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Monday, June 25, 2012

Krasovic: Baseball writers still don’t love ‘Raymond’

I don’t know, Hano, Schaap, Hirshberg, etc…they all wrote for Robinson’s Baseball Stars of… Oh.

But it wasn’t a gag. This man believed that comedian Ray Romano’s TV character—the guy never seen writing a story or interviewing an athlete or watching a ballgame or getting a disruptive phone call from an editor—is in fact a sports writer of the newspaper species.

For my neighbor to divine that thin truth, which is a truth in the way that “it sometimes snows in Mississippi” is a truth, is proof beyond a doubt that nuclear engineers truly are geniuses.

This whole Raymond-is-a-sports-writer conceit has fascinated me for years. I may not know much about many jobs, but I do know what newspaper sports writers do, having been one for 24 years, most of them as a baseball or football beat reporter for San Diego’s largest newspaper. Raymond, ostensibly employed by Newsday, rumored to be covering the Yankees, is suitably flippant to be a sports hack. His arrested development rings true, too. Not so his life of apparent leisure. Sports writers actually work. Raymond doesn’t work.

There you have it.

My wife, Mrs. West Coast Bias, could confirm this, at least the part about sports writers working, but she’s not commenting owing to subject fatigue. Whenever she dared watch “Raymond” in my presence, I pointed out 394 times that this man couldn’t be a sports writer.

Repoz Posted: June 25, 2012 at 02:32 PM | 292 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   201. Jay Z Posted: June 26, 2012 at 09:04 PM (#4167293)
The commentary on the "Dennis and Mac Break Up" episode with some TV psychologist explores this in quite some detail. I think the "rings true" or "speaks to me" point mentioned above very much applies to me and cliquey sit-coms. I've had the same core of friends since high school. Sure we've branched out (hell, I live on a different continent) but it's still very much a tightly-knit group and whenever I'm back in Toronto (like, tomorrow for instance!) there are countless pop-ins and drop-bys. It's a pattern of friendship I've kind of continued as I have subsequent "cliques" in the places I've lived - Saskatchewan, and now one is building in Nottingham. I can't imagine having more than 4 or 5 friends at a time - or at least 4 or 5 is my max in any one location. I'm not the most social person, so I don't meet a ton of people, but the friends I do have are of the Gang at St. Paddy's type...there to be mocked and taken advantage of, but locked into a mutually reinforcing pattern of dependency forever.


I appreciate that those ring true to certain people. I'm a loner personally, so I've really never been in any sort of clique. My wife has a bunch of college friends that have all moved away, and some new mom friends. No real clique for her though. I figured those shows must be more true to life for some people than others.
   202. Jay Z Posted: June 26, 2012 at 09:09 PM (#4167307)
I love Sorkin's dialog. Nobody in Shakespeare time talked that way either, but so what?
I mean movies and tv shows go out of their way to film the characters never making mistakes(you never see a stutter, or incorrect word used in a sentence, no one ever stubs kicks an invisible turtle while walking etc. events that happen daily in real life) Why not go all out, and make the dialog a part of the entertainment, and raise it to a level beyond general discourse?


I think one of the problems with Sports Night is that ESPN had already set the bar with their numerous humorous commercials. Sports Night probably didn't have a lot to offer the people who liked those commercials.

I get that people can like the way Sorkin writes, but you can't just plug that same style into any setting and have it make sense. Can Sorkin do a show about a baseball team? A rock band? High voltage linemen? All with the same witty repartee and long speeches?
   203. McCoy Posted: June 26, 2012 at 09:14 PM (#4167311)
Didn't he do Moneyball?

If Soderbergh can do Magic Mike I think Sorkin could do a rock band or high voltage linemen.
   204. cardsfanboy Posted: June 26, 2012 at 09:35 PM (#4167332)
I get that people can like the way Sorkin writes, but you can't just plug that same style into any setting and have it make sense. Can Sorkin do a show about a baseball team? A rock band? High voltage linemen? All with the same witty repartee and long speeches?


Why not? I can see him doing good dialog with a show centered around a trash collector. Not everyone has to write in the vein of Mark Twain with their characters. I mentioned Shakespeare before, his dialog didn't matter for the setting, the dialog was as much a part of the experience as the actual going ons of the play.

   205. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 26, 2012 at 09:44 PM (#4167341)
The problem with Sorkin's dialogue is that it often sounds scripted, not that the dialogue is too witty for people in any particular walk of life. It's like Person A knows exactly how Person B is going to respond to what he says even if such a response isn't what you'd expect from a normal person. Maybe Sorkin couldn't write a show about garbage collectors, but that kind of show could be written.

To be fair, sometimes his characters are genuinely tongue-tied (recall "You're a lousy ####### softball player, Jack!" from A Few Good Men). And I thought Malice was actually a pretty good movie, in part because (*SPOILER*) you later learn that Alec Baldwin's ridiculous monologue was just an act, part of an insurance fraud scam.
   206. McCoy Posted: June 26, 2012 at 09:55 PM (#4167357)
It's kinda funny that I just knew Sorkin did An American President. The last time I watched it was about 15 years ago and I did't know who Sorkin was at the time. But in thinking about it after watching Newsroom I thought to myself I bet Sorkin did An American President and it turns out I was right. Now granted I also thought he wrote Dave as well. So what do I know?
   207. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 26, 2012 at 10:15 PM (#4167375)
Can Sorkin do a show about a baseball team? A rock band? High voltage linemen? All with the same witty repartee and long speeches?


No, of course not, at least and not have it be at all believable. There's a reason all of Sorkin's projects are about super-achieving intellectuals. If he wrote an episode of "Green Acres," he'd make Eb sound like a graduate student in French history at Princeton.

Sorkin did co-write "Moneyball," with Steven Zaillian, who can actually write dialogue; I assume it was Zaillian's job to make Sorkin's stuff sound plausible.
   208. zonk Posted: June 26, 2012 at 10:52 PM (#4167403)
Just finished watching newsnight in between innings - and I'll admit, it was good enough in a few places that I was late pausing back to the game. The tragic relationships are already thick and moderately annoying - and there are only two so far - but I think there are some really good moments around the subject matter. I don't think there's any doubt that Sports Night and West Wing are its maternal parents - it lays on the West Wing idealism on thick, while it recycles the Sports Night staff interaction and staff. Heck, the EP is even an ex/flame of the anchor fer chrissakes and I'm pretty sure the mousy intern-assistant-now-associate producer is the exact same character Joshua Malina played on Sports Night, just in female form. Sam Waterson is good - he's playing Robert Guillaume.

I think it still works to a certain extent because there are those moments when the acting, writing, and overall production overcome a somewhat schmaltzy bedrock.

The problem with Sorkin's dialogue isn't that no one talks like he writes - it's that not everyone does, but they do on a Sorkin show.

So, derivative, but having enjoyed both Sports Night and West Wing, I guess there's room for it on the DVR.
   209. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: June 26, 2012 at 10:53 PM (#4167404)
...it never occured to me, that there is actually a need or a reason to lock the doors when you are home and awake.


You'd fell differently if every single person you knew thought it was OK to just barge in without knocking any time they wanted to. You know, like if you lived on a sitcom set, for instance.
   210. McCoy Posted: June 26, 2012 at 11:35 PM (#4167432)
The thing that amuses me about TV is the murder rates. I think someone ran the numbers once and if all the murders that happened in Law & Order actually happened that NYC would have the highest murder rate in the history of cities.

It gets even worse when the show takes place in a small town. For instance I watched a few shows of Longmire and in about a month or so of time there have been like 10 murders. Yet the town has only 4 officers and everybody in town seems happy enough.
   211. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 26, 2012 at 11:39 PM (#4167434)
I'm pretty sure the mousy intern-assistant-now-associate producer is the exact same character Joshua Malina played on Sports Night, just in female form
I thought that was Sabrina Lloyd.
   212. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 27, 2012 at 12:01 AM (#4167439)

The thing that amuses me about TV is the murder rates. I think someone ran the numbers once and if all the murders that happened in Law & Order actually happened that NYC would have the highest murder rate in the history of cities.

Yeah, I've often wondered how shows like that affect people's views of city living. I've lived in NYC for nearly a decade and I don't think I know anyone who has been the victim of an assault, let alone a murder (I do, however, have a friend who was mugged and whose home was burglarized within the span of a few weeks in DC).
   213. Jay Z Posted: June 27, 2012 at 12:07 AM (#4167440)
Yeah, I've often wondered how shows like that affect people's views of city living. I've lived in NYC for nearly a decade and I don't think I know anyone who has been the victim of an assault, let alone a murder (I do, however, have a friend who was mugged and whose home was burglarized within the span of a few weeks in DC).


Jessica Fletcher spent a lot of time in small towns. Didn't help her.
   214. PreservedFish Posted: June 27, 2012 at 12:11 AM (#4167441)
It gets even worse when the show takes place in a small town. For instance I watched a few shows of Longmire and in about a month or so of time there have been like 10 murders.


Just imagine the death rate of people who are invited to the same dinner party as Hercule Poirot.
   215. tshipman Posted: June 27, 2012 at 12:22 AM (#4167444)
It gets even worse when the show takes place in a small town. For instance I watched a few shows of Longmire and in about a month or so of time there have been like 10 murders.


True Blood is the all time worst at this. In a town small enough that there's only one freaking restaurant, 20 people die every six months. And yet somehow everyone hasn't moved out yet.
   216. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 27, 2012 at 03:49 AM (#4167468)
The thing that amuses me about TV is the murder rates. I think someone ran the numbers once and if all the murders that happened in Law & Order actually happened that NYC would have the highest murder rate in the history of cities.
That's not even remotely close to being close to remotely true, unless it was an L&O marathon and all the deaths were happening the same day or something. There was generally only one murder per episode; there were some episodes with multiple. To be conservative, let's call it two per episode. At 22 episodes per season, that's 44 extra deaths in a year. Within normal statistical fluctuations for NY over the span the show was on; definitely not one of the highest murder rates in the U.S.
   217. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 27, 2012 at 08:33 AM (#4167488)
The funny thing about the small towns in tv shows is that they are often portrayed (or used to be - I don't watch any shows regularly anymore, with the exception of Person of Interest) as their own little kingdoms, where "the sheriff" runs the town according to his own laws and rules, typically reporting to some suit. Every season of some show - let's use Knight Rider as an example - Michael Knight's investigation would lead him to a small town with the inevitable confrontation with the sheriff ("Now I'm the sheriff of this here town, and you're not welcome here, you'd best leave by midnight"). And the sheriff and this suit would always have a staff of thugs ready to commit assault and murder for them at will.
   218. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: June 27, 2012 at 09:12 AM (#4167500)
I've come to the conclusion that Aaron Sorkin is pretty much an awful hack. He writes the same characters over and over again, bloviates about liberalism but portrays all female characters as crazy and most persons of color as essentially sexless and noble, and persistently stacks the deck so that his opinions are made to seem like facts. All of his characters talk the same, and as he gets older his obsession with allegedly Great Men has come to seem narcissistic and self-justifying.

And the Emily Mortimer character makes me want to claw my eyes out.
   219. Lassus Posted: June 27, 2012 at 09:15 AM (#4167502)
Every season of some show - let's use Knight Rider as an example...

This explains a lot.
   220. Kurt Posted: June 27, 2012 at 09:16 AM (#4167503)
That's not even remotely close to being close to remotely true, unless it was an L&O marathon and all the deaths were happening the same day or something. There was generally only one murder per episode; there were some episodes with multiple. To be conservative, let's call it two per episode. At 22 episodes per season, that's 44 extra deaths in a year. Within normal statistical fluctuations for NY over the span the show was on; definitely not one of the highest murder rates in the U.S.

How many Assistant DA's are there in NYC, though? More than one, right?
   221. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: June 27, 2012 at 09:20 AM (#4167507)
Ray, if you were the sheriff of some small town, and you ran the place, you'd have the same apparatus in place to, you know, keep the status quo. What's yours is yours, and no Michael Knight should be able to step in and upset the applecart. You big city slickers are all alike. Best you stay put, lest you want to be engaged in a burlap sack party.
   222. GregD Posted: June 27, 2012 at 09:26 AM (#4167511)
That's not even remotely close to being close to remotely true, unless it was an L&O marathon and all the deaths were happening the same day or something. There was generally only one murder per episode; there were some episodes with multiple. To be conservative, let's call it two per episode. At 22 episodes per season, that's 44 extra deaths in a year. Within normal statistical fluctuations for NY over the span the show was on; definitely not one of the highest murder rates in the U.S.
You're right that it's within range for an individual part of the franchise. Manhattan murders range between 48 and 70 recently. I think one time someone added together the Manhattan homicides on the various Law & Orders and they in aggregate showed 2 times that many over the course of the TV season, but all the Law & Orders combined. Though sometimes they did show murders in the outer boroughs, too.
   223. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 27, 2012 at 09:39 AM (#4167517)

That's not even remotely close to being close to remotely true, unless it was an L&O marathon and all the deaths were happening the same day or something. There was generally only one murder per episode; there were some episodes with multiple. To be conservative, let's call it two per episode. At 22 episodes per season, that's 44 extra deaths in a year. Within normal statistical fluctuations for NY over the span the show was on; definitely not one of the highest murder rates in the U.S.

But there are multiple L&O series, and most of them focus only one one particular set of partners' caseload. Are there only two homicide detectives in Manhattan?
   224. Cowboy Popup Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4167581)
He writes the same characters over and over again, bloviates about liberalism but portrays all female characters as crazy and most persons of color as essentially sexless and noble, and persistently stacks the deck so that his opinions are made to seem like facts.

I stopped watching Sports Night after the episode where they send the nerdy guy hunting (maybe five or six episodes in). I hate hunting, I am not a fan of it at all. But there was something so pandering and overly dramatic about that episode that I turned off Sports Night and never, ever felt the urge to watch another episode.

I've liked the movies of his that I've seen, and I will check out Newsroom, but I'm genuinely baffled by how many people seem to love Sports Night.
   225. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4167602)
I wish Manimal had been a better show. I was heartbroken as a kid that Logan ruined the show I most wanted in the world to be good.
   226. Lassus Posted: June 27, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4167608)
I wish Manimal had been a better show. I was heartbroken as a kid that Logan ruined the show I most wanted in the world to be good.

My favorite part of that show - and all I actually remember - was the bubbling, transforming hand.
   227. Swoboda is freedom Posted: June 27, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4167670)
I wish Manimal had been a better show. I was heartbroken as a kid that Logan ruined the show I most wanted in the world to be good.

I was upset until I saw the afterschool special, "They took my show away". Then I felt better.
   228. Tripon Posted: June 27, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4167710)
I think with Law and Order, and any shows that are similar to it, you're watching an entire case over many months. And the eps overlap somewhat while the detectives or lawyers work on these various cases.
   229. cardsfanboy Posted: June 27, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4167713)
That's not even remotely close to being close to remotely true, unless it was an L&O marathon and all the deaths were happening the same day or something. There was generally only one murder per episode; there were some episodes with multiple. To be conservative, let's call it two per episode. At 22 episodes per season, that's 44 extra deaths in a year. Within normal statistical fluctuations for NY over the span the show was on; definitely not one of the highest murder rates in the U.S.


That is 22 murders in one precinct.
   230. McCoy Posted: June 27, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4167727)
Here from what I can tell is the murder rates by precinct in Manhattan for 2011:

Uptown:

34th: 7.1
33rd: 9.0
32nd: 12.6
30th: 3.3
28th: 13.4
26th: 4.0
25th: 19.0
24th: 4.7
23rd: 6.8
22nd: 0.0
20th: 0.0
19th: 0.9

Lower Manhattan:

1st: 0.0
5th: 0.0
6th: 1.6
7th: 8.8
9th: 1.3
10th: 5.9
13th: 2.1
14th: 9.6
17th: 0.0
18th: 0.0

So two partners working homicide get somewhere between 22 to 44 homicides a year in just one precinct is pretty darn extraordinary.
   231. McCoy Posted: June 27, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4167728)
Alas NYC has no 27th precinct
   232. McCoy Posted: June 27, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4167729)
From PAjiba:

Let’s focus in on only the procedurals that are set in New York City proper from the 2009-2010 television season, and in particular those that focus on violent crime: “Law and Order,” “Law and Order Criminal Intent,” “Castle,” “CSI:NY,” and “Law and Order SVU.” We’d pick up a few more bodies if we included other shows set in New York City with an occasional death, but overall it probably wouldn’t throw much of a wrench in this back of the envelope calculation. Here’s the number of episodes and murders on each of these shows during that season:
“Law and Order Criminal Intent” 16 episodes, 18 homicides
“Castle” 24 episodes, 24 homicides
“Law and Order” 23 episodes, 28 homicides
“CSI: NY” 23 episodes, 25 homicides
“Law and Order SVU” 24 episodes, 23 homicides
That comes out to a total of 118 homicides in New York City during the 2009-2010 television season. How’s that compare to reality? Well, numbers are kept per calendar year instead of television year, but in 2009 there were 466 murders in New York City.
But that’s a little misleading, since that’s for all the boroughs and it’s quite clear (at least in the Law and Order universe, I’m not sure about “Castle” and “CSI: NY”) that the jurisdiction of the police on the shows is restricted to Manhattan. I recall several instances of “Law and Order” in which linked murders in the Bronx or Queens had to be addressed through their respective police departments. Which means that the proper comparison number isn’t the number for New York City overall, but Manhattan specifically.
The number of murders in real Manhattan in 2009? 59.
   233. phredbird Posted: June 27, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4167739)
Alas NYC has no 27th precinct


and no 12th precinct, so that means barney miller never happened? it was fictional?
   234. Loren F. Posted: June 27, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4167746)
so that means barney miller never happened? it was fictional?

Actually, it was based on a real police squad in Toronto.
   235. cardsfanboy Posted: June 27, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4167772)
On the mentalist, they have it set up so that their police force is for the entire state of California, so that alleviates some of the problems, but yes, the death rate in tv shows is extraodinary high(watch an episode of NCIS:Los Angeles. I think that show has set a new bar in number of bad guys killed per episode that has never been approached before)
   236. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: June 27, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4167777)
If you watch Dexter, Miami appears to be populated by three kinds of people: cops, serial killers, and victims.
   237. Booey Posted: June 27, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4167826)
(watch an episode of NCIS:Los Angeles. I think that show has set a new bar in number of bad guys killed per episode that has never been approached before)


Remember that show Hunter from the late 80's (or whenever)? They played re-runs on the TV at my work's breakroom a few years back and that guy must have gunned down like 30 bad guys per season. I remember one episode where they actually arrested the perp instead of killing him and Hunter seemed noticeably disappointed. Wouldn't a cop who killed a couple dozen suspects each year be under some serious investigation?
   238. Booey Posted: June 27, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4167833)
If you watch Dexter, Miami appears to be populated by three kinds of people: cops, serial killers, and victims.


Completely unrealistic. An accurate portrayal of Miami would include it's full range of diversity and also show plenty of hobo's, hookers, pimps, and drug dealers (or are they amongst the killers and victims?)
   239. DA Baracus Posted: June 27, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4167843)
Wouldn't a cop who killed a couple dozen suspects each year be under some serious investigation?


No, because he'd just find a way to frame you and then kill you. It would be a season finale.
   240. Lassus Posted: June 27, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4167846)
Damn, I miss Miami Vice.
   241. Tripon Posted: June 27, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4167848)
For semi-accurate Cop shows, I'd look at SouthLand.
   242. Yardape Posted: June 27, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4167892)
For semi-accurate Cop shows, I'd look at SouthLand.


Or the first couple of seasons of Homicide.
   243. phredbird Posted: June 27, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4167915)
so that means barney miller never happened? it was fictional?

Actually, it was based on a real police squad in Toronto.


can't find a cite for that. i'm skeptical because the show's creator, danny arnold was legendary for being an original and brilliant writer who singlehandedly crafted the show and its quirky character.
   244. phredbird Posted: June 27, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4167920)
For semi-accurate Cop shows, I'd look at SouthLand.


staying with the barney miller theme, the actor dennis farina (law & order, etc.), who was a cop for years, says that barney miller was the most accurate cop show he ever saw.
   245. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: June 27, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4167931)
Unless you count Entourage, which is something of a stretch

You know, I've been watching Entourage on DVD and I don't really get it. I mean, the characters are nice to each other, in that they band together, have each others' backs, etc. But they're complete a**holes to everybody else. All Drama and Turtle care about is getting laid. Vince gets any girl he wants. In the few episodes where he doesn't get the girl right away, he goes back and gets her by the end of the episode. Everything always just works out for the group: Vince bets $100,000 on a soccer game, the team loses, and it turns out the guy didn't place the bet. Or they turn down a flight to Cannes because one would have to stay behind and Kanye West shows up and flies them there anyway. People just give them stuff all the time for doing nothing.
   246. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 27, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4167956)
says that barney miller was the most accurate cop show he ever saw.


except for the part where they never left the office :-)

seriously, for those who have never seen it, Barney Miller was set on one stage, period, there was the detective's common room with some desks, to the left was a door that lead "downstairs" {you never saw downstairs), to the right was Barney Miller's office (the camera would go there), straight ahead on the far wall was an open barred small holding cell-

that was it- you saw the detective's room (and through it the holding cell) and Barney's office, that was it- I think maybe once or twice - in 8 years, you saw two character sitting in a squad car.

In a way it was like a stage play, always the same set, never outdoors, only the dialogue changed each week.

The detectives would bring someone in, that someone was either a "perp" or a complainant (victim), they would be interviewed, the victim would go, the perp would either be let go, or go to the holding cell... The detectives would talk/complain about their jobs and personal lives, every single episode someone (or some two or three) would complain about the coffee

That was it- and yet for years it was a really good show.
   247. Tripon Posted: June 27, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4167961)
Dennis Farina is a terrible actor. His years on Law and Order were easily the low point of the show.
   248. phredbird Posted: June 27, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4167983)
except for the part where they never left the office :-)

...

That was it- and yet for years it was a really good show.


exactly. it was that well written.

i think what cops liked about it is that tons of things went on in the squad room of the quotidian nature that is depicted in barney miller. cops aren't always out in the street breaking heads and stuff.

besides, alot of what went on is because of what happened on the street. the detectives were always walking in with a compainant/suspect with a story about what went on outside. miller was really the only one who almost never went anywhere.

Dennis Farina is a terrible actor. His years on Law and Order were easily the low point of the show.


aw, i liked him okay. but geez, he had to follow jerry ohrbach. that's just not fair to anyone.
   249. Paul D(uda) Posted: June 27, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4168021)
I don't think Richard III did it.
   250. Rennie's Tenet Posted: June 27, 2012 at 05:22 PM (#4168043)
I think maybe once or twice - in 8 years, you saw two character sitting in a squad car.


Early on, they'd make an occasional look in at someone's apartment, and had a couple of stakeouts. Ironically, the episodes where they left the office were much more static than the others.

"A puppet?"
--Inspector Luger
   251. caprules Posted: June 27, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4168046)
I loved Farina in Crime Story and Midnight Run. Later enjoyed him in Out of Sight ("do you have a vest that says under cover?"). His mediocrity in L&O doesn't sink what he achieved earlier.
   252. zonk Posted: June 27, 2012 at 05:33 PM (#4168061)
I loved Farina in Crime Story and Midnight Run. Later enjoyed him in Out of Sight ("do you have a vest that says under cover?"). His mediocrity in L&O doesn't sink what he achieved earlier.


Amen - I'd add Get Shorty to that list, too.

I love Farina to the extent that he's one of those sort of bit/supporting actors that will cause me to watch a movie I might skip otherwise.

Given that I think he was a Chicago cop, it was disappointing that he was so mediocre - but not awful - on L&O. I actually restarted watching L&O regularly when he was on it.
   253. caprules Posted: June 27, 2012 at 05:33 PM (#4168062)
I stopped watching Sports Night after the episode where they send the nerdy guy hunting (maybe five or six episodes in). I hate hunting, I am not a fan of it at all. But there was something so pandering and overly dramatic about that episode that I turned off Sports Night and never, ever felt the urge to watch another episode.


It was definitely over the top, but the hunting was really more the catalyst than the main event. He didn't want to speak up because he had left 3 or 4 other jobs where he knew he didn't fit in. He was a nerdy guy and he didn't want to stand out and start the slide to leaving this job and hoping he can find another good job. As a nerdy guy who has left a few places where I didn't advance like I wanted to, I can totally relate.

Sorkin did co-write "Moneyball," with Steven Zaillian, who can actually write dialogue; I assume it was Zaillian's job to make Sorkin's stuff sound plausible.


I don't know if the original script that was leaked is still around somewhere, but it was Zaillian that wrote the first manuscript and Sorkin that finalized it. It would be interesting to see how much Sorkin inserted himself into the original.
   254. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: June 27, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4168074)
In the first season, Barney Miller had two sets, because Barney's home life was half the show. They cut that stuff pretty quickly, though. The detectives did leave the office pretty frequently; it's just that the camera almost never followed them. But there'd be a call and then Wojo and Harris would rush out the door.
   255. Tripon Posted: June 27, 2012 at 05:49 PM (#4168082)

Given that I think he was a Chicago cop, it was disappointing that he was so mediocre - but not awful - on L&O. I actually restarted watching L&O regularly when he was on it.


L&O at the time could have supported one mediocre actor, but the combo of Farina and Elisabeth Röhm at the same time were just too much awful going around. Describing Rohm's acting as 'wooden' wouldn't have done it justice.
   256. phredbird Posted: June 27, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4168105)
Describing Rohm's acting as 'wooden' wouldn't have done it justice.


she was pretty bad, and also her exit was a real 'wtf?' moment. at the end of her last season she gets fired by fred thompson (another read dud, but he wasn't as bad as dianne wiest) and she asks 'is it because i'm a lesbian?' ... i don't get why the writers thought it was necessary to do that.
   257. Morty Causa Posted: June 27, 2012 at 06:39 PM (#4168118)
except for the part where they never left the office :-)


No, they left the office. You, the viewer, never left the office.
   258. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 27, 2012 at 07:12 PM (#4168136)
No, they left the office. You, the viewer, never left the office.


yeah yeah yeah

actually Barney and Jack Soos' character never seemed to leave the office either
   259. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: June 27, 2012 at 07:17 PM (#4168138)
actually Barney and Jack Soos' character never seemed to leave the office either


Oh, Jack Soo eventually left the office, all right.
   260. Tripon Posted: June 27, 2012 at 07:35 PM (#4168148)
she was pretty bad, and also her exit was a real 'wtf?' moment. at the end of her last season she gets fired by fred thompson (another read dud, but he wasn't as bad as dianne wiest) and she asks 'is it because i'm a lesbian?' ... i don't get why the writers thought it was necessary to do that.


Yeah, especially since it came out of left field. Rohm character always talked about going out with some guy, or on a date with somebody. Was she supposed to be in the closet the entire time? And Dianne West was a crappy actress for that role to boot. Hindsight being 20/20, they should have bumped Sam Westernson's character to the DA's office years ago and made Angie Harmon's character the star. She probably would have stuck around longer if they did that.
   261. yb125 Posted: June 27, 2012 at 07:38 PM (#4168149)
i don't get why the writers thought it was necessary to do that.


In an interview she said that she was asked if she wanted to character to go out with something shocking(or a bang I forget)or something simple and she of course took shocking, and so that's what Wolf picked as shocking.
   262. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: June 27, 2012 at 08:24 PM (#4168161)
Dennis Farina is a terrible actor.
Don't say another ####### word or I'll bury this laptop in your head.

</serrano>
   263. phredbird Posted: June 27, 2012 at 08:36 PM (#4168163)
go and get a sandwich.
   264. phredbird Posted: June 27, 2012 at 08:39 PM (#4168164)
Yeah, especially since it came out of left field. Rohm character always talked about going out with some guy, or on a date with somebody. Was she supposed to be in the closet the entire time?


come to think of it, i have to laugh. because fred thompson's reaction on the show was the same as mine. 'hell, i didn't even know you were a lesbian', or something like that.
   265. Ryan Lind Posted: June 27, 2012 at 09:04 PM (#4168166)
she was pretty bad, and also her exit was a real 'wtf?' moment. at the end of her last season she gets fired by fred thompson (another read dud, but he wasn't as bad as dianne wiest) and she asks 'is it because i'm a lesbian?' ... i don't get why the writers thought it was necessary to do that.


Yeah, that was really weird. It wasn't so much shocking as much as just 'um...ok....' Poochie had a better exit.
   266. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 27, 2012 at 09:39 PM (#4168184)
come to think of it, i have to laugh. because fred thompson's reaction on the show was the same as mine. 'hell, i didn't even know you were a lesbian', or something like that.
Yeah; it was so bizarre I wondered if it was ad libbed.

To be fair (regarding her casting), her successor may have been worse than she was.
   267. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:38 PM (#4168215)
I didn't think Rohm's acting was that bad, but yeah her exit was bizarre. The junior prosecutors in general are given pretty tough parts, the show almost never revolves around them and most episodes their characters do nothing distinguishing or memorable. Then once in a while they are made the center of attention and given personality traits that seem to have little consistency from episode to episode.

To David N's point, was Rohm more "wooden" than any of the others? Besides Angie Harmon I don't think I can name any of the actresses who filled that role by name, and if you hadn't mentioned the "lesbian" thing I would have had no idea which one you were talking about because they all seemed pretty similar. Rohm at least played her part with emotion when given the opportunity to do so.
   268. Lassus Posted: June 27, 2012 at 10:44 PM (#4168219)
I liked Rohm, but my favorite was the one who randomly died in the car accident with the guy from the Fantastiks.
   269. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: June 27, 2012 at 11:52 PM (#4168245)
To David N's point, was Rohm more "wooden" than any of the others? Besides Angie Harmon I don't think I can name any of the actresses who filled that role by name, and if you hadn't mentioned the "lesbian" thing I would have had no idea which one you were talking about because they all seemed pretty similar. Rohm at least played her part with emotion when given the opportunity to do so.


I'll take a stab

Derrick Brooks - Paul Robinette
Jill Hennessey - Clair Kincaid
Carey Lowell - Jamie Ross
Angie Harmon - Abby Carmichael
Elisabeth Rohm - Serina ?
Can't name her or her character, though I remember she exited the show stuffed in a trunk.
(something) De La Garza - Connie Rubirosa

I liked Hennessey a lot, but Harmon had the best written character of the assistants, by far.

And the "is it because I'm a lesbian" scene was easily the biggest WTF moment in the show's history, though I still wonder whatever happened to the close friend who swore to take Adam Schiff down storyline.
   270. Jay Z Posted: June 28, 2012 at 12:32 AM (#4168261)
That is 22 murders in one precinct.


Not only that, but it's 22 interesting murders. Most murders fall into one of two categories, obvious or unsolved.
   271. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 28, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4168424)
Elisabeth Rohm - Serina ?
Sutherland.
Can't name her or her character, though I remember she exited the show stuffed in a trunk.
Her best performance of the year. The actress was Annie Parise. Don't remember the character's name.



To David N's point, was Rohm more "wooden" than any of the others? Besides Angie Harmon I don't think I can name any of the actresses who filled that role by name, and if you hadn't mentioned the "lesbian" thing I would have had no idea which one you were talking about because they all seemed pretty similar. Rohm at least played her part with emotion when given the opportunity to do so.
Neither Carey Lowell nor Jill Hennessey were remotely "wooden." de a Garza wasn't, exactly, but she suffered from coming in as the show was over the hill and they had run out of good scripts.
   272. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 28, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4168443)
I'll take a stab

Derrick Brooks - Paul Robinette
Jill Hennessey - Clair Kincaid
Carey Lowell - Jamie Ross
Angie Harmon - Abby Carmichael
Elisabeth Rohm - Serina ?
Can't name her or her character, though I remember she exited the show stuffed in a trunk.
(something) De La Garza - Connie Rubirosa


Sadly, I can name all the actors - I've always enjed Law & Order (and have all the episodes on my gigantic media server). Sadly, I even know Profaci was played by John Fiore.

Neither Carey Lowell nor Jill Hennessey were remotely "wooden." de a Garza wasn't, exactly, but she suffered from coming in as the show was over the hill and they had run out of good scripts.

What really kinda sucked is that all the promos for L&O the last few years all had gigantic spoilers. If you watched anything on the network, you already knew exactly how the episode would be, sans the one twist they would do to make it different than the headline they were copying.
   273. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 28, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4168455)
The worst acting on the show wasn't Annie Parisse, but Milena Govich, who played detective Nina Cassady. She was so bad that it damaged the viability of female police officers on television shows for decades.

It is kind of funny when subsequent roles of some of the actors make some of the episodes unintentionally hilarious. Rob McElhenney and Adam Scott (Mac from It's Always Sunny and Ben Wyatt from Parks & Rec) don't quite work as killers anymore. Even Charlie Day's cameo as a witness in that episode where the kid was pushed off the building during a reality show is funny because that's ####### CHARLIE KELLY!!!!
   274. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 28, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4168503)

Neither Carey Lowell nor Jill Hennessey were remotely "wooden." de a Garza wasn't, exactly, but she suffered from coming in as the show was over the hill and they had run out of good scripts.

I guess that's my point, I didn't think Rohm was particularly wooden either. Perhaps it hurts watching the show in syndication because you don't get the same continuity of characters, but as both actresses and characters, the assistant prosecutors are usually pretty interchangeable.
   275. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 28, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4168505)
The worst acting on the show wasn't Annie Parisse, but Milena Govich, who played detective Nina Cassady. She was so bad that it damaged the viability of female police officers on television shows for decades.
I agree that she was about as credible a cop as I am a giraffe, but I was focusing on ADAs.

If you expand to the whole L&O universe, I've got to go with Michaela McManus as an ADA in SVU. She made Govich seem like Cagney & Lacey. She was so bad they fired her in mid-episode.
   276. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 28, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4168517)

It is kind of funny when subsequent roles of some of the actors make some of the episodes unintentionally hilarious. Rob McElhenney and Adam Scott (Mac from It's Always Sunny and Ben Wyatt from Parks & Rec) don't quite work as killers anymore. Even Charlie Day's cameo as a witness in that episode where the kid was pushed off the building during a reality show is funny because that's ####### CHARLIE KELLY!!!!

Yeah, it was also really confusing when Dean Winters had a cameo as a dirty ex-cop in Criminal Intent after his season as a good cop on SVU.
   277. SoSH U at work Posted: June 28, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4168528)
Yeah, it was also really confusing when Dean Winters had a cameo as a dirty ex-cop in Criminal Intent after his season as a good cop on SVU.


Imagine my confusion when the NYPD tabbed a defense attorney to serve as a senior detective or a grieving mother to be the lieutenant of the 27th precinct.

   278. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 28, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4168563)
Imagine my confusion when the NYPD tabbed a defense attorney to serve as a senior detective
What was even more confusing for me about this is that I hadn't watched L&O from day one on NBC; I picked up the earlier seasons through the reruns on A&E. So I had been watching L&O for a brief time on NBC, and knew that Orbach was the senior detective. Then a little while later, I watch one on A&E where he's the defense attorney, and I'm completely lost. (I may have even not seen that episode on A&E from the beginning.)
   279. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 28, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4168566)
The L&O franchise also has an amazing amount of overlap with Oz.
   280. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: June 28, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4168584)
I haven't seen L&O much, but it'd be interesting to see a realistic treatment of ADAs at the beginning of their careers: smirking 26-year-olds taking DUI pleas and lecturing people twice their age about the choices they've made with their lives.
   281. Eddo Posted: June 28, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4168587)
de a Garza wasn't, exactly, but she suffered from coming in as the show was over the hill and they had run out of good scripts.

Agreed. I actually thought the cast at the very end of the show's run was quite good. I really liked Jeremy Sisto as Lupo; he's easily my second-favorite character the show had, after Jerry Orbach's Lenny Briscoe. Anthony Anderson was actually good, too, and moving McCoy up to DA and letting Linus Roache's Cutter be the head ADA was a good move.

I might go as far as to say it was my favorite overall ensemble ever on L&O.

But yeah, the plots themselves were weak, so the show itself wasn't as good as it had been, say, ten years prior.
   282. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 28, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4168594)
It is kind of funny when subsequent roles of some of the actors make some of the episodes unintentionally hilarious. Rob McElhenney and Adam Scott (Mac from It's Always Sunny and Ben Wyatt from Parks & Rec) don't quite work as killers anymore.

The guy from Blue's Clues was pretty convincing as a nerd who killed someone who had been bullying him.
   283. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 28, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4168596)
I haven't seen L&O much, but it'd be interesting to see a realistic treatment of ADAs at the beginning of their careers: smirking 26-year-olds taking DUI pleas and lecturing people twice their age about the choices they've made with their lives.
Well, "Conviction," a short-lived Dick Wolf show, was a bit like that, though with the usual Hollywood dramatization. Also an almost-as-short-lived show on TNT called "Raising the Bar."
   284. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 28, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4168597)
True Blood is the all time worst at this. In a town small enough that there's only one freaking restaurant, 20 people die every six months. And yet somehow everyone hasn't moved out yet.

Everyone there has some supernatural powers though, so they must have an exaggerated sense of their survival skills.
   285. SoSH U at work Posted: June 28, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4168638)
The guy from Blue's Clues was pretty convincing as a nerd who killed someone who had been bullying him.


While Steve did make an appearance on L&O, he did his bully killing on Homicide.

   286. McCoy Posted: June 29, 2012 at 12:11 AM (#4169183)
True Blood really isn't the worst at it though. The worst would be Buffy.
   287. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: June 29, 2012 at 12:34 AM (#4169192)
True Blood really isn't the worst at it though. The worst would be Buffy.


I give a pass to shows that make some attempt to justify everything happening in one small town. Buffy lived on a "Hellmouth," which was a supernatural vortex that drew vampires and other supernatural creatures to Sunnydale. Smallville had that kryptonite meteor that caused mutations!
   288. The District Attorney Posted: June 29, 2012 at 12:49 AM (#4169200)
I wish Manimal had been a better show. I was heartbroken as a kid that Logan ruined the show I most wanted in the world to be good.

I was upset until I saw the afterschool special, "They took my show away". Then I felt better.
Hard to believe. But then again, it's the Museum of the Hard to Believe.
   289. Tripon Posted: June 29, 2012 at 12:57 AM (#4169209)
The idea of Metropolis moving in each incarnation it comes into being is an interesting one. It was originally supposed to represent a better version of Cleveland, and then warped into another facade of New York, and is now (comic book world) near Baltimore.
   290. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 29, 2012 at 08:36 AM (#4169263)
Passed by Sam Waterston in NYC last night, on the upper west side. He was taking a leisurely stroll around the city, dressed in a suit but with his jacket draped over his shoulder. Chatting with random people as he went, on top of the world.
   291. Greg K Posted: June 29, 2012 at 09:00 AM (#4169273)
Even Charlie Day's cameo as a witness in that episode where the kid was pushed off the building during a reality show is funny because that's ####### CHARLIE KELLY!!!!

I've always wondered if Charlie's obssesion with Law and Order on the show is related to this. Kind of Rob and Charlie rubbing it in to Glenn that he didn't get on Law and Order. Though I suppose he was the star of "That 80s Show", which is a fine thing for an actor to hang his hat on.
   292. Greg K Posted: June 29, 2012 at 09:09 AM (#4169276)
I haven't seen L&O much, but it'd be interesting to see a realistic treatment of ADAs at the beginning of their careers: smirking 26-year-olds taking DUI pleas and lecturing people twice their age about the choices they've made with their lives.

Well, "Conviction," a short-lived Dick Wolf show, was a bit like that, though with the usual Hollywood dramatization. Also an almost-as-short-lived show on TNT called "Raising the Bar."

I have zero experience with the law, so I have absolutely no idea how accurate a representation it is, but the Canadian legal show "This is Wonderland" tended towards the mundane rather than the grand drama.
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