Lead Actors: Kathryne Erbe, Vincent D'Onofrio, Courtney B. Vance, Eric Bogosian, Jeff Goldblum, Julia Ormond, Tony Goldwyn, Kahan James
Producer: Dick Wolf
Plot Synopsis: This show centers on the NYPD's Major Case Squad (and the offbeat, Sherlock Holmes-like Detective Robert Goren) in its efforts to stop the worst criminal offenders in New York.
It also puts a new twist to the "Law & Order" formula: now, in each episode, we see the crimes as they are planned and committed.
Who Would Like it and Why
These particular Law and Orders with Vincent D'Onofrio put an intellectual spin on the law and cop genre that I found engaging. Upon watching more than a few episodes, one realizes that Vincent D'Onofrio pushes people to their confessions by taunting them, making them angry and sniffing around in their trash. '
Sometimes the audience wonders whether or not D'Onofrio's character, Detective Robert Green, has the mind of a criminal himself and that's what makes him so good.
For all of the future B-list beefcakes we have seen in the endless horde of cop and lawyer dramas that have paraded by on USA over the years and put me to sleep, D'Onofrio stands out in a few ways.
One, most detectives in New York have to really dress up by wearing a nice suit and tie, but they're still cops with guns and they have to be ready to get dirty. Well, Goren just sort of shows up to work a little dirty. He seemingly never shaves, seems to sweat a lot and doesn't seem to be always preening for the camera the way some other light weights do.
One gets the impression that Goren sleeps on the subway or in an open cell at the police station sometimes instead of going home.
Forget about money, if there's donuts on the ta able, Goren's gonna take one.
He also has a somewhat bizarre speech pattern which makes the viewer want to pay attention to him more.
Goren also believes no one and effortlessly sheds away away fake alibis and excuses. He seems like the guy who eventually will refuse to believe someone who's actually telling the truth, kind of a reverse person who cried wolf.
I know from my limited viewings of this series that Gorren eventually gets himself in a lot of trouble, as one episode with him picking a dead rat out of his desk, likely put there by his fellow cops.
But the few full episodes I watched show how he picks apart the cases and always manages to get to the bottom of them, playing a great "bad cop" with Kathryne Erbe's nice cop. They are both after the same results, it's just that Gorren, being a somewhat large and slovenly man himself is able to be much bolder than Erbe's Detective Alexandra Earnes. Erbe, by the way, I think is much older but manages to be very lovely on the show and a sort of welcome break to D'Onofrio's reminder that not all men are created equal.
Some of this team's methods for uncovering people seem a little aggressive, almost to the point of them finding evidence that is inadmissible in court because they lied or pretended to be someone they weren't in order to get it. For example, in one episode Erbe pretends to be a graduate student while interrogating a professor.
Who Might not Like it and Why
I had always had an aversion to Law and Order, not sure why, it all seemed so mundane. Just the Law & Order sound would put me to sleep. I didn't have the time or the interest to wait for another crime to unfold.
But, I found D'Onoffrio intriguing enough and the crimes interesting enough to stop by and watch a few episodes during Christmas break, and I was not disappointed.
Gorren shares a few similarities and characteristics with the most famous fictional detective of all time: Sherlock Homes. He is a genius forever sort of stuck in his head. He is undaunted by people from any class of society and he also doesn't mind getting his hands dirty.
I enjoy how they go all over New York to solve one case at a time. They must have some allowance and they seem to have all the time in the world. Aso, D'Onofrio mocking the criminals in never old.
Gorren knows his place in life as a detective, and is never, ever intimidated by Wall Street Investors, or television producers, or anyone else. Also for someone who is merely a detective, he seems to have a great knowledge of the law.
Three Mike and Ikes.