The student news site of Bernards High School

The Crimson

The student news site of Bernards High School

The Crimson

The student news site of Bernards High School

The Crimson

Law and Order’s return disappoints after twelve year hiatus


Law and Order is considered one of the greatest crime TV shows of all-time. Having ended the original version in 2010, fans were shocked when NBC announced that a reboot would come back out in March. Law and Order fans across the globe awaited the return of Dick Wolf’s masterpiece, hoping for a return of the glory days.

Known to split into almost two different episodes, one surrounding the police who investigate the crime and the other surrounding the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders, Law and Order continues this approach in its reboot.

With Anthony Anderson returning as Detective Bernard, and newcomer Jeffrey Donovan as Detective Cosgrove, this new type of chemistry makes for an interesting environment. In today’s world, there is evident tension between the police and African-Americans, and Law and Order tackles this by having both a white and black detective. Detective Bernard is seen as a “man of the people” detective, who sympathizes with the African-Americans in New York. Detective Cosgrove is a curmudgeonly and cranky detective, only focused on finding the criminal, regardless of the consequences. This relationship makes for awkward moments where the actors have to balance political correctness with a crime drama, which is an uncomfortable, but new experience for the viewer.

The real issue is the amount of acting that is done by Anderson and Donovan. In the days of Jerry Orbach, the show felt authentic and almost like a true crime story where there was a natural element. The reboot seems too hellbent on making the show more focused on acting, not creating an actual environment that seems like a crime scene. There are no more witty one-liners by the detectives, just static and stiff statements that seemed forced. The police portion of the show is not terrible, but it is not as gripping as the former times.

The headliner of the reboot was District Attorney Jack McCoy, played by Sam Waterston, the star in the original series. Clearly a stunt to gain viewership, Waterston doesn’t play a vital role in these episodes, as he has a miniscule amount of lines as the district attorney. It almost hurts to watch him talk in the episodes. To be fair, an 81 year old shouldn’t be acting in a crime drama, but nonetheless, his performance hurts those who used to watch the eloquent Jack McCoy.

The main character role in Law and Order, and where Waterston got his start, is the assistant district attorney, played by Hugh Dancy. Unlike the detectives, Dancy has a very natural feel in his role as Nolan Price, and it feels like his motivations and goals are completely justified. His questioning and personable actions are not quite what Waterston was, but he still is a very serviceable main character of the show.

Finally, the most vital part of the show is the relationship between the ADA and the DA, and this is where the second part of the show falters. Although it’s not fair to judge based on the first couple of episodes, it never feels like McCoy and Price are in-sync with each other, and their relationship feels stagnant.

Unfortunately, for Law and Order fans, the new season is off to a slow start. However, so was the original version, so one can look at this situation as a glass half full.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Crimson Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *