Lemony Snicket on the Mindless Pleasure of Law & Order
We recently sat down with A Series Of Unfortunate Events author Lemony Snicket (a.k.a. Daniel Handler) and he was more than happy to extol the virtues of Law & Order. Here are some choice quotes from our chat.
- •On why Law & Order is like a pizza:"I think it’s like a well-made pizza, because you can have fancier meals, but are they really better than a well-made pizza? No they aren’t."
- •On why S. Epatha Merkerson's Lt. Anita Van Buren is the best:"The detectives go to her and they say, “We’ve interviewed everybody but the wife.” And she says, “Interview the wife.” And they say “Great.” And then they leave, and that’s all great. But what I like is there’s always a shot of her returning to her paperwork. We talk about what a powerful multitasker she must be, because if I were in charge of a murder investigation I would be on pins and needles the whole time. "
- •On the beauty of the iconic "clang clang":"[My wife and I] talked once about how wonderful it would be to go to the symphony and just hear that performed, that short, two-note melody, by a full orchestra."
- •On solving the case before the detectives do:"The easiest way to solve it is to wait until the somewhat prominent actor is being questioned. That’s really fun, when Laura Linney says, “I don’t know anything about it.” And you think, “Oh, she did it! It’s so exciting!” Other than that they don’t really give you any clues."
- •On being addicted to Law & Order marathons:"You know how when they show a bunch of episodes at once they start the new one the end credits are reduced to a tiny box of the old episode, with the new episodes going right away? My wife and I would both hold out our arms and then we tap very hard on the other arm as if we’re trying to find a vein. The heroin addict’s gesture. It’s hilarious to me that they know somehow that my wife and I are so addicted to Law & Order that we won’t even sit through a commercial before starting one again.
- •On admiring the witnesses:" like the witnesses a lot—I like when the witness is doing something totally ordinary like stacking strawberries, and they’ll say to her, “So when was the last time you saw him?” Or, “Did she seem angry?” She’ll answer the question and she doesn’t stop stacking strawberries. If I were visited by the homicide police I’d be telling that story for months, I’d do nothing else. I wouldn’t just go back to work 30 seconds later.
- •On what makes Law & Order: SVU a little less fun:"The sex one we can’t stand. I find that it has a slightly right-wing anti-sex bias. They’re always saying things like, “Ugh, you’re going to a swingers club?” And I think, “There’s nothing really wrong with a swingers club.” It’s a little sordid, always, the sex one—as would be the case with solving sexual crimes. But there’s something about watching, over and over, a woman in a dumpster or something, that’s way grosser. "
- •On why watching Law & Order is so relaxing:"You can’t really be smarter than the show, which is one of the things I like about it. It doesn’t actually encourage critical thinking. So it’s very relaxing if you’ve had a long day to watch too many episodes of Law & Order."