The crime and procedural drama ‘Law & Order’ and all of it’s iterations have been a mainstay for NBC television programming over the past 20 years. ‘Law & Order: Los Angeles’ is expected to be the same type of gritty, hard-crime drama that has made ‘Law & Order’ so popular with viewers. But is ‘L&O:LA’ really any better than the old ‘L&O’ dramas from the past 20 years?
Smart Cops Still Reign Supreme
As with the older ‘L&O’ shows, this new drama is well-written with a quality viewers have come to expect from the ‘L&O’ franchise. The detectives are sharp and the action moves along well with the plot. The actors are really quite good, although the chemistry between the characters is not quite gelling at this point. But that can be expected in a brand new cast. Viewers don’t have the history or past of the new characters that blends into the relationships, and makes that exceptional chemistry that exists between ‘L&O SVU’ detectives Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler.
The ‘L&O:LA’ detectives T.J Jaruszalski, smart-ass son of a Hollywood big-wig, and empathetic family man Rex Winters have the foundational basis for a really dynamic partner relationship, but it’s not quite there just yet. Perhaps in time, with some excellent writing and backstory on both, a real lifelike and more natural bond between both of them. Everyone always wants to compare the new ‘L&O:LA’ guys with over 40 seasons of ‘L&O’ episodes and make a snap judgment. How many saw Richard Belzer as a natural fit into his ‘L&O’ John Munch role in the beginning? Give it time.
If It Works, Why Change It?
The things that made the old ‘L&O’ work are still used in the newer ‘L&O:LA’. Plots and stories from the most recent headlines are still used and they seem to fit naturally in the new Los Angeles setting. Some say the L&O:LA isn’t that impressive. Well, anyone who is familiar with the past 20 years of ‘L&O’ episodes is naturally going to compare this new ‘L&O:LA’ drama to those older shows, and it’s going to come up short.
This drama needs time to prove itself worthy of the ‘L&O’ brand name. The best of the old ‘L&O’ episodes would place the detectives and attorneys in situations where a hard decision would need to be made, and the outcomes of those hard decisions were unexpected at times. ‘L&O:LA’ carries on that successful tradition of getting justice – with a California twist. Is the new ‘Law & Order: Los Angeles’ any better? Only the viewers and time will reveal that answer.