Screen Junkies » law and order Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Wed, 20 Aug 2014 20:40:54 +0000 en hourly 1 7 Greatest TV Detectives Of All Time Wed, 01 Aug 2012 16:55:36 +0000 Penn Collins They're like grown-up Encyclopedia Browns. All of them.

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In honor of the staid literary character Jesse Stone making the leap to DVD on August 7th in Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt, we at Screen Junkies thought we’d examine exactly what makes a great TV detective. Well, solving cases is a good start, but beyond that, you’ve gotta have the character to back up the results. Otherwise, it makes for really boring television. So let’s examine 7 gumshoes who get the job done in style.

Sherlock Holmes

Granted, he was a literary character about a hundred years before he was on TV, but Benedict Cumberbatch and the writers of Sherlock have managed to make him a dynamic enough character, free of entanglements from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works that he gets the first spot on the list.

He’s got an uncanny sense of perception, but unlike many other great detectives on this list, his great detective abilities come at a cost. His humanity. Sherlock comes across as almost autistic or robotic, sometimes to comedic, sometimes to tragic effect.

However, his prowess in working a case can’t be doubted. The guy’s a pro, as we see in the pilot when he is able to land the backstory of his new roommate based only on visual clues.

Dr. House

Speaking of people whose genius comes at a steep price, here’s Dr. Gregory House, the doctor who plays by his own rules, but, dammit, he gets results. Dr. House’s expertise generally lies in the field of medicine as opposed to crime, but good detectin’ is good detectin’. The curmudgeon is a pain in the ass to deal with, but even the higher-ups at Princeton-Plainsboro have to put up with him because he’s just that good.

Fun fact: Dr. House is 96% more likely to diagnose a case while bouncing a ball against a wall or after one of his subordinates says something seemingly unrelated to the case in question.

Det. Goren

While the plot devices of Law & Order and Law & Order: SVU had become old hat during the twilight of their runs, Law & Order: Criminal Intent saw that the cops were the star of the show, rather than the story, which was the case in the two former examples.

Det. Goran was incredibly soft-spoken, and like so many other great detectives on this list, a tortured genius. He would lead the suspects with a seemingly innocuous line of questioning or anecdote, all the while examining and dismantling their alibis. He was played with such gusto by Vincent D’Onofrio that his tics and mannerisms became as big a part of the show as any plot device.

Thomas Magnum

I honestly have no idea if Tom Selleck’s Magnum P.I. was a good detective or not. But here’s what I do know: He had a luscious mustache, he drove a Ferrari, he lived in Hawaii, he wore short shorts, and he liked the Detroit Tigers.

I’m going to make a ruling right here based on that information: AMAZING DETECTIVE.

Even if he was one of those lame detectives that solved crimes without violence (LOSER!), he had a vaguely British handler named Higgins who was exasperated by nearly everything Magnum did.

You can’t argue with these facts. Legendary detective.

Adrian Monk

Ok. Monk might be your grandmother’s favorite detective, but she’s entitled to her opinion, too. Monk follows the standard “detective has uncanny abilities, but is socially retarded due to “X” with “X” in this case being a proclivity for cleanliness meshed with moderate-to-severe obsessive-compulsive disorder.

He’s also a total pussy, but that’s okay, because I was getting kind of sick of awesome detectives.

Jesse Stone

Tom Selleck is back, reprising his role as detective Jesse Stone in the recurring CBS movie series of the same name.

Unlike most of the other, wimpier, guys on this list, Stone actually carries a gun, which means that with Stone comes the promise of seeing bad guys getting shot. If you’re down for a detective that’s got a little more grit than many of the smooth talkers on this list, Jesse Stone is your dude.

Jimmy McNulty

In the interest of not just flooding this piece with characters from The Wire, let’s just say McNulty is a delegate for the entire Baltimore Police Department. Granted, they were underfunded, frustrated, and rarely gave a shit, but they got some pretty damn good results. He was a drunk, a whore, and shitty husband and father, but he played the system to get funding to keep the wire up on Marlo.

While he wasn’t some sort of savant like the other entrants on this list, he was a realistic portrayal of a flawed guy doing his best in a crappy system.

And putting those ribbons on the homeless people was a stroke of effing genius.

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7 TV Shows We’re Giving Up For Lent Wed, 22 Feb 2012 15:02:12 +0000 Penn Collins It's Ash Wednesday. Party's over, people.

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It’s Ash Wednesday. Party’s over, people. 40 days of self-deprivation begins now. While you’re supposed to deny yourself something that you really enjoy or depend on, it’s easier just to cut out the stuff we don’t like any more. So why not bad TV? We can just replace it with good TV, so it’s not that big a sacrifice.

It’s too easy to not watch a show that you weren’t watching before, so to add at least a modicum of difficulty, let’s cull some shows that were once favorites. It’s nothing personal. Sometimes shows fall in quality, sometimes they just get old, and sometimes we change. For whatever reason, here are a handful of shows that we have no problem saying goodbye to for Lent.

True Blood

I like(d) True Blood for what it is – a campy, soapy display of stylized violence with a fair amount of nudity. It continues to be very self-aware, but there seemed to be very little new space to explore. To recap, there have been werewolves, vampires, fairies, shapeshifters, panthers, and witches. That’s a lot of factions going head-to-head.

The shock value is gone, and while the sexiness and violence is still entertaining, it’s compromised by the total absence of a story to tell. I was able to make it through last season buoyed by the hotness of the characters, but no more. Unless they seriously overhaul their writing team, I’m going to bid the show adieu and get my nudity from the internet.

Law & Order: SVU

The show has been gradually declining in quality over the past five years. In fact, the decline was so gradual that indoctrinated viewers may not have even noticed. Now, with the absence of Christopher Meloni, it’s pretty clear that the show will keep trending downward. After 13 seasons and 286 episodes, there are only so many different ways a character can get raped and murdered. There are also only so many ways Ice-T can be informed of the nature of a crime, then respond with “That’s messed up.”

Yes it is, Ice-T. It’s very messed up. Just like your show.

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Nine Creepier Than Creepy Episodes of ‘Law and Order: SVU’ Fri, 30 Sep 2011 15:57:19 +0000 Nicholas Pell Sometimes we think they should just rename Law and Order: SVU to Semen in the Chest Cavity.

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Sometimes we think they should just rename Law and Order: SVU to Semen in the Chest Cavity. It’s pretty amazing that a creepy show revolving around dead, raped girls wrapped in plastic has lasted this long. With the 13th season of SVU underway, we’ve been thinking about some of our favorite deliciously creepy episodes. You might want to turn on a night light before reading this one, kids… or buy some mace.

“Unorthodox” (Season 9)

As if Alexander Gould weren’t creepy enough as the budding sociopath Shane Botwin on Weeds, he really outdid himself in his SVU bid. When a kid shows up to school bleeding out the ass, Olivia and Stabler are naturally called in, suspecting yet another religious leader with a penchant for little boys. Nope. What they’ve got is a porn-addicted young boy who’s seen a few too many episodes of Oz. “Sometimes they pretend they don’t like it. It’s just part of the sex.”

“Pure” (Season 6)

Martin Short plays Sebastian Ballentine a creepactular psychic with shockingly accurate details of a kidnapping-murder, the skeptical Stabler unsurprisingly suspects he’s no clairvoyant. As this is SVU, you know from the outset the answer won’t be simple and it’s not. They soon catch the trail of one Henry Palavar. Things take a turn for the downright scary when the pair learn that Henry Palavar and Sebastian Ballentine are one and the same.

“Care” (Season 3)

The video game obsessed are always a little creepy. In this episode of SVU, a man addicted with a medieval video game is the prime suspect after a little girl’s body is found at a construction site. The real culprit is far scarier than any mouth breather you might encounter on World of Warcraft, however. Grandma beat the poor kid to death for wetting the bed. We were pretty glad when she died of a heart attack in prison at the end.

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