, she saw those two men in the kitchen talking to Russian to those two men. A week afterwards, her parents argued with a man named Libergal and her dad said those guys screwed up their big plan and her mother was afraid, and soon after her mother was kidnapped.

Later, in Dekker’s office, he explains how she just implicated her parents in murder. But she says they are liars and deserve to be in jail there. She says it is not fair she has to go back there with them. Dekker says she created so much confusion that two murderers might go free. He tells her she will be on the stand again tomorrow and she has to tell the truth. Afterwards, Stanton tells Dekker to give Mila a break, she is only 15, but Dekker says Mila knows exactly what she wants she just doesn’t know how to get it, and maybe they can help her.

Later, Dekker and Stanton are at the FBI and they explain what Mila said at trial and what this means for them and that the kidnappers could go free. They asks them to sign a declaration of independence for Mila so she can stay there after Anna and Dennis leave. He adds Mila feels betrayed and may already be lost to them. Anna and Dennis anguish over this, and they decide to sign the paperwork.

Back in court, Mila admits what she said previously was not true. She says her parents would never hurt anyone on purpose and apologized for lying. Dekker asks for Anna’s and Dennis testimony to be preserved for trial and the judge concurs.

At the Burbank Airport, Dekker and Stanton are there to watch the trade off of Dennis and Anna with the Russians, and Mila is also there. They say their goodbyes. Stanton gets a call saying the kidnappers are ready to deal. Dekker says they should go make that deal, and as they walk off we fade to black.

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Abbe said...

Watch. Next week's ep. out of sequence too.

YDC said...

Is NBC trying to kill the Law & Order franchise or something? WTF???

gahks said...

@YDC: I know! Grr.

All Things, I agree with you that episodes could still have been aired whilst rebooting was still going on. The super-long hiatus cost the show momentum and viewers. =/

Abbe said...

My favorite shows all L & O.

janethyland said...

Ratings in: 1.4 key demo. 6.5 million total viewers.
Maybe even more will watch next week once they know Skeet is back.

janethyland said...

Skeet, the actor, doesn’t look well in this episode. He looks drained and under stress...was he sick do you think?Is that why they had to change things? He looks a bit off colour like VDO looked before he collapsed during season 4.
Anyway it was such a relief to see him back in place, and to see Dekker back to his old soulful self and not the arrogant post Christmas character he became. Its like seeing old friends...but with more hair!

Anyway I loved every minute of it, from the falling leaves in the opening camera lens with the farts and fun of family life, the rural pastoral idyll that became a blood horror, to the closing sequence as another family is ripped apart by the horror of legal choices.

It was neat, it was witty, it had poetics. I liked the human angle and the underlying simplicity, the fact we didn’t get bogged down in a court room with the abstractions of legal technicality and quibbles, the fact we weren’t in a court room for long but out in the neighbourhoods like that other rural canyon idyllic setting that hides its horrors. And if we werent outside, then they brought the outside inside, like the tree in the office and the wild ivy in the “Eagle and Bears Friendship Club” (double giggle).Outside inside they were doing alot before Christmas. It was interesting.

I t was nice to see the elderly as USEFUL, if a little tongue in cheek...the old woman who sees everything and the old men who play chess because they are European (!).We need to see this age group more...They do exist and they do function. Their role here is to do with security, just as much as Homeland security or the security poster in the Squad Room...(yes, I didn’t miss it!) The old woman and these old men are security because they mind what is going on in their neighbourhoods. That’s important work too.

Loved the evidence box being a huge mess....and references to playing cowboys...the tailor scenes..TJ ironically saying “he loves a deadline”, like all showrunners I suspect!

Tell the Truth. Not fair. New world men.

Horrors in paradise was a recurring theme in the pre-christmas episodes.

I liked the fact that power was ultimately in the hands of Mila,a childs innocent nature. The power of that innocence beyond anything proven in a court. Dekker gave it to her.

Such a joy to see them all back together as they were....the themes, the imagery, the fun. They were all acting naturally, not forced and over-trying as they are after Christmas. Rachel Ticoten is the only one to stay natural throughout. She just flows effortlessly while all the others are making such an effort.

janethyland said...

This was Balcer at his best while Hayden Tract was Balcer at his worst. So what happened? Its like Balcer is running two different shows differently. Before Christmas he seemed excited and was talking alot about episodes. After Christmas he was utterly silent. Did he see the folly of it all? In fact i thought he left.

And the actors seemed to go through a series of desperate “politically correct interviews” where they said how much they loved law and Order and a stable job. They seemed to forget they were forging a new show in its own right. Then every episode just seemed over thought and over cooked, mentalised.

Except for that bit of interaction between Peter Coyote and Howard. They are pure magic together...something real going on there, something special...that cant be written. Wow! I hope someone somewhere gives them the chance to revisit that connection. Such a joy to see, I enthuse...

Im sorry about Morales as a cop. It just didn’t feel right, The mannerisms were too English and he ended up a bit of an ogre lumbering about. I think its the worst thing Ive seen him do. He seemed right as a lawyer, but not as a cop .Happily, they are repeating his “Roger and Val have just got in” on TV at the moment. Nice script and visuals.

I like Skeet as a cop the more i see him. He has that Law and Order face, that says alot by saying nothing...which is probably what I should be doing!

ReviveLawandOrderLA said...

I didn't like Skeet in this role as detective. I think Skeet should have been the DDA and Molina been the cop from the jump, maybe even T. Howard as his partner (nah Corey's the best). But Megan Boone and even Regina Hall would still need to go and Alana de la Garza come in.

Skeet/Corey's partnership was more two close brothers, Alfred/Corey's partnership is more the elder wiser cop-younger street-smart cop dynamic.

But yeah, Skeet was looking sick. He looked sick in Zuma Canyon too IMO.

Didn't Corey Stoll seem too quiet in this episode? it could just be me.

K&B said...

I like the newer matchups better than the previous one shown in the episode. The new setup would work if they actually aired more than 4 episodes before pulling the plug. I really don't get NBC at all.

cbsplaysdirty said...

In real life (not formulaic tv scripts), most cops have a brotherly type of relationship and that is why I never liked Molina as a cop partner with Stoll. Molina was better as a lawyer. You can't have two guys on the same pay grade where one is a mentor to the other, that doesn't feel organic and I found that awkward to watch in the reboots especially given the backstory that Morales was high up in the Courts previously.

Plus, if they had continued with TJ and Winters as the cop duo, there would have been more ribbing between the two the way brothers do versus the subdued deference TJ would have shown Morales. Yeah, he did make a few comments here and there, but there were tempered.

I don't like most of the writing on most of the episodes, and I agree that the legal side is just forced and so.....blah for lack of a better word. And so unbelievably unrealistic that it makes it hard to watch. Howard was wooden, and I never liked the way he annunciates words -- but the preachy dialogue doesn't help much.

Let's see if NBC is smart enough to promote the new pre-reboot Ulrich episodes to bring in more viewers to at least get this onto a DVD set.

cbsplaysdirty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ReviveLawandOrderLA said...

What do you call Detectives Briscoe and Fontana to Ed Green (Briscoe to Rey Curtis); older/wiser cop, young/street smart cop.

Briscoe and Logan were exactly the same person really... so it could have been either or.

I think too the problem with Skeet/Corey is just that... Skeet. I wonder how it would be if someone else portrayed Detective Winters.

Skeet's a good actor, but LOLA; he's trying too hard in a role that doesn't require much, like Terrence Howard.

The only people 'watchable' on LOLA ARE A. Molina, C. Stoll, R. Ticotin, and A. de la Garza (and Tamlyn Tomita)! Everyone else tries to hard or not enough.

I hope LOLA is renewed somewhere. Because NBC screwed this show from Day 1 really.

Esaul said...

Well it's not LOLA's fault that it was pulled off air. And it's not LOLA's fault that it was aired out of sequence. This is only NBC's fault for that. This episode was pretty good. However, I prefer the retooled version much more.

gahks said...

Janet, I'd be interested to hear your opinion on the "neighbourhoods as episode titles" device. Do you like the practice or should it be ditched?

Abbe said...

NBC has killed off all things L&O. LOLA did not have a chance. SVU is losing it's winning team. CI at least is going out with class. And the 'mother-ship'...leaving us hanging in a bar. Even Matlock and Perry Mason said goodbye. _

Abbe said...

NBC has killed off all things L&O. LOLA did not have a chance. SVU is losing it's winning team. CI at least is going out with class. And the 'mother-ship'...leaving us hanging in a bar. Even Matlock and Perry Mason said goodbye. _

janethyland said...

They could have made more of the neighbourhoods angle because i wanted to know more about LA as a city and its people.It was a nice idea as introduction

After christmas there wasnt much sense of LA at all so they could have called the episodes anything.

In fact after christmas the world seemed to contract into that of a lawyer so they could have just called it "Law and Order revisited", which is what they were trying to do I think.

janethyland said...

yes cbs, the brother thing was much more interesting and less patronising.I would have thought young people preferred watching that equality.

janethyland said...

gahks...which reminds me,why are the leaves falling? Is it autumn? Does LA have those seasons or not?

janethyland said...

I wouldnt buy it.Id rather tape the episodes I liked from TV.

janethyland said...

Sorry to keep adding,but is Plummer Park well known as a place to play chess?Is it a bohemian part of LA?Id have like to know more about it as a place.

nygma619 said...

Personally here's how I'd have the cast right off the bat:

Law side:
-Corey Stoll (with the awesome mustache of course) & Skeet Ulrich (playing character better suited to him as an actor, and not a stiff) in their roles, with Rachel Ticotin playing their superior.

Order side:
-Alana De La Garza as Connie Rubirosa as the ADA
-Alfred Molina as Ricardo Morales as the DDA
-Terrance Howard playing Joe Dekker as The District Attorney (He'd still be on the show, but in a role that wouldn't require as much from him the way the court room stuff would).

I figure a cast like THIS would've done alot more for the show IMO. Thoughts?

Also to the person that said Logan and Briscoe were the same character; Lenny Briscoe was NEVER the hothead that Mike Logan was.

gahks said...

I like that configuration, nygma! It capitalises on the strengths of the pre- and post-hiatus shows, I think.

windy city girl said...

I wasn't a big fan of the pre-reboot L&O: LA, but I found this episode a decent way to kill 42 minutes (watched on Hulu :-)

janethyland said...

Final ratings for Plummer Park give it 1.5 in key demo and 6.59million viewers. Thats the highest in ratings since Skeets last episode,Zuma Canyon.

It doesnt matter what night they show it.

They should have stuck to the pre-christmas set up. It was better.

cbsplaysdirty said...

And a lot of viewers probably saw Winters and assumed it was a repeat and so they clicked to something else. I think the ratings might even have been larger if NBC had promoted it properly and explained that this was a previously UNAIRED episode.

nygma619 said...

I remember one episode of the reformat, did a 1.6 janet. Also 1.5 is hardly something to brag about. Also go back to Zuma Canyon, the two hour debut that reformatted, Zuma Canyon was the lower rated show, the one SKEET ULRICH WAS ON. As the night continued the 2nd episode scored higher ratings, the REFORMATED EPISODE.

Seriously Janet, your picking at straws in your attempts to somehow prove the show was better before it was reformatted. Most people STILL felt that the 2 female DDA's were a waste of space & that Skeet Ulrich & Terrance Howard were turning in sub par acting performances. Maybe you don't feel this way, but there are other people that did.

janethyland said...

All the adas are a waste of space. They needed to reassess the role itself.

Not picking at straws but looking at the facts:

1) 1.5key demo 6.1million viewers. overall average.
2) 1.1 demo. 5.1million
3)1.3 demo. 5.7million
4) 1,4 demo. 4.8million
5)1.2 demo. 5.1millon
6) 1.1 demo. 4.4million
7)1.3 demo 5.9million
8)1.3 demo. 5.4million
9)Plummer Park! 1.5demo 6.59million

There is no 1.6million.
The lowest recorded pre christmas rating was 1.7demo, 6.8million.

Its obvious the higher numbers went with Skeet. Those numbers will probably never return now because of the mess up. That audience just left.

Abbe said...

I liked it after they made the switch because it added some gravitas. TJ had some purpose (revenge in Mexico). Only drawback is Morales' Brit accent comes out whenever they put him on the stand. (LOL).
As for the DA....sending in Connie..a surprise. Now, the show has been CANCELLED! Damn Suits.

cbsplaysdirty said...

This past LOLA was the third highest rated show for the evening. When it comes to numbers, it is all relative and this is big, especially considering, as I stated, that viewers would have been confused and assumed it was a rerun. Also, some of those low numbers of the reboot episodes were when LOLA was up against ALL REPEAT shows on other networks. LOLA didn't have much competition that night either, but even repeats had scored higher numbers than the reboot LOLA's, whereas this past LOLA managed to come in third for the whole night.

I think that speaks volumes.

Summary: Original LOLA casting performed better than Reboot no matter what day of the week.

cbsplaysdirty said...


With that said, it could be Corey's mustache that are pulling in more viewers.....we need a more indepth analysis to narrow down the exact factor. Or maybe it is Boone's sweet face?

nygma619 said...

yeah about #1 Janet

in the two hour debut: here's how it fared:
-9:00; 1.3 w/ 5.12 million viewers
-9:30; 1.5 w/ 5.95 million viewers
-10:00; 1.5 w/ 6.2 million viewers
-10:30; 1.6 w/ 6.55 million viewers

Man those viewers really went away after the episode that skeet did. Or maybe thats semantics. Seriously janet 1.5 and 6 million viewers is still NOT something to be proud of, all your proving is that the common folk might've watched because of Skeet Ulrich, NOT because of whether Skeet Ulrich was any good in the role or not.

janethyland said...

Yes ,exactly...they didnt stay around. They left until Plummer Park when the ratings improved.Your satire proves the point.

You of all people should know how bad the ratings go for a Law and Order show when you put it on earlier in the evening. The skeet show was outside the usual time. The second episode caught the traditional Law and Order time.It only got 1.6 in the last half hour. But those were preliminary ratings. The final ratings were later rounded off to 1.5. The final ratings were only shown for the two hour average. Those are the final figures. NBC etc get more data not made available to the public.

Also The skeet episode was up against Dancving with the stars..which brings in demos of 4.1 and 20 million.Now THATS real competition!

Remember how bad the law and orders do when they put them on an hour earlier?

It doesnt matter what any of the viewers think. NBC looked at the numbers and made their decision...which was obviously right.

From their point of view, Harrys Law is a much better bet.

Fans only have one one viewpoint. The networks have other angles to consider.Thats the nature of the game...

janethyland said...

who are the common folk by the way?
Im pretty common. I have no interest in Skeet and didnt even know who he was.He was just better to watch.

janethyland said...

Actually, considering the skeet episode was up against Dancing with the Stars Im surprised it did so well in the key demo. Most in that demo would be watching the Stars show.

cbsplaysdirty said...

Good call about the DWTS, I totally forgot about that.

nygma619 said...

@janet: the common folk are those who bitched that they only watched because of him, or maybe you've been living under a rock and didn't notice all the people whining on sites because the "hot guy" was no longer on.

"You of all people should know how bad the ratings go for a Law and Order show when you put it on earlier in the evening." SVU says hi by the way.

1.3 average to 1.5 and just a 1 million increase is hardly an improvement, hell Chicago Code did better than that, but Fox cut them lose.

Personally Janet I think your bias is geared towards the pre-hiatus, because of your love for Criminal Intent, and disinterest in the mothership. NOT based on whether they represented quality or not. Cause Terrance Howards acting here did not resemble anything approaching good. And Skeet was ONLY passable here, mostly because there wasn't heavy focus on him, which is when Ulrich's monotone facial expressions, and flatline delivery suck the life out of a scene he's in.

janethyland said...

Others disagree, the ones who left.

The audience for this show was and always would be divided so it would always be a problem. The audience left watching was predominently Mothership audience since the retooling accommodated them..but it wasnt enough to keep the show on air when the others left.

Production changed courses in midstream. It started out appealing to a different set of people which was enough to get it renewed.

The episodes pre christmas were full of quality and balanced, from the point of view of those watching at the time. It was the same writers throughout. The only change was to make it more like Mothership. That doesnt interest me. It does interst you. thats the difference.I was interested in watching a "new" show. You wanted mothership back.

Nobody gets what they want.

janethyland said...

I disagree about Howard and Skeet.Howard was just arrogant after the retooling and Skeet was great to watch before christmas.....so you see we will never agree. We can only constantly restate the same things.

I can only say most people seem to have left watching the same time i did....and in the end its numbers that matter.

janethyland said...

Its nothing about quality. These are the same quality writers both sides of Christmas.

Its about direction. Thats what changed. Thats the producers fault. The show started off in one direction and got renewed on that basis.

Then it changed direction unnecessarily and prematurely,simply because Mothership got cancelled. This muddied the waters. After that they seemed confused about what kind of show they wanted.

They had appealed to one kind of audience and then changed to appeal to another. Sentiment got in the way and sentiment killed it.

Abbe said...

I have read the *before* and *after* mothership comments. I was one who felt the starting
OLAs were a bore, but Plummett Park proves otherwise. Howard and Ulrich and Stoll and yes Molina are different. It is a new program. I liked some of the changes, with the TJ arc of going to Mexico...but clearly after Plummer Park and Monday's upcoming Cathay episode, the show SHOWED promise, changed or not. I may not have given it its proper time to settle in as we,as viewers had the chance to do in days of yore

That said....the entire franchise may be going south anyhoo...not good prognosis. ab

K&B said...

I actually liked Howard in this episode and thought it was one of the more well done "pre-rework".

Also, the ratings drop off had NOTHING TO DO with the way the show was formatted. Had the show been written like the rework prior to Christmas and like it was done in the fall for the spring, the ratings would have been the same -- good in the fall, and bad in the spring.

The ratings drop off had everything to do with the act it was given a 3 1/2 month hiatus, so people didn't think it was on the air, and then moved to Mondays, away from SVU and before the Biggest Loser (and eventually the Voice) aired on Tuesdays, the one ratings driver for the network.

And, the mothership did quite well, by the way, on Fridays at 7 p.m. -- enough that it was announced it would be renewed, and well enough they moved it to Mondays in early 2010 after the Leno 9pm program ended, because they thought it would bring viewers.

NBC killed both the mothership and LOLA with terrible, indefensible decisions on timeslot and hiatuses, not writing or the fact LOLA was written for mothership fans. That claim is just patently ridiculous,

janethyland said...

Mothership rated between 1.5 and 1.9 in its final season. the Finale brought in 1.9.

See if ratings fall anymore this week on LOLA.Its possible people have stopped watching anyway since they know its ending.

gahks said...

Going back several posts (!), I think the show could've exploited LA locations and neighbourhoods without having to resort to using locales as episode titles. It sounded like a good idea on paper, but ended up just being rather gimmicky. "SVU" or mothership-esque titles that better captured the mood of each episode would've helped to sell the show better. I refer in particular to some of the titles "SVU" used throughout the early seasons: "Dominance", "Fallacy", "Repression, "Wrath"... contrast with the blandness of "Westwood", "Carthay Circle", "Plummer Park", "Hayden Tract" and the somewhat stereotypical "Hollywood".

I do think that the super-long hiatus was more of a deciding factor in viewer decline than Skeet's character being killed off. I really liked Molina as a cop, but think they could've made more out of the 'who killed Winters' mystery and stretched it out as a subplot over several episodes rather than hashing it into "Hayden Tract". I think people underestimate Molina's versatility as an actor. Howard on the other hand... well...

On another note, don't get me wrong, I love Rachel Ticotin's energy on the show, but I watched a couple of episodes of the British "Whose Line is it Anyway?" featuring Karen Maruyama. She was terrific in them. She would've been a good choice for the Lt. role. Rachel Ticotin could be a good DA in that scenario.

janethyland said...

I liked the simplicity of place name episodes. It contrasts with the metaphysics you mention of the episodes in Mothership.I thought that was a neat choice by Balcer.

Abbe said...

Janet: so do I. I was waiting for more neighborhoods...or even Bel Air. I loved visiting LA, and did minor #pr work for older film music folk...and would drive around neighborhoods looking at yards with empty swimming pools. LOLA had so much promise, shaky start (?) or not! ab

Dorothy Alice said...

I thought the use of neigbourhood and city names was a good way to introduce the area of Los Angeles to the rest of the world, beyond Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Had the series lasted another season, though, I would have expected more "conventional" names for the episodes.