Pilot Review: Law & Order: Los Angeles

Law and Order moves to LA. Don’t really know what more to say about it.

I’ve never really watched Law and Order, but even I felt a little stab of sorrow to hear that the original series was being cancelled after 20 years.I know there are numerous reasons to cancel a show and immediately replace it with a spin-off, but this time felt particularly vicious, because they took a living legend, shot it, and replaced it with something unremarkable and derivative.

As soon as they announced the name of the new spin-off I suspected it was gonna be bad. Obviously shows like being set in LA because most shows are filmed there so location shooting is a breeze. But it’s getting stupid, not only is Law and Order LA not the only series set in LA at the moment, it’s not even the only one with LA in the title! If you’re going to make the unique selling point of your show its location, at least make it an interesting and unfamiliar one.

LA is not just everywhere, it’s just not very interesting, and the pilot of L&O:LA highlighted everything that’s annoying about LA – it’s full of people craving fame, power and money. Maybe that’s the same everywhere, but LA seems to have more than its fair share of vacuous, talentless, overdressed, attention seeking twits and to be honest I have absolutely no desire to watch them either as victims, or as manipulative criminals.

Three days after watching the pilot I’ve completely forgotten all the characters. One of the detectives is bald with a questionable moustache, but I couldn’t tell you his name. I remember Alfred Molina was in it and I liked him, but I can’t actually remember who his character was beyond that he seemed to be a legal person. There were probably some female characters there, but the only ones I can remember were the victim and suspect neither of whom were particularly great examples of humanity.

The case of the week was okay, although it did seem to flip flop about a lot, bouncing off plot points as the finger of suspicion waggles around like one of those giant foam finger thingies. Personally I find the standard Law and Order chung-chungs really annoying and disconnecting, but I guess they’re traditional.

I dunno, maybe I’m missing something. Maybe if you’re watched more than the couple of dozen Law and Order episodes than I have, this series works better for you. The final season of Original flavour averaged 7.2 million, the new series premiered at 10.6 – so I guess the numbers are in their favour, and the series has been picked up for the season. But if they were trying to get me excited about Law and Order again, they should have moved somewhere other than LA, because it’s basically a massive turn-off for me.

Reviews: I didn’t find any on my usual sources, although I didn’t look very hard.

Links: Official website, TV.com, wikipedia.

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  1. May 18th, 2011
  2. September 3rd, 2011
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