As May sweeps draw to a close we enter the dog days of summer, with no original television for months on end. And in the wake of the WGA strike, some shows have been MIA since December. This forces us to watch re-runs of our favorite shows, new-to-you episodes of our least favorite shows, or - heaven forfend! - leave the house.
Luckily, the USA network is saving us from this dire fate. Obviously its hit from last summer, Burn Notice, will enjoy a triumphant return to the small screen. USA will also be showing new episodes of Law and Order: Criminal Intent. Which, incidentally, is my favorite L&O franchise.
Criminal Intent has gone through about half a dozen detectives, but for my money you can't beat the original crime-fighting duo of Eames (Kathryn Erbe) and Goren (Vincent D'Onofrio). Erbe does an excellent job of portraying a pragmatic, street-savvy cop without degenerating into stereotypes that emphasize/de-emphasize her gender. Erbe's actual pregnancy was written into the show - Eames acted as a surrogate for her sister, and was hugely pregnant for several episodes. No hiding behind bulky pant-suits for her*. And D'Onofrio steals every scene, with his mind-fuckery and general creepiness. If you saw this guy coming down the street, you'd cross and start going the other direction. At the same time, he comes off as a truly heroic character and I love him completely.
Erbe and D'Onofrio further proved their awesomeness by appearing in the USA promo for Criminal Intent. I know where I'll be Sundays at 9pm (staring June 8th).
*Gillian, you know I love you. And you know I'll be first in line for a ticket to I Want To Believe.