Law & Order: Los Angeles debuted last night with an episode that mashed together three separate pop culture story strands. There was the Bling Ring, that crew of SoCal teenyboppers who burgled celebrity homes by tracking their marks’ whereabouts via the Internet. There was a Brody Jenner-ish reality TV star, an L.A. rich kid who dated his way into pseudo-stardom. (Bizarro-Brody said, “Perez Hilton called me a douche-tard every day for six months,” which is the first and hopefully last time the words “douche-tard” and “Perez Hilton” will ever appear in the L&Overse.) And finally, there was a touching re-enactment of the Lindsay-Dina Lohan mommy-daughter psychodrama, complete with lots of heavy talk about living through/off your children. Also, lots of red hair. A better name for the sixth L&O would be Law & Order: Everything Annoying About Los Angeles.
There are signs of life in this West Coast reboot. There is an undeniably pleasant cheese factor to pumping the franchise’s ripped-from-the-headlines mentality full of Hollywood joy-juice. The pilot, directed by HBO veteran Allen Coulter, had a glossy sheen that looked screensaver-pretty. Corey Stoll’s Detective Mustache scores an 8 on the Noth-o-Meter as the acerbic supporting detective. (Skeet Ulrich’s lead detective only scores about a 3 on the Orbach-o-Meter, although his character actually seems like a more well-adjusted Detective Stabler. His name is “Rex Winters,” which sounds like it should be a comic strip from the ’30s or a porn star from the ’70s.)
The big twist of the episode was that Bizarro-Dina, who had killed a member of the Bizarro-Bling Ring when they burgled her house, was actually in charge the Bling Ring, and she sent Bizarro-Lindsay out to party with the marked celebrities as a distraction. That is the most insane plotline I’ve heard all week, but you won’t see that on Detroit 1-8-7.
The major downside of LO: LA is that, besides the sunshine and the paparazzi, it doesn’t really feel much different from the Original Blend. That may just speak to how colorless the L&O franchise has become. But in New York, that colorlessness made a bit of sense. In LA, it just makes everyone look kind of square, besides Detective Mustache, who has a mustache. (It certainly doesn’t help that Los Angeles has hosted some of the best cop shows in history — Southland, Boomtown, Robbery Homicide Division, fricking Dragnet.) Law and Order: Los Angeles makes CSI: New York look like NCIS: Los Angeles, which you can either take as a compliment or an insult.
Did you watch LO: LA? Do you agree that Detective Mustache is awesome? Don’t you wish they’d just gotten the Lohans to play themselves? Should they just rename the show Celebrity Law & Order and get faded C-listers to play themselves as murderers each week? Sound off below!
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