DIANNE BUT­LER OUT OF THE BOX

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Weekly Preview -

THEY’RE shut­ting up shop early for the day, an old bloke at his ac­count­ing of­fice and his as­sis­tant, who says he’s go­ing home to watch a Bruce Lee marathon.

Next in Law and Or­der we see three dudes go­ing, ‘‘ we get in, we get out, easy score’’. Words that are a red flag alert­ing us to the op­po­site: not an easy score.

Cut to the af­ter­math, cops stand­ing round say­ing, the old guy: ‘‘ We could use a few more like him on pa­trol in Kan­da­har.’’ That’s the worst of the di­a­logue though.

The cops are go­ing to be too busy try­ing to fig­ure out what went on here to wheel out too much of this kind of inane talk.

The weapon of choice of this 68-year-old ac­coun­tant? A Rem­ing­ton pump-ac­tion ri­fle.

First time he’s used the gun, he tells the po­lice later. Be­gin­ner’s luck clearly— he’s killed two of the rob­bers, al­most killed the third.

Forty years in busi­ness, never had any trou­ble.

Six min­utes in and it looks like it’s all over. Stan Harkavy (El­liott Gould, big guest star) be­comes a lo­cal hero for sav­ing his col­league’s life and for blow­ing away the low-rent scum who tried to . . . do what ex­actly? There was $30 in the place, it was hardly a hold-up. For an hour-long pro­ce­dural — 35 min­utes by the time it gets go­ing — this is quite a com­plex story.

But they haven’t com­pli­cated it by over­writ­ing it, or adding any­thing gra­tu­itous, it’s de­vel­oped in a straight­for­ward and log­i­cal way.

District At­tor­ney Jack McCoy ( Sam Water­ston) is ac­cused by a jour­nal­ist of us­ing his of­fice to pur­sue a ‘‘ quixotic lib­eral wet­dream’’. It’s a nice turn of phrase and one you maybe wouldn’t hear on an­other show of this type.

I could see this per­form­ing in the same times­lot on the ABC. It’s solid and re­li­able and low-key. No­body over-acts. And the out­come isn’t cut and dried ei­ther. Law& Or­der Chan­nel 10, 10pm

Star DA: Sam Water­ston

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