There are TV shows that get my full attention, and then there are shows I put on as background noise while I'm doing five other things. More often than not, "Law & Order" falls into the latter category, but as I put the latest episode on this morning to keep me occupied while I did some TV critic scut work, I found myself getting more and more drawn into it. Don't know how many fans of the mothership we have around these parts, but some thoughts coming up just as soon as I order the turkey chili...
Scheduling issues prevented me from writing a column about the season premiere, but I've now seen at least four or five of this season's episodes and have to say that I really like the current cast. Linus Roache provides a nice change of pace from Sam Waterston while still providing Waterston plenty of opportunities for righteous indignation, Alana De La Garza may be the most likable token hottie ADA since Jill Hennessy, and Jeremy Sisto and Anthony Anderson have developed nice chemistry as the cops. It's a good group.
Still, my TV-watching time is precious, and I usually cut standalone procedurals out of the mix as triage. I recorded last night's episode mainly to watch Katee Sackhoff, but even as her character (a violent woman with shades of Starbuck and The Other Bionic Woman, but not so much so that it was just Sackhoff going through the motions) was elbowed off-stage as the first act red herring, I found myself drawn into this weird story with the upstate cops, the judge straight out of "Doc Hollywood," Tom Everett Scott as the shady Eliot Spitzer-type governor, etc. It says something that almost 20 years into this franchise, it can still engage and surprise me from time to time, can still make me anxious to find out whodunit and whether McCoy and company can get a conviction.
And Jack's political career, along with the rivalry with the governor, provides an entertaining ongoing personal thread that doesn't really work against the show's core mission.
Don't know that the show's going back in the regular rotation, but I've enjoyed a lot of what I've seen lately, and wanted to make note of that.
What did everybody else think?