MONDO EXTRAS

Court of No Appeal

by Shack May 25, 2002
L.A. Law: The Movie

Oh, those wacky '80s. The country was headed by a rather unintelligent man who confused folksy wit with real insight and developed policy based on the morals of his favorite cowboy movies, while his Republican handlers actually went about the business of running the country. Pop music was dominated by goofily dressed boys who danced better than they sang (which wasn't saying much) and teenage girls who wore too much makeup and sang treacle-filled love songs. Greedy brokers and financiers cashed in on a promise of future growth that they knew was based on lies, until the bubble burst, leaving thousands upon thousands of average Americans broke and the nation staring at the business end of a recession. Why, it seems like almost yesterday.

But for the folks at NBC, vague memories are not enough. To celebrate its seventy-fifth anniversary, NBC spent May sweeps stuffing nostalgia down the viewers' gullets through reunion specials featuring the casts of their former hit shows. I assume they decided against "Where Are They Now?" specials, because that would be too depressing.

The promo announcer for the L.A. Law ten-year reunion movie promises "one unforgettable night," so we know that that this movie will be dull and uninspired. I wonder if the NBC promo guy realizes the black rage that the sound of his voice engenders in most television viewers.

The old theme-song kicks up as we get the typical helicopter views of Los Angeles skyscrapers. That Mike Post was the Mark Snow of the '80s, wasn't he? I wonder whatever became of him? ["He still writes the music for the Law & Order franchise, so he probably makes about a billion dollars a day in royalties for that theme song alone." -- Wing Chun]

We cut inside the law offices of McKenzie, Brackman as the credits scroll by. Arnie "Black Hole of Irony" Becker rushes out into the reception area to talk to some young lawyer named Jason. Jason looks like a cross between Steve Carell from The Daily Show and Gopher from The Love Boat. Today is Arnie's birthday, and he's showing off a birthday card he got from his soon-to-be-ex-wife. The card reads, "Wishing you only the best. Only happiness." He takes these blandly kind words as a possible indication that she's changing her mind about getting a divorce. Jason is skeptical, saying they've heard nothing from her lawyer to suggest that. Arnie blathers to Jason about how unsure divorce cases are and how he hopes he has taught Jason to keep the clients' hearts from "running roughshod over their heads." Jason is Douglas Brackman's son, incidentally. This isn't explained until much later; they seem to have every unfamiliar character in at least two scenes before explaining who they are to the viewer. They make their way to the elevator as Arnie insists that the card is a sign that his wife wants him back. Jason disagrees, but Arnie ignores him. Arnie gets on the elevator, explaining that he's going over to his wife's house to "get [his] present."

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Court of No Appeal

by Shack May 25, 2002
L.A. Law: The Movie Oh, those wacky '80s. The country was headed by a rather unintelligent man who confused folksy wit with real insight and developed policy based on the morals of his favorite cowboy movies, while his Republican handlers actually went about the business of running the country. Pop music was dominated by goofily dressed boys who danced better than they sang (which wasn't saying much) and teenage girls who wore too much makeup and sang treacle-filled love songs. Greedy brokers and financiers cashed in on a promise of future growth that they knew was based on lies, until the bubble burst, leaving thousands upon thousands of average Americans broke and the nation staring at the business end of a recession. Why, it seems like almost yesterday. But for the folks at NBC, vague memories are not enough. To celebrate its seventy-fifth anniversary, NBC spent May sweeps stuffing nostalgia down the viewers' gullets through reunion specials featuring the casts of their former hit shows. I assume they decided against "Where Are They Now?" specials, because that would be too depressing. The promo announcer for the L.A. Law ten-year reunion movie promises "one unforgettable night," so we know that that this movie will be dull and uninspired. I wonder if the NBC promo guy realizes the black rage that the sound of his voice engenders in most television viewers. The old theme-song kicks up as we get the typical helicopter views of Los Angeles skyscrapers. That Mike Post was the Mark Snow of the '80s, wasn't he? I wonder whatever became of him? ["He still writes the music for the Law & Order franchise, so he probably makes about a billion dollars a day in royalties for that theme song alone." -- Wing Chun] We cut inside the law offices of McKenzie, Brackman as the credits scroll by. Arnie "Black Hole of Irony" Becker rushes out into the reception area to talk to some young lawyer named Jason. Jason looks like a cross between Steve Carell from The Daily Show and Gopher from The Love Boat. Today is Arnie's birthday, and he's showing off a birthday card he got from his soon-to-be-ex-wife. The card reads, "Wishing you only the best. Only happiness." He takes these blandly kind words as a possible indication that she's changing her mind about getting a divorce. Jason is skeptical, saying they've heard nothing from her lawyer to suggest that. Arnie blathers to Jason about how unsure divorce cases are and how he hopes he has taught Jason to keep the clients' hearts from "running roughshod over their heads." Jason is Douglas Brackman's son, incidentally. This isn't explained until much later; they seem to have every unfamiliar character in at least two scenes before explaining who they are to the viewer. They make their way to the elevator as Arnie insists that the card is a sign that his wife wants him back. Jason disagrees, but Arnie ignores him. Arnie gets on the elevator, explaining that he's going over to his wife's house to "get [his] present."

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