Straight up: I’m a fan of the franchise.

Yeah, I know it is a fairly standard police procedural show but I like it all the same. Doesn’t matter to me whether it is 1990’s era Law & Order, a recent episode of Law & Order SVUCriminal Intent  before or after Goran, or one of the other short-run spin-off efforts. To me, it’s good TV.

Good TV, not great TV.

We’re maybe in the golden era of TV right now, especially with Netflix and HBO bringing out some amazing stuff. Curb Your Enthusiasm is amazing, House of Cards is great, Veep and Silicon Valley are both regularly watched in my house, and that’s not to mention shows like The Sopranos that are excellent, too.

But Law & Order has been consistently good for more than a decade. Sometimes great, but usually good and an easy way to pass a couple of hours in front of the TV relaxing.

I remember back in Australia I used to watch episodes in Adelaide with an Austrian buddy of mine. We were both amused by the predictability of the episodes back then. There would be a crime, someone would be arrested only to be let go, somewhere around the 40 minute mark of the hour-long episode on commercial TV they’d finger the right guy, and then it would all be wrapped up in Act Three. He and I would turn to each other when the first guy was caught and simply say “It’s not him”, and laugh. It was so predictable but that’s sort of comforting, too.

Here in France the episodes play on the 13eme Rue channel. I regularly just hit record on the DVR and pull down four or five hours of Law & OrderSVU or Criminal Intent at a time. Usually the first couple of episodes in any of the marathon sessions that are run each week are ‘new’ – by which I mean I haven’t seen them in the last couple fo years – and then the rest are ones that have already been on recently enough to be boring. I’ll watch them while working, typing, or even reading – sometimes it is just nice to have a voice in the background.

I’d love to watch the three major franchises through from the start to the finish one day, maybe even blog them. I’ve seen Conviction all the way through before, and I have Law & Order: Trial by Jury on the hard drive and have seen all those episodes, too. But the original series, SVU and Criminal Intent? Those would take longer than a weekend to binge through. Indeed, according to watching the various franchise series would take a real long time:

  • Law & Order: 19 days 1 hour
  • Law & Order SVU: 16 days 5 hours
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent: 8 days 3 hours
  • Conviction: 13 hours
  • Law & Order: Trial by Jury: 13 hours

All up that would be nearly 45 days of non-stop TV, and I am not sure the boss would appreciate me dedicating quite that much time to the television.

It’s a Friday night and I’ve got a big weekend of shopping, a little running, and some tidying up around the apartment to get through so, tonight, I’m relaxing. A little reddit, a little blogging, and a whole lot of Law & Order – an easy way to spend the evening.



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