Finally Friday

TGIF. It has been a long enough week at work. On to blogging…

Some law-related thoughts:

So very much looking forward to reading the articles by Linda Greenhouse, the NY Times’ Supreme Court reporter, revealing her exclusively early analysis on Justice Harry Blackmun and his documents. There’s so much rich material and so fascinating to see such an inside look on the Supreme Court. All of this is almost inspiring me to grab my copy of “The Brethren” (the Woodward/Bernstein look into the Warren Court) to re-read it and re-capture the sense of insider look feeling of the Supreme Court.

And what about the celebrity trials in the news? Dare we pity Martha Stewart? I just don’t know what to make of this…

Meanwhile, the Jayson Williams case is making for really gripping, tabloidy sensational television news, in a sad, yet fascinating way. Benoit Benjamin, witness; Billy Martin, defense attorney; and the line of cross-examination – this is the kind of stuff that makes some people want to go into criminal law…

George J. Mitchell, lawyer/ex-Senator-majority leader/roving diplomat who negotiates peace settlements around the world – and now Chairman of the Board of Disney? Talk about interesting career trajectory.

Some non-law-related thoughts:

What’s with the ex-Yankees on the Mets? Karim Garcia and Shane Spencer in the news, and appear to be in trouble due to an altercation during spring training in Port St. Lucie. Geez Louise, can we just avoid trouble? The Mets are trying to play nice here, I thought.

Still can’t believe that Brian Leetch is no longer a NY Ranger, having been traded to Toronto Maple Leafs. The Rangers are just messed up. Leetch will be missed and he’s so classy to avoid criticizing the Rangers (and a whole heap of criticism would have been richly deserved on that team). If “1940” was the big chant of the Stanley Cup season of 1994 (since it was 54 years of Cup drought for the Rangers), “1994” will the chant for the next 50 years, if the Rangers keeps going like this. Disclaimer – I’m not even a big hockey fan and I can sense this aura of sadness. Time to root for Toronto Maple Leafs (who, unlike the Rangers, are playoffs-bound).

According to the news in Entertainment Weekly and TV Guide, starting next week, USA Cable channel (the one that makes “Monk”) is broadcasting an American version of the British detective series, “Touching Evil” (previously broadcasted in this country on PBS’ “Mystery”). I had seen the British original series, wherein British actor Robson Green played the intense and really-stressed-out Detective Inspector Dave Creegan, who solves nasty serial murder type crimes. It was my understanding that “Touching Evil” was the Brits’ take on violent American cop shows – Inspector Creegan’s unit was armed and ready to go after murder suspects; good cops die in the line of duty; bad cops get bribed; and even Creegan never quite got over having almost died due to a bullet to the head and messed up his love life several times – all stuff that probably did not happen too often in England in reality anyway but made for exciting, engrossing television. It was a series that I thought was very different from other British police shows that I had seen (it wasn’t “Prime Suspect” with the whole Helen Mirren as Superintendent Jane Tennison; if I remembered “Prime Suspect” right, Mirren never exactly carried a gun, even if she did find ways around the traditional stiff-upper lip; of course, her Tennison was still in an era where the British cops tried resisting getting armed; it’s all changed now, I heard and anyone else on the website can correct me if I’m wrong). Anyway, “Touching Evil” got pretty gory by its four-part season III, so cable can try to either enhance or expand the violence in its American version.

But, the real worry would be that an Americanized version would simply bastardize the good parts about the original series – sort of like how NBC messed up “Coupling,” when it Americanized the British original series that was a British take on the American series “Friends”; don’t we learn our lesson about these kinds of things? I mean, really, did anyone even got a chance to see “Coupling”? (which was so bad it got pulled off the air before it got anywhere). The original series had good cast interaction: an ensemble that worked, even if its head pair – Creegan and Detective Susan Taylor – frequently felt an awful lot like British Mulder and Scully. Plus, I’m a bit of a Robson Green fan, as he is a sexy sort in spite of (or taking advantage of?) his premature receding hairline melding with his boyish looks and charm. Heck, what American actor would imitate or create his version of the power of Green?

Nonetheless, it sounds intruiging that the critics so far are liking the American version of “Touching Evil” (which is apparently keeping the title and the two main characters; wonder if they’re also keeping the character of Detective Constable Mark Rivers, who was the tiresome junior officer who kept challenging Creegan and Taylor but came to be just as psychologically worn out by the job as they were, and what about their boss, the politically-astute commander – jeez, the American version’s going to have to Americanize all their ranks too…). I’m tempted to ask my cable-accessible sibling to give me access so that I can make a serious assessment of the American “Touching Evil.” By the way – Helen Mirren will return with the newest “Prime Suspect” on PBS this spring. More intruiging stuff…

Enjoy the weekend. Keep us posted about San Fran, FC.

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