This may become an incredibly sexist column about sexism, but I think that at least Camille Paglia would understand.
Did you ever notice how sexist the show Law & Order is? When you think about sexual pandering, it’s so easy to spot elsewhere that one doesn’t really think about an old, staid, family friend like Law & Order, but it’s there, mostly in the position of (assistant) Assistant District Attorney. Or in easier parlance, the hot chick prosecutor who looks really good and mostly gets coffee for the two older guys she works for. Every once in a while, the show will write her a scene where she has to fill in or use her femininity to try to sway a specific jury. Inevitably, she will come off as so brilliant that we appreciate her intellect, but really isn’t that just another part of the fetish? There have been four or five now and they’ve all been complete knock-outs.
Dick Wolf has made an ungodly fortune off of his Law & Order empire, but its flagship show has been wavering for a while now. It’s easy to see why. The show has now been on for 20 years, and why bother going out of your way to watch a new episode when there are probably at least three other episodes that you didn’t see the first time around running on cable at any given moment?
The last time I looked at the numbers in USA Today, it appeared that the History Channel show Pawn Stars essentially matched a first run episode of Law & Order in number of viewers, with both attracting around four million viewers.
Pawn Stars is a show where they essentially televise the security camera footage from a big pawn shop in Las Vegas. It’s a fairly entertaining show and somehow the head of the pawn shop comes off as the most educated man in television history since Alistair Cooke. Someone will come in with a Bible from the Middle Ages and pawn shop guy will immediately relate the history of the Crusades like he has a PhD in history. He’ll also know off the top of his head exactly what this thing is worth on the open market. Really, you shouldn’t be sending your kids to college. Send them to Las Vegas to work in a pawn shop.
There’s no shame in watching Pawn Stars, but it scares the life out of writers of fictionalized television content as well as anyone who loves well-written programming. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that one episode of Law & Order must cost the equivalent of, say, 500 episodes of Pawn Stars.
It’s a shame, because there is one great reason to be watching Law & Order for the last three seasons or so: Alana De La Garza’s Connie Rubirosa. She’s the current holder of the hot assistant prosecutor role, and I’m pretty sure that I’m completely in love with her.
Look, I know that I’m being sexually manipulated by this show, but I can’t help it, because in this case I’m really enjoying it. Let he who never watched Charlie’s Angels cast the first stone.
Connie is warmly compassionate like all great mothers would be. She’s super intelligent. She’s passionate about everything that is worth being passionate about and she would never ever lie. Most of all she is incredibly attractive. She’s so incredibly attractive that for it not to be acknowledged in every scene that she is in would make things laughable.
Defense Attorney: The Supreme Court held in Judah vs. Farnsworth that…
Defense Attorney: Oh my God! Umm … I’m sorry your honor. Hello, Miss Rubirosa, glad that you could join us.
Connie has an ungodly collection of work attire that always shows off her magnificent legs. Her suits are always conservative, but never less than sexy as hell. She hardly ever resorts to cleavage, but her breasts are so spectacular that you are never quite able to take your mind off of them. Although Connie never shows up for work in anything less than a $10,000 work suit, you really get the impression that she’s laid back enough to watch television with you while sitting on the carpet and looking great in jeans and a T-shirt.
Connie is supremely comfortable working around men; she is fine with man talk; and completely at home with her sexuality. Connie is Hispanic, but not overtly so. This somehow gives her the essence of ethnicity without ever for a second questioning her all-American appeal.
There’s little doubt that Connie would be the perfect wife if you could somehow stop her from working 100 hours a week or prevent her from someday moving to Africa to solve the starvation issue. No one has ever been less equipped to spend the rest of their life living in a hut, but my heart tells me that just being with Connie would make it all worthwhile.
There’s an episode called “Strike” where the city is experiencing a legal strike. A judge makes Connie serve as a murder defendant’s defense lawyer, only for the purpose of standing next to him while he pleads either guilty or non-guilty. The defendant is a less than brilliant type, but he takes one look at Connie and essentially decides that hanging with her is much more important than staying out of jail. As defendants on this show do, he somehow finds some arcane judicial ruling on the internet that states that once Connie has acted as his lawyer, she has to continue to be his lawyer until he fires her. For all the defendant knows, Connie got her law license in the Dominican Republic, but like me he knows that spending a week with Connie makes risking ten years in the joint totally worthwhile.
Now clearly, I’ve merely fallen in love with the character that Alana De La Garza plays. It’s entirely possible that if I met her in real life, I’d find that I had little to say to her. It’s conceivable that despite her supermodel good looks, I’d eventually dread being in her company. I’m completely willing to take that chance.
Again, after 20 years new ideas are probably hard to come by. I don’t care. If Connie Rubirosa is sitting behind the table watching some older guy prosecute some random stock boy for jaywalking, I’ll be watching. Sadly, I’ll probably be watching more than once.