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A Love Letter to "Law And Order"

Law-and-order-logo  Dear Law and Order: The Original

When I was 21, I moved to NYC to be an actress. What I really wanted to do was appear on Law And Order.

 I wanted Lennie Briscoe to find my corpse and make a pithy comment, or to be cross examined to tears by Sam Waterston, and yes, I know I'm mixing character names with actors' names, and that matters not a whit to me, because in the 20 years that it was on the air, I came to love these characters and actors, and even though Sam Waterston is hardly on the show anymore, and Jerry Orbach, bless his soul, has passed away, for a show to be on from the time a person is 12 to when she is 32 is epic in its influence. And to see it go into permanent reruns (and I do mean permanent, the show is inescapable, let's face it) is honestly sad. 


Many articles are out there about how the cancellation of Law and Order will affect the economy of NYC, but that, although very important, is not what I automatically thought of when I heard "The Mothership" had been cancelled. What I thought about was every New York City actor who got their SAG card playing a bit part on Law and Order, every time I flipped on the show to see someone I knew, someone who I used to date, or whose kids I used to babysit for when they were on set, every time I see eleven seasons with the Twin Towers in the background. Law and Order is New York City, and to think a Law and Order: Los Angeles is in the works gives me a shudder and makes me want to go back to my old stomping grounds on the edge of Harlem on the West Side, where I used to live, and where I'd see L&O getting filmed constantly. 

I'm not an actress anymore, and I never appeared on Law and Order, but I do consider myself a New Yorker at heart, and I do mourn The Mothership, even though it will live forever, thanks to the magic of reruns. And my favorite New York memory will always be seeing Jerry Orbach outside a Starbucks on 52nd St and 8th Ave and getting so excited and starstruck that I almost got hit by a cab. 

With all my love, 

Miss Banshee

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Um, Sam is totally still on that show. Small part, yes, but I see his silver hair every week when it's on. LOVE. HIM.

Miss Banshee

@maresi Duh on my part. Sorry aaaaand Fixed!


I've always believed there is NO OTHER prosecuting attorney but Sam Waterston. There just isn't! All the others are fake, wannaabe copies of THE ORIGINAL. And for that matter, in my heart, all the characters will forever be there on the streets solving heinous crimes in their own compassionate and quirky way while teaching us so much about our complicated legal system.

And I'm a native Texan. L&O is the show!

fridita (just a grrl)

This is a great post. I have always seen "Law & Order" as a love letter (of sorts) to NYC. I can't wrap my head around the concept of anything bearing the L&O stamp being set anywhere else in the world. (LA? Really?) I think I will just stick with my memories & reruns. And I stilllllllll miss Jerry Orbach.

shannon r

I could have written this love letter word for word.

Well... except for the "moving to NYC when I was 21" part.

But the love for L&O? Totally.


I haven't really watched the original since the loss of Orbach, but the thought of it ending does sadden me a bit.


When I heard, I felt like I was losing a relative. My dad used to turn that show on every night after dinner. I know it's faded but it's such a good show. I miss Sam Waterston having a bigger part. I miss Jerry Orbach. I miss Chris Noth. Hell, I still miss Michael Moriarty! The way he could sling a disdainful "Sir," ooh. It would give me goosebumps. And all the actors and comedians that have appeared on that show! If you look at IMDB you'll be there all day.

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