Thursday, April 5, 2007

30 Years of Law & Order: Part II - Who's the Real McCoy?

The following is part 2 of a 51 part series on "Law & Order". Other parts can be seen here:


I was going to write brief bios of the only two Executive Assistant District Attorneys the show has ever known, but somebody already did that on Wikipedia. Ben Stone is on your left and Jack McCoy on your right. Links to each of the actors that play these characters are available on those pages. If you're like me, you don't need to research. If you're like our friend Ryan, you can use the links above.

McCoy has had a lot longer time on the show, but Stone's years in the courtroom aren't something to coy about. Get it. Coy, like McCoy.

Both of these pictures make me want to stay out of trouble with the law. I almost picked another Ben Stone picture because I was worried he was going to prosecute me for uploading his picture. Why the hell is he under a bridge?

Roller's take: Jack McCoy is the man you want as the ADA for your city. He shows no mercy in prosecuting the accused, and isn't afraid of bending the rules to serve justice. He knows when to bluff to get a confession, and just how much (or really, how little) he has to give another perp to get the testimony that wins the case.

That said, in terms of the character I like more, I have to go with Ben Stone. Although he wasn't nearly as fiery a personality as McCoy, he was as hard-nosed when it came to putting criminals behind bars. I suppose though, that it's his even-tempered nature that makes me feel like I could have a conversation with him, and maybe even agree to disagree about something. With McCoy, I'd be fighting the urge to duck the whole time.
Coovo's take: Good points Roller. It is easy to here to say McCoy. He has dominated the prosecutorial lobe in our brains for the last decade plus. His passion in and out of the courtroom makes us feel good about the legal system.
Stone was more crafty. His time on the show, though limited, was complex. His calm demeanor could be mistaken for nonchalance, but his even keel allowed him to move from case to case with little or no hangover.
Both were all business. Well mostly all business. Early on in the show, McCoy had a reputation for sleeping with his assistants. Point McCoy. Notice he's never had a male ADA. Critics say McCoy goes on warpaths and blinds himself to the law with his personal feelings. Ben Stone believed in the law. Point Stone.
In the end, I have to go with McCoy. He's Irish. He's got salt & pepper hair. He's awesome. And, I haven't seen a Ben Stone episode in 5 years.

In the end, they are both great characters and integral to the show's success. In the "Order" half of the show, the weight is carried evenly by the Detectives. In the "Law" half, the Executive ADA is ultimately responsible for the taste in your mouth each episode leaves.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Winter Wonderland

Nothing I love more than checking the blog out and seeing a post about the Cardinals. Only the inclusion of Roller's Dad, Dr. Roller, made it worthwhile for me. And of course the brilliant prose of one Roller "Derby". I did laugh a lot though. Somewhere, someone at ESPN got a raise for getting Billy Bob and Wal-mart to come together. Reminds me when FOX got life-long White Sox fan, Bernie Mac, to sing the 7th inning stretch during the Cubs-Marlins series in 2003. It was Game 6 and Bernie decides to call the Cubs "The Champs" during the song. You can blame Bartman, I'll blame Bernie.

Raise your mouse if it's flurrying outside. I'm kidding. Put down your mouse, you look like an idiot. If April showers bring May flowers, then what does April snow bring? Mother Nature is showing that indeed Spring is a myth here in the Loop. Today, I am definitely walking in my Winter Underwear.

I can't tell you how excited I am to be doing this series on Law & Order. It will be tough for me because every time I think of Lenny Briscoe leaving the force and then leaving this earth, I have to take a moment. L&O has been a staple in my life ever since I began watching reruns senior year in college on A&E. I read recently that Dick Wolf, the shows creator, got a star on The Walk of Fame. Probably the first person on the walk to be famous just for his name. Unless he was holding the star with a name tag that said, "I am really Dick Wolf," I'd have no idea who he was. But good for him. He is now certifiably famous and will not doubt get into heaven.

Ponder this while you wait 2 weeks for the next post: Ben Stone or Jack McCoy? You can't have both.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Old and Crabby

I was lucky enough to go to the Cards' home opener with my dad Sunday night. Some quick thoughts:

Before the game they brought out many retired Cardinals lucky enough to get a ring with the Birds. Sweet! I love that stuff. Gibby, Brock, Stan, Red, Ozzie, Bruce and even Joaquin made it. And so did Keith Hernandez.

But Keith Hernandez was wearing a faded orange shirt and a navy blue blazer. And we were playing the Mets. And we all know the Mets' colors. Coincidence? Somehow I doubt it. I'm all for Keith Hernandez showing Met pride. Just not at a ceremony honoring the Cardinals.

Billy Bob Thorton was announcing all the players. Hey, don't say a World Series championship has tempered the Cardinals' spending. Because nothing says Cardinal baseball like Billy Bob Thorton. Or the fact that he was reading everything off a script with the enthusiasm of Krusty the Clown doing a product endorsement.

The National Anthem was sung by REO Speedwagon. My dad asked me to name one of their songs. I couldn't. Still can't. BBT introduced the national anthem something like, "And now please remove your hats for the national anthem, which will be sung by REO Speedwagon, who will be releasing their 15th album "You think I remember the name?" tomorrow exclusively at WAL-MART". Because nothing says the national anthem like WAL-MART.

After the national anthem, Geno called me to tell me I was on TV for a little bit. I couldn't help but wonder which was more likely to propel me into the world's spotlight: a 3 second crowd shot on national TV or this blog?

The game started. The crowd was ready. The Mets were ready. The Cards weren't. The Cards didn't do much right, and the Mets did almost everything right. Half the fans turned into a bunch of drunk 20-year-olds spilling beer on everyone and talking about text messages with other drunk 20-year-olds.

On the bright side, a ball game is a ball game and it's always fun to go with my dad. I promise not to be such a grouch next time. Now that I'm a TV star, I have to worry about my image!