The original, subtitle-free Law & Order was, in many ways, a grittily realistic cop show. The cops were cynical and world-weary. The crimes were stark and brutal. Men were cruel, women were suspicious, and Sam Waterson was Sam Waterston. But the show had one weird, kinky flourish: The mandatory quota which required a wry, sultry, steely-eyed actress clad in monochromatic skirt suit to play the role of Attractive Assistant District Attorney. The most famous Law & Order ADAs (LOADAs?) were Angie Harmon’s Abbie Carmichael and Jill Hennessy’s Claire Kincaid, and your preference for one or the other is a personality-defining decision, on par with Beatles/Elvis, Superman/Batman, and Shakespeare/Marlowe.
But don’t forget about Carey Lowell, whose Jamie Ross provided an expert bridge between the Carmichael and Hennessy years. (Lesser ADAs include surprise-lesbian Serena Southerlyn, the short-lived Alexandra Borgia, and founding LOADA Paul Robinette, who was not sultry and also was not a woman.) Alana de la Garza rekindled the LOADA flame when she took over, but her reign was sadly cut down when the original series was canceled last year. Fortunately, hope and recasting springs eternal: de la Garza’s Connie Rubirosa joins the cast of Law & Order: LA tonight. The LOADA bloodline continues! In honor of de la Garza’s return, let’s settle the question once and for all PopWatchers: Who is the greatest Law & Order ADA of them all?