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"Law & Order: Crime & Punishment" Review

By Shawn McKenzie 06/19/2002

Have you ever watched Court TV and wondered why real-life courtrooms weren't as exciting or compelling as fictional ones?  Well I have.

I always thought that if someone would just find some interesting real lawyers involved in trials that didn't bore you to tears, filmed the entire trial, and then edited out all the boring parts and add some music to the background, that it could be just as exciting as a fictional courtroom drama.

Apparently executive producer Dick Wolf was thinking the same thing, because he has brought us "Law & Order:  Crime & Punishment."  The series follows the San Diego District Attorney’s office, where a group of prosecutors try to get the criminals off the street.  Like Wolf's first three "Law & Order" series, it's mostly from the viewpoint of the prosecutors and the whole procedure wraps up in a single episode.  Also like the previous series' (except for the surprisingly horrible "Law & Order: Criminal Intent"), it is just as interesting and thought-provoking.  Heck, it even has the famous "duh-duh" sound!

The difference, as it is pointed out at the beginning of the show, is that all the cases are real and nothing has been reenacted.  I found myself on the edge of my seat wondering if the bad guy was going to get a guilty or innocent verdict in the same way I do with a really good fictional lawyer show.  It looks to me like it is mainly going to be the legal procedure, but I hope future episodes will include the police investigations.

This summer is being flooded with reality shows and most of them are watchable only because they are better than reruns.  Very few of them are appointment television.  "Law & Order: Crime & Punishment" is appointment television.  Dick Wolf stole my idea, and I thank him for it!

Ratings System:


Try to catch this show every week...

If a better show is on, tape this one...

If nothing else is on, maybe this will be good...

If this show is on, change the channel immediately!


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