Many television shows – most? – don’t last for 21 episodes. The original Law & Order has been around for an astounding 21 years. Through many cast changes, several spin-offs, and many Emmy Awards, Law & Order has remained one of the most watchable cop shows in TV history. And its trademark sound effect, which I’ll call DOINK DOINK, is one of the medium’s most memorable.
If you’re one of the seven people in America who’ve never seen even one episode of the show, the first half hour “solves” the crime, and the second half hour is when the judge throws out the evidence and the prosecution has to scramble to convict the defendant(s). Unlike Perry Mason, this team doesn’t always get a conviction, which made the show so much more intriguing. And the show prided itself on being “ripped from the headlines” – taking a current event and changing it just enough to avoid libel.
Law & Order is a Dick Wolf creation, and Wolf has stayed hands-on in production since the beginning. Though there have been many characters over the years, here are my favorites: Chris Noth as Detective Mike Logan… Jerry Orbach as Detective Lennie Brisco… S. Epatha Merkerson as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren… Sam Waterston as District Attorney Jack McCoy… Angie Harmon as Assistant District Attorney Abbie Carmichael… and Fred Thompson as District Attorney Arthur Branch.