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Law & Order: Los Angeles Steps Up Its Game

Did anyone watch the premiere of Law & Order: Los Angeles last week?  I did and I was heartily disappointed.  The premiere epi seemed disjointed and it just lacked that Law & Order feel that made the original show such a success.  No familiar opening montage with the "In the criminal justice system . . ." and "DUN DUN".  And the characters just didn't gel for me.

The show's second episode, airing last night, fared much better.  The writing was more cohesive and there was a better flow to the show.  I liked the overall story which centered on the murder of a former cult member who had been imprisoned since the late 70s for some brutal killings and was released on a compassionate basis as she had been imprisoned for three decades and was suffering from cancer.  Sound familiar?  If you're a true crime buff, it should.  This was taken from the Charles Manson case (although those murders happened in 1969) and the massive press surrounding Manson Family member Susan Atkins' plea for compassionate leave during the last year of her life when she was suffering from terminal brain cancer.  (The State of California declined to grant Atkins parole). 

In this epi, the cult member was granted parole and was killed in a similar manner to her victims shortly thereafter.  There was the typical twisty road to justice, with a few red herrings, which was relatively satisfactory.  Was it as good as the original show?  Hell, no.  But it was better than last week. 

There are still problems though.  First, what in legal hell is going on with the non-intro?  Haven't the producers had time to get this together?  It needs an intro!  It needs an intro!  Without the right intro, it's not a Law & Order progeny.  Period. 

Secondly, it's not dark or gritty enough (yet) to be a Law & Order.  The City of New York became a character on the original show and L&O: LA needs to utilize the city of Los Angeles to its benefit in order to improve the show.  This is a show about homicide detectives, not surfers but the show is so bright you'd never know.

Which leads me to thirdly, this is a show about homicide detectives and prosecutors so I really don't care about Skeet Ulrich's wife and family.  And he's the only employed member of the family and their home seems awful nice for a detective's salary, especially in L.A.

Are you watching L&O:LA?  What do you think?

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