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.


Ryan said...

Wow, I would have said McCoy without even thinking about it. But not only is Stone under a bridge, it's raining and he doesn't give a flying shit about it.

Coovo said...

Well said. It's like he's saying "Rain will not stop me from seeking the death penalty". It'd be interseting to see what Stone could have accomplished in the age of DNA evidence.

Ryan said...

It's more like he threatened the Rain itself with the death penalty, and it let up.