Saturday, March 27, 2010

Last hurrah a fitting one for Goren, Eames

pbpulse.com
By Leslie Gray Streeter | TV | March 26, 2010

Dear bitter, disgruntled Law & Order: Criminal Intent fans:

I hate to interrupt you as you’re writing that scathing missive to the cruel honchos at USA Network about how they’re stupid for dumping original recipe Detectives Goren (the masterful Vincent D’Onfrio) and Eames (Katherine Erbe) in favor of new-fangled odd duck Zack Nichols (played by old-fangled odd duck Jeff Goldblum).

But I’ve seen the two-part Season 8 opener, the first part of which airs Tuesday, and I’ve got some news for you that might make you feel a little better.

"Is it the news that USA came to its senses and sent Goldblum back to wherever he came from so he can continue to refute those Internet rumors that he fell off a cliff in New Zealand and died?" some of you are no doubt wondering.

Well, no. The fan-polarizing Nichols, along with new partner Serena Stevens (Saffron Burrows, who memorably got chomped in half by a lab-engineered genius shark in the last few minutes of Deep Blue Sea), will be front and center on CI beginning with the third episode. And if you guys hold to the threats you’ve posted on various message boards to boycott all post-Goren and Eames episodes, then I guess that makes you bitter, disgruntled ex-CI fans.

I respect that — you have better things to do than continue to patronize a show that bounced your favorite characters, particularly if you can’t stand the replacements. But if after the season opener, to paraphrase surrendering Nez Perce leader Chief Joseph, you will watch no more forever, I beg you to at least watch Goren and Eames’ last hurrah. Without giving anything away, I can swear that the detective duo’s farewell does their history, as well as their personalities, justice. That, at least, must make you happy?

"Nothing’s making me happy until you tell me this was all a horrible dream and that Goren and Eames have been cast in the eleventy-fifth series spin-off, Law & Order: Circus Cops,” you’re thinking.

Yeah, yeah, I get it. But the Law and Order franchise has a habit of writing off characters with either a hasty plot development or a crazy "What the …???" moment that had nothing to do with their previous story line.

So let me just say, again without spoilerage, the disturbed-but-brilliant Goren and the perplexed but loyal Eames, as well as departing Capt. Ross (the simmering Eric Bogosian) are squarely the focus of their farewell episodes, which focus on modern day pirates, a pivotal undercover assignment and a particularly tricky heir to an African throne. Both episodes are well-written, well-plotted, well-acted and have saved a good gut-punch or two for our darling departed detectives.

"But why are they writing them out in the first place?" you’re wailing, now writing your protest letter in angry slashes (and by the way, that’s not how you spell "travesty.")

At the risk of getting an angry letter myself. … I think it’s time. Seriously.

Put that letter opener down and listen to me. Most television shows would kill for an eight-season run, particularly those that got bounced from the original networks. Likewise, a lot of actors would be thrilled to have the same job that long, particularly one that’s explored every twisty nook and unsettling cranny of one’s character. The original Law & Order is careful to only tell you as much about the characters as you need to know, while CI became all about Bobby Goren, who in eight years has gone from sleekly snarky Sherlock Holmes to tragic crackpot to someone diminished but somehow working toward a fragile redemption.

Think about it — in the past eight years, the show killed Goren’s demanding, cancer-stricken mom the same day he found out his birth father was a serial killer, then had his arch-nemesis kill his former junkie brother on the orders of his former mentor! And did I mention the nephew in the mental institution? Sheesh, y’all.


The show strategically took everything from that dude, including his whole family, and, for a while, his sanity and credibility. There wasn’t much else they could do to him and still ask you to believe that he was sane enough to be running around armed. And it just became painful to watch this once proud man become a mumbling, tumbling shell of his former self.

Because CI chose to slap Goren around so much, they really wrote themselves into a corner, and the only choices seemed to be to A) end the show or B) move on with another actor, like they’re doing with the delightfully arch Goldblum. (Yes, haters. I called him delightful.) And yes, a lot of you were hoping they’d pick A, because without Goren, there’s no CI from you. But I’m hopeful that the show will rebound and flourish with its new lead, just like Law & Order has done the 87 times it’s changed casts.

Of course, like I said, Law & Order is more about the cases than about the people, and if CI is no longer "The Bobby Goren Human Punching Bag Hour," then what’s the point? I think that if it refocuses on what it used to be — a clever cat-and-mouse play presenting the killer right off the bat while the brilliant detectives connect the dots — there’s more than enough juice left.

I’m at least glad that Law & Order: Criminal Intent won’t have Bobby Goren to kick around anymore. Because I don’t think he could take it.

Thanks Linda!

9 comments:

Diane said...

Well, this (apparently) 'bitter, disgruntled soon-to-be ex-LOCI' fan STILL intends to follow Vincent and Kate right out the door marked 'Exit' because that's where MY 'Loyalty' lies. I truly have no interest whatsoever in the newbies. We Goren and Eames lovers have 'done our bit' over the last 8 years to keep the show on the air. If it's going to be so 'wonderful' in future, they should have no problem keeping the ratings high enough without us....

grandview said...

Dick Wolf does not have any interest in old CI fans...he will get new ones. Our family has no interest in the new characers...you see, we have seen Goldblum...bad news. Further, the last episodes apparently are only "sound and fury"... what a terrible way to end the wonderful contributions of D'onofrio and Erbe

guiding light81 said...

Diane,you're absolutely right with that.So USA/NBC try without us!!!!!!!!

janethyland said...

Ok, so who is this reviewer and where has she been the past 8years? I dont recall her writing on LOCI before,so whats the sudden interest...and who enabled her to be chosen to get a preview?

Its written for Palm Beach Pulse...is that Florida or Los Angeles? Is it a hired hand to give a hand?

Tess said...

Ummm. The nephew in the mental institution?! Clearly she didn't watch all of 'Frame'.

auroragyps said...

"But I’ve seen the two-part Season 8 opener"

Season 8?

"And did I mention the nephew in the mental institution?"

Mental institution?

Just after reading these two errors, I didn't bother to read the rest of the article. She doesn't sound like she's even really watched the show before the episodes she saw and was just given a list of things that have happened on it and what the fans are like. I'm taking this article with a teeny grain of salt.

Music Wench said...

I made my comments on her opinion at that site. I am not impressed and I was really irritated by what she said. She says she didn't mean to be insulting but funny. Well, she failed miserably and I generally have a great sense of humor.

I'm so sick of people who want to keep watching the show insult those of us who don't. To all who keep insinuating we are crazy or stupid or liars even, BITE ME and go down with the ship if you want. Me, I'm getting off with the ones who brought me to the show in the first place.

janethyland said...

I think we are likely to see alot more of articles like this,people suddenly recruited to give moral support to a show that once had integrity and originality.

bestill said...

I started watching the show again BECAUSE Jeff Goldblum joined the cast. I'm a huge fan of Vincent D'onofrio, and willing to let the man try something new. I'll never forget his perfomance as a jerk pinned between the train and platform in a certain other show. It was amazing. He'll do more and so will Erbe. I will keep watching CI.

I want to see the characters will develop next. Good writing counts.

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"In Dubious Battle" [2016]
An activist gets caught up in the labor movement for farm workers in California during the 1930s. Vincent....Al Anderson

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A story about the early life of Tennessee Williams

Directed by James Franco
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In a rural town in Southern Idaho, the Suzukis, a Japanese American family, run a small motel. One night they get a strange visitor who sports ‘city’ clothes who turns out to be the first African-American man that Toru Suzuki’s children have ever seen. Yoshiko takes it upon herself to solve the mystery about this man, especially when 2 police officers come knocking on their door.

Short film produced by Erika Hampson.
Vincent D'Onofrio as Detective Foster.

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'Purgatory' [TBA]
Tagline: In the Wild West a lot of blood was spilled... but it didn't go to waste. Vincent....Dallas Stoudenmire

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Director: Jennifer Lynch
Producer/Writer ...Eric Wilkinson

Vincent D'Onofrio ....George Lawson (GRACE's father)
Tim Roth.......Detective Tabb

Filming in St Louis - TBA

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Ron Livingston as Steve
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"The Monster Next Door" - Comedy Horror

Executive Produced by Dennis Johnson, Melanie Mohlman Produced by Eric Wilkinson, David Michaels
Written by Jim Robbins
Directed by Jennifer Lynch

Cast: Vincent D'Onofrio, Bill Pullman, French Stewart, Bill Moseley

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'Down & Dirty Pictures' - [in Production - Filming TBA]
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