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February 17, 2004


Law & Order Marathon at My House. Every Day. Since December.

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A few months ago, while a lot people were coming up with New Year's resolutions like getting a better job, losing weight, or starting a new relationship, I decided to focus on achieving something a bit more meaningful: watching a lot of TV. And although I have the same job as before and I probably weigh a few pounds more and am just as much of a lonely bastard as ever, I do have this to say for myself: Since December 23, I've watched 100 episodes of Law & Order, and have written about all of them.

The results of this effort are accessible at The Ledger, a site I started to keep track of all the shows and other L&O-related stuff. It's terribly, terribly boring to read unless you are a fan of the show, and even then it's at least quite boring. But even if you don't enjoy L&O, you might be interested in these highlights (each of which comes with a screen shot):

  • The episode with Janeane Garofalo.
  • The episode with Claire Danes, when she was 13.
  • The episode with Rudy Giuliani.
  • And the jewel in the crown: the 1991 episode with a very young Philip Seymour Hoffman, playing a teenaged rape suspect. Incredibly, Samuel L. Jackson plays his defense attorney.
We've written about the L&O shows since the earliest days of this blog, but it wasn't until I started watching a few at time that I realized that part of the show's appeal is that it inspires an obsessive/compulsive urge to document it, and that's what led to the creation of The Ledger. Keeping track of all the references to Hudson University, "fruit of the poisonous tree," McCoy's affairs, and the Ed Green Five-Second Foot Chases helps you understand the underlying structure of the series as a whole, and gives you an appreciation for the writers' strict adherence to procedural storytelling. Stories that would otherwise feel dry and mechanical are given an extra layer of meaning when you can connect bits of them to other episodes you've seen. I think TNT realizes the connection that obsessive viewers have to the show, and that's why it can get away with airing as many as 5 or 6 episodes on weekdays. In that sense, there's a L&O marathon at everybody's house every day.

So let's see. That's 100 episodes down....just 219 left to go! At this rate, I'll be done in April. Not too bad...With my new girlfriend at my side, anything seems possible. Sweet, sweet Tivo, I couldn't have done it without you.

categories: TV
posted by adm at 1:14 AM | #