Law & Order: UK Forums

Wednesday 9:00 PM on ITVBetween Seasons

How does the show compare to its US counterparts?

  • Avatar of Mozart_Eleven

    Mozart_Eleven

    [1]Sep 2, 2009
    • member since: 08/28/09
    • level: 3
    • rank: Soup Nazi
    • posts: 71

    I imagine that a lot of people who have tuned in to watch "Law and Order: UK" have been previous fans of one or more of the US shows.

    How do you think the show compares in quality, characterization, storylines etc.?

    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of Placebo_obecalP

    Placebo_obecalP

    [2]Sep 9, 2009
    • member since: 05/14/04
    • level: 13
    • rank: Regal Beagle
    • posts: 439
    Mozart_Eleven wrote:

    I imagine that a lot of people who have tuned in to watch "Law and Order: UK" have been previous fans of one or more of the US shows.

    How do you think the show compares in quality, characterization, storylines etc.?



    I'm one of those who has watched every episode of Law and Order aired in its entire history, Law and Order UK is IMO quite different than the US version, a little less punchy, slightly more reserved in the way it tells its stories, very enjoyable however, being English myself probably makes it more interesting to me than it would be to a lot of the stereotypically close minded American viewers.
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of Mozart_Eleven

    Mozart_Eleven

    [3]Sep 11, 2009
    • member since: 08/28/09
    • level: 3
    • rank: Soup Nazi
    • posts: 71
    Placebo_obecalP wrote:
    Mozart_Eleven wrote:

    I imagine that a lot of people who have tuned in to watch "Law and Order: UK" have been previous fans of one or more of the US shows.

    How do you think the show compares in quality, characterization, storylines etc.?



    I'm one of those who has watched every episode of Law and Order aired in its entire history, Law and Order UK is IMO quite different than the US version, a little less punchy, slightly more reserved in the way it tells its stories, very enjoyable however, being English myself probably makes it more interesting to me than it would be to a lot of the stereotypically close minded American viewers.


    I'm Australian so I get what you're saying exactly. The show is very different, more 'dignified' in a lot of ways (even though I really like the US shows too) and the coutroom scenes are definitely more controlled!

    Thanks for the comment.
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of sumdumgoi

    sumdumgoi

    [4]Nov 23, 2009
    • member since: 07/05/09
    • level: 5
    • rank: Caveman Lawyer
    • posts: 30
    Placebo_obecalP wrote:
    Mozart_Eleven wrote:

    I imagine that a lot of people who have tuned in to watch "Law and Order: UK" have been previous fans of one or more of the US shows.

    How do you think the show compares in quality, characterization, storylines etc.?

    I'm one of those who has watched every episode of Law and Order aired in its entire history, Law and Order UK is IMO quite different than the US version, a little less punchy, slightly more reserved in the way it tells its stories, very enjoyable however, being English myself probably makes it more interesting to me than it would be to a lot of the stereotypically close minded American viewers.

    I am an avid fan of both Law and Order and Law and Order UK--and an American. I find the UK version slightly more sedate and a bit more cerebral than its American forerunner. Despite the fact that the UK version recycles the US scripts, I like watching the UK edition because of its illustration of English culture--despite the comments above about "close minded American viewers".

    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of SidChromeAU

    SidChromeAU

    [5]Jan 20, 2010
    • member since: 10/12/05
    • level: 2
    • rank: Sweat Hog
    • posts: 2

    As an Australian lawyer, I appreciate the similarities between our two legal systems (for obvious reasons!) that L&O:UK underlines. The UK version is certainly more reserved, but I like that - to me, the law is accorded more gravitas than in the US versions of the show. And general courtroom procedure is pretty much the same.

    Frankly, I can't watch the original - US - L&O. It drives me to distraction, if only because I am too 'close'. At least once per episode I see something that would result in disbarment/cases being aborted, etc. Too much grandstanding and political interference in the US version (which you really don't see as much of here or in the UK).

    That's why I very much enjoy SVU (although I have the same problems with the courtroom aspects) - it's basically just a cop show.

    Edited on 01/20/2010 5:15am
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of Dewbak75

    Dewbak75

    [6]Aug 18, 2010
    • member since: 06/13/05
    • level: 18
    • rank: Land Shark
    • posts: 1,105

    I agree with most of the comparisons here between the US and UK versions, but not completely. I think the UK version is closer to the early seasons of the US show than the more recent seasons. When you think about it, that makes some sense since the scripts they've used were mostly from the earlier seasons(off the top of my head, the one with the club fire was from season 1, and the one with the baby dying in the freezing apartment was from the first few seasons, I think season 2).


    In terms of general quality, I think the UK version stands up quite well. The characters are interesting, they give us just enough personal moments to make them interesting. And while they've used existing stories, they've updated them quite nicely to adjust for the change in time and country. As someone who's familiar with the original stories, I've very much enjoyed seeing them told in a new way.

    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of TracyTrouble

    TracyTrouble

    [7]Sep 9, 2010
    • member since: 10/20/07
    • level: 10
    • rank: Holy Level 10!
    • posts: 365
    Pretty well.
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of cook567

    cook567

    [8]Sep 9, 2010
    • member since: 12/22/07
    • level: 54
    • rank: Prison Warden
    • posts: 369
    I am looking forward to a cross over!
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of Susan1961

    Susan1961

    [9]Sep 12, 2010
    • member since: 07/10/09
    • level: 6
    • rank: Small Wonder
    • posts: 17

    I have enjoyed Law & Order UK episodes and find that the stories are similar to the ones aired here in the United States. It took a little getting used to the court system of the UK but overall I would like to see more L&O UK. Are there plans on airing more, does anyone know? I have watched every episode of L&O (the original), L&O SVU, L&O Criminal Intent and the UK episodes that are featured on CAST TV. I did not care for L&O Trial By Jury but I didn't really give it a fair shake either. I plan on giving L&O Los Angeles a try now that the original has been canceled. Anyone else have any views on the Los Angeles version?

    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of Dewbak75

    Dewbak75

    [10]Sep 13, 2010
    • member since: 06/13/05
    • level: 18
    • rank: Land Shark
    • posts: 1,105

    Susan1961 wrote:


    I have enjoyed Law & Order UK episodes and find that the stories are similar to the ones aired here in the United States. It took a little getting used to the court system of the UK but overall I would like to see more L&O UK. Are there plans on airing more, does anyone know? I have watched every episode of L&O (the original), L&O SVU, L&O Criminal Intent and the UK episodes that are featured on CAST TV. I did not care for L&O Trial By Jury but I didn't really give it a fair shake either. I plan on giving L&O Los Angeles a try now that the original has been canceled. Anyone else have any views on the Los Angeles version?



    Watching a few seasons of New Tricks before this came around made it easier to follow the differences in the UK justice system. They made the first batch of 13, then decided to split it in half. Looks like the next batch has just started airing over in the UK, dunno if they'll air all 13 at once, or split it again. I'm pretty sure Dick Wolf would like to be making more that just 13 at a time, but I doubt he'd get more than a 16-episode order from the UK. What I'm more curious about is how long they plan to continue adapting US episodes instead of writing new ones. Not that I mind, they've been picking some of the classic episodes, and I like seeing these updated, angliciszed versions.


    I'm not really looking forward to Law & Order: LA. Los Angeles just doesn't feel like a "Law & Order" kind of city. Too bright & shiny I didn't mind the jump to London, because I think they were able to keep a similar atmosphere to New York. Honestly I think at this point the UK show is the only good thing Law & Order has going right now.

    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of jimboa20

    jimboa20

    [11]Oct 1, 2010
    • member since: 10/21/05
    • level: 1
    • rank: Weatherman
    • posts: 1
    I like L&O:UK but my biggest problem with it is two-fold: it seems to be overly dramatic and it's not "dark" enough.

    1) They try too hard to make it more of a personal drama than the show ought to be. The US version was very much episode by episode stand-alone; you sometimes got to know the main characters, but you almost never saw them at home or outside the work environment. That's because the characters didn't matter - it was the cases and the court room procedure that kept viewers tuning in. The UK version has more of a dramatic flare, too much so in my opinion. In the first episode of the third season, the site of a dead boy was enough to shock the entire police force as if they had seen the worst thing imaginable. Now, granted, the sight of a dead, mutilated boy is horrific, and I'm sure some policemen would be rattled, but not the whole force. I'm sure that the London Police has seen just as bad, if not worse. Also, I've seen a couple of musical montages...MONTAGES! I've never, not once, seen a single montage in the entire 20-year run of the US Law & Order.

    2) This complaint is pretty major compared to the first one. The UK version morally holds the viewer's hand. James Steele, the Crown Prosecutor, is a squeeky-clean boyscout who NEVER does any wrong. He has yet to find himself in a single moral issue in which he was not the pen-ultimate good guy out to save the day and right all the wrongs of the world. *THIS IS A MAJOR, MAJOR PROBLEM*

    One of the signature elements of the original Law & Order was that it explored cultural, legal, and moral problems in a manner that left it open to the viewer which side was right. The defendants weren't always horrible scumbags who Ben Stone or Jack McCoy had to put away in order to save the day. Sometimes they had a legitimate issue or reason to do what they did (if they even did it, often they were innocent). And most important of all, sometimes the prosecutors themselves would do something morally reprehensible in order to win their case; it was commonplace for Stone or McCoy to pull a stunt that would make them look even worse than the defense lawyers.

    And that's the point I'm trying to make - L&O:UK doesn't have gray paint. They only have black and white paint. I was surprised that the much-lauded British television audience favors shows that are "dumbed down" to the point of telling them, "THIS IS THE GOOD GUY, THIS IS THE BAD GUY. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS ROOT FOR THE GOOD GUY!" Why can't the writers present two sides of an issue and let the viewers decide which side they think is most valid? Why can't James Steele ever get dirty and maybe do something questionable in the name of winning his case or doing what he thinks is the "right thing"? McCoy and Stone were great characters because they were flawed, but they still tried to do what they thought was right - no matter what the cost.

    L:O:UK could use a few more shades of gray before it's as good as the original, I think.
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of NancyHarty

    NancyHarty

    [12]Oct 5, 2010
    • member since: 05/14/10
    • level: 1
    • rank: Weatherman
    • posts: 3

    Actually all these years I have treated Law and Order like one of those programs I would love to watch but am just too busy watching other programs like Doctor Who, AbFab, Torchwood, Blackbooks, etc. So for years never would watch it even though I knew I would have loved it. Now along comes Law and Order UK.. Finally 2 bangs for my buck so to speak. British Television and the show I always wanted to get into . ...


    How it rates to the US version? No idea. But I have a feeling they're all CRACKING GOOD!



    N Harty

    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of SoCalSam

    SoCalSam

    [13]Oct 15, 2010
    • member since: 10/21/09
    • level: 6
    • rank: Small Wonder
    • posts: 29

    Dewbak75 wrote:
    Los Angeles just doesn't feel like a "Law & Order" kind of city. Too bright & shiny


    So are you saying that Los Angeles is unlawful and disorderly due to too much sunlight?

    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of obelixnco

    obelixnco

    [14]Nov 28, 2010
    • member since: 10/03/08
    • level: 1
    • rank: Weatherman
    • posts: 1
    The continual recyclding of plots form the origianl is becoming wearisome.

    The show holds little interest when know what the outcome is from the pre-title set up. At least gives us some twist form the original. Simply telling the same story in London that we have already seen in New York is just lazy.
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of bluejayfusion

    bluejayfusion

    [15]Dec 10, 2010
    • member since: 06/15/05
    • level: 16
    • rank: Church Lady
    • posts: 262

    Mozart_Eleven wrote:
    Placebo_obecalP wrote:
    Mozart_Eleven wrote:


    I imagine that a lot of people who have tuned in to watch "Law and Order: UK" have been previous fans of one or more of the US shows.


    How do you think the show compares in quality, characterization, storylines etc.?


    I'm one of those who has watched every episode of Law and Order aired in its entire history, Law and Order UK is IMO quite different than the US version, a little less punchy, slightly more reserved in the way it tells its stories, very enjoyable however, being English myself probably makes it more interesting to me than it would be to a lot of the stereotypically close minded American viewers.
    I'm Australian so I get what you're saying exactly. The show is very different, more 'dignified' in a lot of ways (even though I really like the US shows too) and the coutroom scenes are definitely more controlled! Thanks for the comment.


    I have to take offense to this comment and the others like it which imply that the original is, and I quote, 'punchy,' lacking 'reserve', 'grandstanding' and of inferior 'gravitas' or 'dignity'.


    I'm an American; I like the UK version... but I wouldn't describe it as more reserved so much as more pedantic. The US version lost its gritty-ness about 9 seasons in, however those 'punchy' seasons packed quite the punch.


    Now if you want to put those negative labels to good use, just apply them to Law & Order: SVU, better known as the lack of subtlety unit.

    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of lynn20100

    lynn20100

    [16]Jan 29, 2011
    • member since: 12/15/10
    • level: 1
    • rank: Weatherman
    • posts: 3

    I love Law and Order SVU. You can relate to the characters and even though the crime scene and discoveries are unimaginable at times you think why are people like this? , you want to just slap the suspects and cuff them yourself. I don't really watch Law and Order or Criminal Intent or LA (its very bright scenery anddoesn'tseem as serious as the guy on criminal intent). The guy on criminal intent is the main character everything centers around him but I see with new character on the newer seasons they are trying to change that. I tried watching the uk version but it wasn't catchy. I do think which ever version you start watching you will like and say that its the best. (not the case with Being Human US version is just bad).

    Edited on 01/29/2011 11:00pm
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of annericelover

    annericelover

    [17]Sep 2, 2011
    • member since: 01/09/07
    • level: 7
    • rank: Talk Show Host
    • posts: 46

    I'm an avid fan of the Law and Order franchise, with Special Victims Unit being my favorite, my cable station just managed to get the BBC America channel and I immediately went to look for this series to DVR it, it an excellent representation of what is so good about the US one, but adds a bit more to it, allowing for the mix of cultures to blend in nicely. The courtroom scene was something new to see, because I had no idea of the UK's way of doing things, but its kind of cool to see them approach the justice system the way they do. I also find it a very respectable thing that they give credit to the episode they are adapting, instead of just mentioning the series, this was you can watch both episodes back to back to compare. I'm a fan of Three's Company and its spin-offs and it always bothered me that they never gave the episode of Man About the House and its spin-offs credit when adapting a particular episode. I'e always felt that the UK are bit a more reserved than us Americans, now I dn't hate my country or anything, but we have become cry babies, trying to shelter the young on unimportant things, while exposing them to things that should be with held from them, so when I hear an upset mother or rape victim say bull shit, it gives the situation more realism. I definitely love this series and just wish that the seasons(or series)weren't so short. Although, it does mean they have 20 years worth of 22 to 26 episode seasons to adapt from, they'll never run out of stories to adapt. Although, it would be interesting to see an original episode

    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.