Post by annabelleleigh on Sept 21, 2009 15:49:08 GMT -5
It was good to hear your voice too Susan.
I certainly hope that Rene Balcer, in delving more into L&O lead characters' lives in Season 20, doesn't take things as far as Warren Leight let them go with Bobby Goren in CI Season 6 (and especially) Season 7.
I do understand that, after so many years of stories, the writers are looking for a new way to entertain themselves (to paraphrase RB). But I would be terribly disappointed if schizophrenic and serial killer relatives started popping up in the L&O lead characters' backstories.
Jack McCoy, as embodied by Sam Waterston, continues as one of America's most realistic, revered TV heroes. I would hate to see this character emotionally disabled and his sense of decency sidelined by a gratuitous "personal crisis." McCoy's indefatigable pursuit of the best possible justice in a not-so-just world is central to L&O. Please, let's not see him parked at a bar, crying into his Macallan.
The fact that the mothership (unlike most other television) continues to raise the right moral questions at the right time stokes hope -- which, I might add, (as cliche as it may be) is still in short supply, even after a so-called "historic" presidential election that promised so much righteous change.
Mr. Balcer: I hope that in entertaining yourselves with personal stories for your already well-drawn characters you also use that to continue illuminating the important political, social -- ie., human -- issues of today. Give 'em as much hell as possible at 8 PM on Fridays. I -- and others here -- will be watching.
I was happily able to hear a repeat of the Rene Balcer interview on blogtalkradio. How lovely to hear both Susan & Annabelle on my computer!!
Ladies, I thought you both did am amazing job. If it were me, I think I would have sounded like a giggly schoolgirl! Susan, I love your laugh! Hearing you made me smile. I thought you asked very interesting, intelligent questions. I liked how RB referred to working on LOCI as "interesting." Also, when Simon Applebaum mentioned how VDO's character became the lead, Rene said that VDO "liked it that way." Heehee. ;D
Annabelle, you were wonderful!! I adore your sweet, slight southern accent. So charming compared to my New York one. You sound like a young girl. And I thought you were very polite yet insistent about voicing your concern that the mothership doesn't succumb to a need for ratings ( and placate the 8 pm audience) by going to far with the characters personal storylines. Bravo to you!
So.......two phone calls to Mr. Balcer and both are from this wonderful board. I sure hope he notices. It says a lot about this place that I love.
Post by susan1212 on Sept 21, 2009 19:45:29 GMT -5
Thanks to AL, quietfire, and Donna. It was fun to do and a spur of the moment decision to make the call.
AL, it was cool to hear your voice and your questions and comments were excellent as Suzanne said.
And Mr. Balcer's answer regarding the personal stories does make one wonder if he would have done the same on LOCI, Suzanne. I will have to reserve comment until after I watch the new season of L & O to see exactly what Mr. Balcer meant. Then maybe we can compare his method with Mr. Leight's method.
Last Edit: Sept 21, 2009 19:54:03 GMT -5 by susan1212
Oh Yes, I did love Rene's "We will not be ignored" declaration. He started it last season when he titled two episodes "All New" and "Promote This." I wonder exactly what he has up his sleeve this season?
From what we've read so far, the personal arc is going to involve Lieutenant VanBuren dealing with a cancer scare. I'm confident that it will be handled well, with very few scenes. And I'm glad they are giving S. Epatha her due. She's an amazing actress.
With all due respect to Warren Leight, I don't believe for a minute that Rene Balcer would have gone so incredibly far into Goren's personal storyline. Especially the dreadful "Brady Is My Daddy" angle.
Post by dragonsback on Sept 22, 2009 17:29:05 GMT -5
Note to talk-show hosts everywhere: Rene Balcer is the Go-To Guest when you're off your game. RB's imperturbable fluency and mastery of his thoughts never flag. He could talk to a balloon on a stick, and the balloon would come away with a great interview.
Or, in this case, a deranged seagull gagging on a furball. Simon Applebaum isn't stupid, exactly, he just needs a different medium. Print would be good. He could have an editor, and wouldn't need to speak.
Substance: I must have heard/read Balcer say much of what he said before - after nearly two decades on the job, he surely has a recitalist's repertoire on the subject of the L&O universe. It all seemed evergreen to me, though. Maybe I was distracted by recurrent fantasies of putting a pillow over Simon Applebaum's face and shooting him (exposure to too much TV violence).
Whether he's said all this before or not, my mental highlighter drew across these things:
Best eureka moment -Anger: That quality in RB's writing that first brought him to the attention of a TV exec. Boy, did she get it right. It's that anger - righteous or wounded or plain psychopathic- that drives L&O. Not the bouncing-up-and-down, face-contorted-in-fury, blaze of gunfire anger, but the darkness beneath the smile, the molten core of rage that warms the surface of L&O's best characters. The black stuff that bubbles below the social contract.
Best laugh - I did it Vincent's way. What a deliciously curious take Rene has on things sometimes! Here's news: LOCI was meant to be an ensemble show, like the mothership, but VDO, well, just took over. Yeah, sure, that sounds soooo like Dick Wolf and Rene Balcer - they are just pushovers, these guys. Maybe Rene should acknowledge that he made this grand character, and, when it became inhabited by VDO, it turned into a magnificent monster to whom the fans flocked.
Rene and Vincent once had chemistry. It seems that they don't have it any more. RB is a bit lemon-lipped about VDO. I am sympathetic, I really am - your star ungratefully self-destructs, and you are left holding the mess that was Season 5. No need to revise history, though.
Now, on to the BEST stuff - our own CI board talking heads. Some personal favourites among the general high points:
I was knocked sideways by Susan's velvety insertion of " or is it Bal-say?" I don't think Applebaum got it. I grinned like a loon. Brava, yooo Good Thing.
The connection between AL and RB was powerful. What a pro she is, and what an encounter this interview would have been if Simon Applesauce had retired back to the deep sleep to which he endlessly referred , and AL had taken over the chair. Did anyone else get the feeling that it was only when AL came on, that an actual conversation began?
And didn't you all think that Rene really wanted to talk with her? Took her seriously? Might even have shown , er, a little respect? He seemed to sit up and pay attention. And became less magisterial, less scripted. The bit about creating material designed to keep himself and the writers interested was so revealing. IMO, anyway.
AL's voice clear as a bell - mid-Atlantic? Washingtonian-ish? Katherine Graham minus the plumminess? - and fast, killer questions encased in good manners. What interview skills, eh? Too, too good.
Okay, I've bagged Simon A to death. I'll give him this: when he talked about the L&O episdoes that he remembered best, he became verbally lean, and telling, and interesting to listen to.
Perhaps that's what's called for after 20 years. No more questions. Rene Balsay can throw out some diamond-cut observations from time to time - the more the better - and we shall all gather round and listen.
But we won't ask questions much. We'll just stand up, each of us, and testify to the creator about the episodes that we'll never forget. Hey, that's what we do right here.
Post by outerbankschick on Sept 22, 2009 18:46:52 GMT -5
DB, I am LOL about the "Simon Applesauce" comment! That guy sucked as an interviewer. I wanted to hear what Mr. Balcer had to say about AL "raising a good..." I believe he was going to say "point", but Simon AppleDWEEB interrupted him! OYE!
Terry Gross should have done the interview. THEN we'd have gotten more meat!