My alienation from a show I used to watch religiously is even greater than Rob’s; I haven’t watched a second of either show in the new season. James Wolcott amplifies the points with some typically acute criticism (and further makes me want to watch it again at least once, if only to see Farina.) Given the number of otherwise intelligent people who believe otherwise, I was particularly happy to see the apercu in bold:
Sam Waterston has been doing his high-sniffy rectitudinous grandstanding for so long it’s as if he expects some soft of Atticus Finch statue; Elisabeth Rohm is no worse than Angie Harmon, but no better; and Fred Thompson is a pompous pork chop whose cliched Southern homilies wouldn’t be listened to seriously for ten seconds in NY (whereas Steven Hill, with his crusty cut-the-crap irritability and desire to get out of the office before bad news could follow, was the authentic article).
I might–might–be willing to concede that if you held a gun to my head, I would say that Rohm is a worse actor than Harmon. But although there’s a lot of revisionism on the subject, Harmon was a terribleactor. When discussing legal issues, she sounded as if she had learned the lines phonetically; and when she tried to engage in the forceful histrionics the scripts increasingly called for, she was just embarrassing–if you turned on the TV you might think you were watching someone deliver the impassioned moral at the end of Degrassi Junior High or an Afterschool Special. (And, she’s a Republican, and her husband got burned for about six touchdowns in the Super Bowl by a third-rate offense while trying to blame his teammates for the blown coverage.)
I also agree completely about Hill, who is missed much more than one would think given his average screen time.