Ain't It Cool News (

Hercules Finds Shrugworthy

I am – Hercules!!
Tonight happily brings what I believe is the last of the new fall network scripted series. The pilot for “Law & Order: Los Angeles” was scripted by Blake Masters, who masterminded Showtime’s excellent “Brotherhood.” Joining subsequent to the cancellation of the original “Law & Order” is longtime “Law & Order” writer-producer Rene Balcer. The new show is nothing like “Brotherhood” and exactly what its title promises: an L.A. “Law & Order” with a new set of detectives and prosecutors who behave very much the same way their counterparts did back in New York. There’s a lot of overburdened expositional chit-chat I associate with the cancelled series, like “Mom shoots a burglar. Daughter holds a press conference. I love L.A.” The West Coast version stars Skeet Ulrich (“Jericho”), Corey Stoll (“The Number 23”), Alfred Molina (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”), Regina Hall (the “Scary Movie” series), Rachel Ticotin (the “Traveling Pants” movies), Peter Coyote (“The 4400”), Terrence Howard (“Iron Man”), Megan Boone (“Sex and the City 2”) and Teri Polo (“The West Wing”). Some of the cast rotates in and out, and Howard, Boone, Coyote and Polo don’t turn up in the first episode. The bald and mustachioed Stoll stands out among all the “where were you on the night of the attack?” questioning and more famous actors. Lindsay and Dina Lohan are so obviously the inspiration for episode one that virtually every critic is obliged to mention the troubled mother-daughter team by name. TMZ is referenced so many times in the first episode you half-expect to see Harvey Levin listed as one of the producers. Next week’s installment focuses on a Manson-y cult, so I guess this series can do stories torn from the headlines of 1969. If you were still watching “Law & Order” when NBC cancelled it, I doubt you’ll find anything offensive here. If you weren’t a fan, I can’t imagine this will make you one. USA Today says:
… Where SVU and Criminal Intent spun off in their own slightly different directions, LA mostly clings fast to the bifurcated, plot-driven structure of the original. … What you get from LA is a show that's as solid and reliable as a well-built sedan. …
The New York Times says:
… not a sequel to the original series, which was canceled last May after 20 years, but it is a worthy heir. … keeps the focus on the criminals. And in this case, at least, crime may pay.
The Los Angeles Times says:
… The current series has fresh air to breathe and new names to drop — Chin Chin, Caltech, Hillcrest, the Edison — and apparently plans to make a meal out of Hollywood. But it hits the traditional notes square on, moving fast in brief scenes and bursts of exposition, and splitting the difference between melodrama and naturalism. …
The Washington Post says:
… instantly registers as sunnier and sexier, but old-school viewers will feel safe and secure. …
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:
… At one point in tonight's episode, a paparazzi photographer spells out the theme of the episode and potentially future episodes given the show's setting: "The public loves to watch stars suffer like regular people." That kind of self-aware Schadenfreude may play well in an episode or two but would probably grow old if "LOLA" focused only on fictional celebrities. So the need to branch out to non-Hollywood stories is as understandable as the attempt next week is regrettable. …
The San Francsico Chronicle says:
… "L&O" - pick one, it doesn't really matter - traffics in familiarity and ease of understanding. It's the law-and-justice series for people who don't want to be bothered with complications. Have a crime, find some suspects, catch the perps, have them prosecuted and see you next week. Nuance is frowned upon. Dense storytelling brushed aside. It's a series that allows your brain to go into neutral with the knowledge that everything will be tidy by the 59-minute mark. It is completely unsurprising, then, that "LOLA" would come out of the box so predictable and unchallenging. … your time will be better spent with either ABC's "Detroit 1-8-7" or CBS' "Blue Bloods." Neither is great. They don't even break new ground. But they try harder. And they're more entertaining. And they at least pretend to be art, not machinery.
HitFix says:
… Right now, it’s a work in progress at best. … Both cops are fairly bland, though the Hollywood setting of the first episode at least gives Stoll a few good lines. … the attempt to establish the show’s LA bonafides are, frankly, overkill. I know it’s a no-win situation, since everyone wanted to see how the show could exist outside New York, but by the time we get several scenes in a row discussing the TMZ tip line, it’s just too much. … NBC’s hope has to be that the new city is enough to rekindle interest … And I’m not sure it is. … If audiences already had their fill of the original format with one of its better casts, the change of scenery alone likely isn’t going to make everything seem new again. It’s “Law & Order,” no matter the coast. There are cops, there are killers, there are lawyers. These are their stories.
TV Squad says:
… The case in the 'LOLA' premiere isn't particularly impressive, though it demonstrates the competence and consistency that has allowed the 'L&O' brand to last for two decades. … There's life left in this relocated franchise, as long as 'LOLA' doesn't become too enamored of the fame game.
The Boston Herald says:
… stuffy … Visually, “Los Angeles” works. One forgets how dark and claustrophobic the New York shows can be. The sets seem more open, and the decor reflects an electric mix of modern styles. But the crimes - ripped from the headlines, naturally - might as well be culled from the funny pages. … as gripping as dandruff. … Final verdict: Visit if you want, but there’s no compelling reason to relocate your viewing habits to this show. …
The Boston Globe says:
… Sorry, but there’s something blasphemous about this whole idea. “Law & Order’’ has been a definitively New York franchise for two decades, and moving the ching-ching-a-thon to the West Coast is just too weird. …
The Hollywood Reporter says:
… the first episode comes across as too busy and unformed, with bland, friction-free detectives … Fortunately, the pace picks up considerably once the show slips into its legal second half … the series takes a truly unfortunate turn when it follows the villains around, giving away the whodunit and scattering the tension to the Santa Ana winds. It's an ordinary, dull device employed by most cop shows and is in part responsible for the sinking of "Criminal Intent," so it's hard to imagine the logic in employing it here. … it still should be doing some slashing and burning -- and a lot less spewing of lines like: "Mom shoots a burglar, daughter holds a press conference. I love L.A." The last thing this series wants to do is blend in -- and thus far, it's no standout.
Variety says:
… slick and sleazy -- capitalizing on its locale with all the requisite L.A. stereotypes, while featuring a potent cast that, as usual, is pretty shackled by the well-established format. … The writers do indulge in a few amusing L.A.-centric detours -- including a pointed scene of "reality TV" being filmed, complete with retakes -- but there's ultimately no escaping the mostly unchanged (and undeniably durable) formula. …
10 p.m. Wednesday. NBC.
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Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 29, 2010, 4:13 p.m. CST


    by sweeneydave

    ECHo ECho Echo echo....

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 4:14 p.m. CST

    D.Vader For The Win

    by vadakinX

    Yeah, here too and I know Herc finds it hilarious because he still gets paid. Win-Win.

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 4:16 p.m. CST

    I was waiting for it...

    by topfivevideo

    Ok so is this the new D.Vader Revolution stomping grounds?

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 4:17 p.m. CST


    by ColonelFatheart <p>Judge for yourselves.

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 4:18 p.m. CST

    More Colorful

    by mattgreene

    Why do they always seem to put that tagline next to a black person in their promos. It makes me squirm.

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 4:18 p.m. CST

    Eh, this won't last a season and then they'll bring back the rea

    by thecomedian

    Sometime in the not too distant future they'll bring back the real L&O. Rebooted with a new cast and shot in NYC where it belongs. Mark my words.

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Keeping it up?

    by topfivevideo

    Keep it up! We are the bricks and mortar!

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 4:21 p.m. CST

    Harry's take on D.Vader's banning:

    by ColonelFatheart

    (Courtesy of Le Vicious Fishus, who emailed Harry) <p> "The rules apply to everyone. Going off topic in an Obit has been a reason to be BANNED for the last 14 years of AICN. <p> D. Vader needs to take his 90 day punishment like a man, and not be a bitch. Being a bitch about it is what gets the ban permanent. <p> His infraction was minor in the great scheme of things - but so were some others. He has no special privileges just because he talkbacks constantly. <p> that talkback was never about a discussion regarding ettiquete on an obit, it was on the life of a beautiful and talented woman that has given us some of the best cinema of the last 20 years. THAT was the topic - and yes - even after he saw it, he was OFF TOPIC. <p> BEAKS' post was off topic, but a RULE - and the RULE was not to be discussed in the OBIT. <p> [Vader] will have a 90 day ban, unless he and his friends get annoying, in which case his ban will become perm."

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Every talkback

    by vadakinX

    not just one at at a time. Sure when a new article is posted we're going to gravitate to that one but this needs to be site-wide. <p> My apologies to Merrick, Capone, Massa and Herc, we mean no disrespect to you but this has to be done, otherwise I'd have to go out and get a job...uh...i mean uh...evil wins..?

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 4:24 p.m. CST


    by ColonelFatheart

    Can you make sure to keep posting the link to the screenshot of D.Vader's last posts as well as the copy of Harry's email on the situation? <p>I'm out of here for a while. Keep up the good fight, man!

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 4:29 p.m. CST


    by topfivevideo

    To be honest, I dont know the guy. I just know the incident sucks and that if he's got this many supporters than something is awry. I really do think that this is something that is going to ban the TB'ers together and let's hope it lasts fellas.

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 4:32 p.m. CST


    by DioxholsterReturns

    fuck you. wheres stargate talkback?

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 4:33 p.m. CST

    dick wolf susks so bad...

    by JaredP

    it hurts goodbye to this long dead franchise

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 4:33 p.m. CST

    i meant sucks

    by JaredP

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 4:38 p.m. CST

    im sure this show will never be boring

    by DioxholsterReturns

    endless hours of courtroom entertainment. whoever spews that shit put of then assholes should be executed by a circus midget

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 4:40 p.m. CST

    So this is what sounds like happened:

    by sweeneydave

    Beaks says, "Everybody come on over to my house. I'm having another party." He has parties all the time and usually people trash his house and have a good time. No big deal. But this time he says, "On this day only, I ask that nobody trash my house out of respect for something and so-forth. And if you do, I'm kicking you out of my house." Fair enough. He laid the very specific rules and even made everyone aware of the consequences. But then D.Vader (who is such a great nice popular guy) walks over and says "Oh yeah, I hear what your saying. I'm on board." And then with a smug grin, tips over a glass cat figurine with his finger. So Beaks points to the door and says "Out". To be honest, Aintitcool is really Harry and company's house. They invite us over. They tell us to make ourselves at home. They usually don't inforce any specific rules. But when they do, they have every right to enforce them the way they want. It's their house. It's not a country that we've created and established some kind of government and we must RISE UP and INSIST that they let us do whatever we want because aintitcool represents America. That's dumb. It's not about how major or minor D.Vader's disrespect (if any at all) was. It's not wrong for Harry to not allow us talkbackers complete freedom. It's their house. If you don't want to be here, go to somebody else's house and quit getting in the way of them showing me their cool geek collectibles.

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Jaw and Boredom

    by johnnyangelheart

    That sums it up for me.

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 5:14 p.m. CST


    by topfivevideo

    He's got another thread going

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Vader ban

    by Titus05

    would I get the same love from talkbackers if I got banned?

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 5:30 p.m. CST

    How the hell did they get Johnny Depp to be in this?

    by StanGrossman

    What's that? Skeet who?!

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 6:02 p.m. CST

    "Raiders of the Lost Ark"

    by Gislef_crow

    I know Indy is iconic, but does anyone really associate Alfred Molina more with his bit part in that movie, than as Dr. Octopus in Spider-Man II?

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 6:08 p.m. CST

    Throw me the idol, I throw you the whip

    by sweeneydave

    was the first line I ever memorized from a movie as a child. Don't know why it had such an impact but it did. I remember coming to this site for the first time and seeing how many others clung to that scene. What's the deal with that?

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 6:15 p.m. CST

    Did you expect anything less?

    by ApolloBrowncoat

    I mean, come on. Even the title "Law and Order: Los Angeles" felt lazy. May it join "Trial by Jury" in the dark corner of forgotten L&O franchises and $20 Complete Series DVDs

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Greg Giraldo is dead

    by Chomponbliss

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 7:05 p.m. CST

    Crime dramas nowadays are like Tribbles

    by SisterSpooky

    When one Show (L&O: orginal series) dies another one just jumps along. We seem to be swimming in crime dramas and procedurals, etc. I like them, don't me wrong but there are far too many of them on TV!! Do you hear me Hollywood!! They've turned into Tribbles. One show ends and another 22 new ones just go jumping in!!

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 8:19 p.m. CST

    Not tuning in for this one

    by NippleEffect

    zero interest in this clone

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 8:24 p.m. CST

    You know who wasn't shrug worthy? D. VADER

    by Guy Who Got A Headache And Accidentally Saves The World

    There was a man

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 9:24 p.m. CST

    So, just watched some on DVR

    by BizarroJerry

    As a L&O viewer -- though not in its last couple of years -- this one already seems a step below the original. Already seems like it's trying to be too cool. Plus, any cop show like this can't help but be cliched and derivative. Nothing new. And I have to hear a typical, "cop with a new baby" conversation over the dead body. Let me add a yawn to your shrug, Herc.

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 9:28 p.m. CST

    BrainDrain: Well, what are you waiting for??


    Get moving, troll.

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 9:29 p.m. CST

    Rachel Ticotin

    by Toe Jam

    Should she really be cited -- on this particular site, anyway -- for her work in the "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" movies rather than as the hot dark-haired lady in "Total Recall." Sometimes I think Herc does this just to see dummies like me overreact and not properly infer his tongue-in-cheek humor.

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 10:01 p.m. CST

    Yeah that was pretty lame...

    by thecomedian

    The Hollywood bit was tired by halfway through the episode. If that's all they've got is Law and Order TMZ edition then I'll pass. Law & Order only works with NYC as the backdrop.

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 10:22 p.m. CST


    by garybuseys_incisors

    Bring him back.

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 10:38 p.m. CST

    Lukewarm and boring, at best.

    by Nick Michalak

    In the shadow of such a powerful episode of SVU, this pilot seemed even more bland, flat, and pointless. If it doesn't improvement drastically very soon, it's going to be gone by mid-season, and they'll be regretting canceling the original series. I know I miss Sam Waterston already.

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 10:41 p.m. CST


    by Flippadippa

    That first season of L&O was terrific - almost on a par with The Wire. This doesn't compare

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 10:41 p.m. CST

    Did they drop the main title theme?

    by Flippadippa

    Sucks if they did.

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 10:57 p.m. CST

    That awesome slap baseline will be back...

    by thecomedian

    Mark my words. NBC will relaunch Law & Order Prime back in NYC sometime in the next 5-15 years even if it's after SVU and all the other spinoffs leave the air. It's too big of a franchise for them. It's like the Star Trek of police procedurals.

  • Sept. 30, 2010, 12:35 a.m. CST


    by Mullah Omar

    What is this, THE ONION? Guy works in film and TV for decades, sometimes in starring roles, and his reference film is one where he has about 2 minutes of screentime?

  • Sept. 30, 2010, 1:43 a.m. CST

    this show sucks

    by BlackJackBauer2

    everything about it sucks. its bland as hell, the storyline sucked, the idea of a rotating cast sucks. needs to be cancelled immediately. how are these cops so got damn BORING? What the hell is Throw me the Idol doing here? Now that he is all fat I expected him to doctor Oc out during that press conference. All ep Im like wtf where is don cheadle I mean howard until I rememeberd this dumb ass rotating doors bs they are trying. i hate this show for existing. and IM IN LA!

  • Sept. 30, 2010, 4:37 a.m. CST

    know what...

    by jameskpolk

    Old people watch a lot of tv. Know what else? Old people love procedural police dramas. L&O will be around as long as there are old people to watch it.

  • Sept. 30, 2010, 7:35 a.m. CST

    Maybe, jameskpolk...

    by BizarroJerry

    But this gave me the impression they're not aiming for old people, but trying to be "cool" so younger people will watch. It seems they've adopted the Criminal Intent way of showing the events of the crime before the murder, though I'm not sure if the original series has switched to that recently.<p>I remember that one major aspect of the original show during most seasons was that we didn't see any violence. We just saw the body and followed the mystery just like the cops do. It wasn't an exploitative show, but I more intelligent one. Now we actually see the murder.

  • Sept. 30, 2010, 9:53 a.m. CST

    No opening narration, no opening theme.

    by themikejonas

    Way to add insult to injury. Give us L&O sheep what we want!

  • Sept. 30, 2010, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Recast it.

    by kabong

  • Sept. 30, 2010, 11:21 a.m. CST

    "Hercules Finds Shrugworthy LAW & ORDER: LOS ANGELES!!"

    by jim

    I look forward to seeing Hercules on "Law & Order: Grammar Crimes"

  • Sept. 30, 2010, 4:36 p.m. CST

    by Katet19

    I've purposely avoided all of the D Vader stuff, not really wanting to get wrapped up in it. Now that I've seen his actual posts I don't think the banning is necessary as he wasn't being disrespectful. But to everyone complaining just stop coming here. Turn the site and talkbalk into a ghost town if you want to rattle cages. Personally I don't REALLY care what the people who run the site do either way, it's theirs to run.

  • Sept. 30, 2010, 6:19 p.m. CST

    Every time I see LOLA I think

    by SisterSpooky

    Laugh Out Loud Again and not Law & Order:L.A. It probably goes with the new L&O look.

  • Sept. 30, 2010, 8:44 p.m. CST

    terrance howard???

    by mr. smith

    what the hell?