Oh Dick Wolf, what would a world without you look like? Where would we be without your deft interpretations of lurid tabloid dramas and celebrity dust-ups? Without that masterful way you have of weaving narratives loosely based on real events so that in our collective memory, we draw just as often from the truths you invent as the one supplied by the New York Post, US Weekly, et al? For tomorrow night's L&O season finale we get yet another ripped-from-the-headlines tale, this one owing its plot to the recent Spitzer/call-girl fiasco. It was only a matter of time, you realize. I wonder how literally the show's gonna take this puppy. The governor is played by the fully follicled Tom Everett Scott, rather than a balding Spitzer look-alike, but are we still going to have to suffer through scenes of him going to town on his special lady friend while sporting classy black dress socks? Le shudder.
Since I call Brooklyn home, I always get a little twinge of pride when I see a local story making the leap from the Post's front page to my television screen. Like lots of L&O story lines, this one is New York-centric, but we all know the governor and his ho story rocked the nation. I understand Wolf & Co. can't always be catering to New Yawkers -- there are times when he has to go a little bit Hollywood, if only to broaden the appeal of his skillful story-telling magic. Some of the great episodes of recent seasons have seen Wolf poaching gossip column gold, from the plot involving an infant-toting pop princess and her no-good wannabe rapper husband (who could THAT be?) to the one about a drug-addled bombshell with a new baby who dies under mysterious circumstances after her older son OD's (again, that's a toughie). Oh, did I mention that said bombshell was played by KRISTY EFFING SWANSON? And that her smarmy lawyer "boyfriend" was played by none other than . . . DAVID CROSS? Extra points for genius casting, Wolfie. There are surely other classics I'm totally forgetting (damn you, excessive drugs and alcohol!). Needless to say, a Dick-less world would be a bleak one indeed, and one I'd rather not ponder. Luckily, what with all the variations on the original franchise (get ready for Law & Order: Alternate-Side Parking) and endless syndication, I'll never have to.
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