February 24th, 2009
|11:19 am - Law and Order: UK|
I watched the British spin-off of Law and Order last night. It was written by Chris Chibnall (Life on Mars, Doctor Who '42'). It's got a good cast: Harriet Walter, Freema Agyeman, and the wonderful Bill Paterson. It certainly wasn't a disgrace, or an embarrassing falling-off from the standard of the US versions. It was less glammed up, more spartan in surroundings and dress, which people might like or dislike.
It made me feel much the same as the original Law and Order does - it's fairly engaging at the time, you get caught up in the drama of the case, it raises legitimate questions about society and law - it's not artistically stirring or anything. I find it quite restful. Like a lot of US shows L&O has a fairly rigid episode structure (scene 1: 2 people feint a dummy story which never develops as it is derailed by a gruesome discovery - check... and so on) which this series follows closely.
So, like the original I'd say workmanlike and entertaining, will probably watch regularly, don't expect it to become a must-see.
I can't help thinking of Half Man Half Biscuit's latest album title CSI Ambleside.
It was set in London, which I think comes across as a fair match to New York. Not as violent I guess, but parts of it are pretty grim.
CSI Midsomer? 'All leave is cancelled - indefinitely!'
The writers must be given a very tight spec to work to. House is even more rigid I think. If it's 23 minutes in, time for Lupus.
But Criminal Intent I absolve from all issues, on account of VDO.
|Date:||February 24th, 2009 04:25 pm (UTC)|| |
Hah, that's great! I'm going to enjoy testing that one. (The Avengers always has a fight ten minutes before the end.)
I caught a bit of it, and might check out more - like you I can generally take or leave Law & Order.
After years of Battlestar Galactica hearing Jamie Bamber with a London accent feels really strange.
I don't think I'd miss it if I don't catch it, but it was perfectly well done.
|Date:||February 24th, 2009 07:33 pm (UTC)|| |
As you know, Bob, I adore Law and Order
, and I thought this was a pretty decent stab at it. I felt there weren't quite enough twists in the police story (L&O generally weaves around a hell of a lot in the first 20 minutes) and there was the notorious stock TV scene-ender at one point ("Oh, and [character]?" [character pauses at door and looks back questioningly] "Thanks." [character beams and leaves]).
I'm not sure the legal scenes captured that sense of civic society being constructed in the court-room that programmes like L&O and Boston Legal
do so well: partly because we, er, don't do that so much in the UK. mraltariel
was saying last night that given the UK court system is about weighing competing narratives, it might work better dramatically to have cutaways as people gave evidence, like in Without a Trace
Yes, I remember that 'thanks' thing. They should be able to do better than that.
Yes, narrative dramatisation would be a more interesting way of handling it. I don't really know either legal system too well, apart from feeling that neither has much to do with right and wrong.