"Law and Order"

Sometimes I watch Law and Order while I eat my supper, and it’s always seemed vaguely familiar to me. Tonight, as I was eating my nuked White Castles (oh yum), it came to me.
I might be the only one who remembers Dragnet from way back in the day, but that’s it.
Am I right, or am I right?

I remember Dragnet. Just the facts, ma’am.

That’s the one. And “This is the City”
Ever watched Law and Order?

All the time.

Do you remember “There are eight million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them.” I didn’t watch that one as much.

Dragnet always skipped the trial phase and went right to the verdict. It’s been a while since I saw the 60’s TV version, but I remember in some of the radio episodes suspects would try to make deals with the cops (“I’ll tell you where he is, but you have to get me a light sentence”) and Friday would always deny having any right to make a deal (“I can tell the DA how it went down, and that’s it”).

The “Law” half of Law & Order does bear a striking resemblance to Dragnet though. I remember thinking that the main difference in style, aside from the lack of voiceover in Law & Order, is that on Dragnet witnesses always stand still while they’re being grilled by Friday, but on Law & Order they keep on doing whatever they were doing before the cops barged in, I assume in an attempt to make the scene more visually interesting.

This always surprises me. I keep wondering - if the police show up at my house to question me about a murder, am I really going to keep on watering the plants and cleaning the litter box?

I had a couple of cops show up asking about the theft of some widget off of a boat sitting in the yard of a neighbor about 500 yards down the road on the same side as our farm. I was wrist deep in kneading a batch of bread and I kept on. [with the front door open and just the screen shut it is easy to yell at someone to come on in.] Since I had no way of actually seeing the property as we were at home and not driving past, I was of absolutely no help to the cops. Cute guys they were too. :stuck_out_tongue:

In L&O and dragnet (clever tittle, I think) the good guys always seem to get the last word, and the bon mots.

The similarity between the cop parts of Law & Order and Dragnet, I would think, is that they’re both police procedurals.

I’m sure that’s the reason, and yes, it usually sticks out because it’s hard to believe a lot of people keep working when the cops are grilling them. When the original series was canceled I think the New York Times even made a reference to this style choice in an article because it sticks out so much.

Although I love the *Law & Order *show, I always thought they had the roles reversed. To me, it seems like the cops are all about order, while the lawyers are more about the law. They should have called it Order & Law.

The Jack Webb show had very little in common with the Dick Wolf show. Although the Dick Wolf/Ed O’Neill version of *Dragnet *had much more in common with L&O.

A must-see for fans of the above shows is He Walked By Night, the 1948 movie that was the inspiration for the Dragnet series, which debuted on radio the following year. (Jack Webb has a small part in the film). It’s a police procedural based on a real-life LA criminal who baffled the cops in the 40s by his ability to suddenly vanish when the police were right on his tail. They finally caught him when they figured out how he worked his disappearing trick.

He was using the sewer system to get away.

I’ve been watching some of the earlier seasons lately and the witnesses barely move when being questioned. It felt more real, but it didn’t feel “right” for Law & Order because 15+ seasons (and a few spinoff serieses) have taught me otherwise.