Last night, Law & Order CI came to Williamsburg and I almost missed it. (There's some great video in that link.) Luckily I'd checked my computer before pulling on the jammies and saw an email from my buddy Travis, informing me about this little bit of entertainment history. This was Jeff Goldblum's first episode—he took over for Detective Mike Logan (aka "Big" aka big, hunky Chris Noth)—and it was a laff riot.
I generally love all the Law & Order franchises, but CI must've lost all their good writers when they shifted to USA Network. It was like your uncool Aunt Sally wrote the dialog with only a dog-eared set of circa 1974 World Book Encyclopedias for reference. Not since the "punk rock" version of Quincy has a show gotten it so hilariously wrong:
• Like when the Black (naturally) drug dealer announced that one of the hipster vics had asked for a "lid" of weed. A lid?!?! Are we at Woodstock? Prior to being brutally murdered, he was no doubt planning to smoke this primo doobage while jamming out to Procul Harem on 8-track. Another fave line: "there's a whole lotta bogus going on." I'll say!
• Or when one Hasid explained to the other, that in matters of life and death, you can use your cellphone on shabbat—all this while staring at a murdered corpse. I'm not saying Hasids don't keep to the sabbath, but this bit of manufactured tension was obviously just stuck in there to show the writers had done their research on these exotic bearded creatures. Get it—hipsters and Hasids are thrown together and the result is a giant culture clash. Where was the bike lane conflict? That could've been a great subplot!
• For some reason, the writers opted out of using Puerto Ricans as the third group a-culture-clashing in the 'burg and opted (inaccurately) for African Americans instead. I guess Black people are just scarier—the nice little slutty hipster girl certainly thought so! And where were the Poles?
• How difficult would it have been for casting to line up some actual hipster-infested band to play their cable-tv debut? You can't spit on Bedford Avenue without hitting a guitarist. Instead, Aunt Sally got her clarinet-playing nephew to line up his uncool friends to come up with some jammy R&B riffs. Even this uncool old broad thought they sucked—and not in a "kids today and their crazy music" kind of way!