Law & Order

American police procedural and legal drama television series
(Redirected from Law and Order)
Seasons: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Main

Law & Order (1990–present) is a long-running police procedural and courtroom drama television series, created by Dick Wolf.

OpeningEdit

Narrator: In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: The police, who investigate crime, and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.

SeasonsEdit

Quotes about Law & OrderEdit

"Last Week Tonight with John Oliver", (September 11, 2022)Edit

 
[H]istorically, lawyer shows centered defense lawyers like Perry Mason, who tried to work against the system as the underdog and free innocent people. But “Law & Order” is different, and that’s very much by design. Dick Wolf has said, “I believed the heroes weren’t the defense attorneys who were getting these scumbags off, the heroes were the prosecutors.”
 
It’s presenting a world where the cops can always figure out who did it, defense attorneys are irritating obstacles to be overcome, and even if a cop roughs up a suspect, it’s all in pursuit of a just outcome. And it blasts that fantasy at you in endless reruns and marathons, in the guise of very well-produced TV. But underneath it all, it’s a commercial, produced by a man who is, in his words, “unabashedly pro-law enforcement,” and is very good at selling things.
  • It can be genuinely alarming just how seriously some people take this show.
  • [F]or as much as Dick Wolf brags about how the show is written in shades of gray, or how it will show both sides of an issue, there is one side that is always on, and that’s the police. Because however flawed his characters may be, they’re all fundamentally pursuing justice, and cops love being portrayed that way.
  • Now, the “these are their stories” part is really important. Because a big selling point for “Law & Order” is that, similar to “Dragnet,” it draws inspiration from real-life cases. In fact, as Wolf recounts, when the network asked him, “what’s the bible for the show?” He said, “the front page of the New York Post. No writers are going to do better than headless body found in topless bar.”
  • Prosecutors put massive pressure on defendants to take plea deals, meaning that 97% of criminal cases don’t go to trial. And obviously, “Law & Order” can’t reflect that reality. It’d be unwatchable. No one wants a show where 97% of episodes end with two lawyers striking a deal in a windowless room, and then you get to watch the defendant serve 6 months, then struggle to get a job at their local jiffy lube. But the courtroom half of “Law & Order” actually represents a significant departure from TV tradition. Because historically, lawyer shows centered defense lawyers like Perry Mason, who tried to work against the system as the underdog and free innocent people. But “Law & Order” is different, and that’s very much by design. Dick Wolf has said, “I believed the heroes weren’t the defense attorneys who were getting these scumbags off, the heroes were the prosecutors.”
  • [Y]ou can see why [Wolf] might not want to make a show in which his good-guy cops are disproportionately targeting communities of color – he wants people to like them.
  • [I]nstead of depicting a flawed system riddled with structural racism, the show presents exceptionally competent cops working within a largely fair framework that mostly convicts white people.
  • As one critic of “Law & Order” has put it, “if a medical show was giving us inaccurate information, we would say it’s dangerous.” Which is true, because think about it — you know “Grey’s Anatomy” doesn’t depict what happens inside an actual hospital. Those doctors are ridiculously hot, none of them are nearly tired enough, and it needs about 5000% more discussion of insurance. But if those medical professionals were routinely claiming that vaccines cause autism and herbal remedies cure cancer, we’d probably be having a conversation about it. Because that’s essentially what “Law & Order” is doing. It’s presenting a world where the cops can always figure out who did it, defense attorneys are irritating obstacles to be overcome, and even if a cop roughs up a suspect, it’s all in pursuit of a just outcome. And it blasts that fantasy at you in endless reruns and marathons, in the guise of very well-produced TV. But underneath it all, it’s a commercial, produced by a man who is, in his words, “unabashedly pro-law enforcement,” and is very good at selling things. And in this instance, he’s selling a complete fantasy that many people in this country are only too happy to buy.

External linksEdit

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