On The Wings Of (The City Of) Angels: Your Law & Order: Los Angeles Power Rankings
Whose career was the most blessed after the single-season spin-off?
We use L&O: L.A. as a punchline around here, but it's possible that time, fondness for the Mothership, and the slow strangling of NBC's primetime schedule by the kudzu of Dick Wolf's Chicago-based properties have distorted our view of Law & Order's most notoriously failed spin-off. I haven't watched a frame of it since it got cancelled in May of 2011 (and that's another thing -- doesn't it seem like this aired much longer ago than the turn of the decade?), but I can still assert very confidently that it's not as bad as Conviction -- and certainly it hasn't hurt the careers of those who participated.
...Uh, probably. There's kind of never any telling with Skeet. But let's have a look at the fortunes of the main (according to Wikipedia) cast in the years since Wolf tried to fill the hole left by the original with a miscalculated left-coast version. From least to most impressive post-LA c.v.:
- Rachel Ticotin (Lt. Arleen Gonzalez)
I must have had her confused with someone else, because I thought her name rang a bell, but a Google image search revealed I have no memory of this actor. She's working, but not much: some procedural guest shots, some TV movies.
- Skeet Ulrich (Det. Rex Winters)
Skeet has teetered for close to two decades now on the verge of a breakout-slash-comeback, but it neeeever quite happens for the guy. Is it because he looks so much like Johnny Depp, but can't bring the same skills? I'd like to rank Skeet higher, because I'm the one person who liked Miracles, and I also have just learned via his IMDb quotes page that he ate onions before a kissing scene with Jewel Kilcher, which is terribly unprofessional, shame on him, fuckin' love it! But except for a few voice turns on Robot Chicken and TV movies that sound like the products of a Lifetime plot generator, he hasn't done much to speak of since hanging up his LA cuffs.
- Tamlyn Tomita (M.E. [?] Miwako Nishizawa)
Have no memory of her or of even hearing her name, but she's doing the "half-season arcs on name shows" thing, so good for her.
- Regina Hall (Deputy District Attorney Evelyn Price)
Probably peaked post-LA with the wife role in When The Bough Breaks, which I think was a semi-reboot of The Hand That Rocks The Cradle? Whatever it is, she got to make out with Morris Chestnut. Besides that, a few short sitcom arcs (Grandfathered, Black-ish). My kingdom for a superhero show starring her, Regina King, and Regina Taylor; I am NOT a crackpot.
- Alana de la Garza (DDA Connie Rubirosa)
Serving flawless lip gloss and inoffensive competence, de la Garza still struck me as an odd choice to serve as the link between L&Os, although the fact that she didn't inspire strong feelings either way was probably the point. De la Garza's worked steadily since 2011, and is currently on Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, which is typical of her c.v. since leaving the Wolf-verse: network shows I've never watched and in some cases assumed had gotten cancelled.
- Peter Coyote (District Attorney Jerry Hardin)
Coyote is 75 at this writing, so he's not doing a ton -- but he's fit in some arcs on procedurals, and is in the process of cleaning off Michael Murphy's lunch plate as a PBS/prestige-documentary narrator on projects like The Roosevelts, which as it turns out suits him perfectly.
- Corey Stoll (Det. TJ Jaruszalski)
Corey Stoll is never not going to work; he has a fluid everyman look to him, but is still instantly recognizable on the street in driving-cap/shades/Snugli drag -- casting-agentnip for sure. He's had tertiary turns in prestige film and TV since LA, plus a linchpin role in House Of Cards S1, and headlined The Strain.
- Megan Boone (DDA Lauren Stanton)
HA HA HA HA I had a "What's a Megan Boone?" joke alllll ready to go here and then IMDb told me she's the lead on The Blacklist, and I was like, "Wow, she looks rilly different!" because THEN I confused it with Blindspot, which I USED TO COVER. Which is how much these "thrillers" have started to run together for me in my dotage. Anyway, good for you, Boonesie, and don't think you didn't get an extra point or two for that Step Up movie.
- Alfred Molina (Det. Ricardo Morales)
Molina's historically seemed like mostly a movie guy, and if I recall correctly, he was The Name when L&O: LA dropped. He hasn't had the kind of career the L&O-verse would affect substantively, in any event -- he can do any era and most accents, and has credits in everything from The Normal Heart (along with Stoll and, you know, half of the rest of SAG) to Monsters University to acclaimed miniseries Show Me A Hero.
- Terrence Howard (DDA Jonah Dekker)
A cop-shop show might have seemed like a bit of a step down for Howard in 2010, but he didn't capitalize as well as you might think on Hustle & Flow back then (possibly because IRL he comes off like, at best, a creep). But whatever you think about his misogynistic hygienic ideals (and his naming his kid "Heaven"), you can't deny the man's charisma, and after a couple Iron Mans and mid-level thrillers, he clambered back onto the A-list with a vengeance thanks to Empire...but the winner of that H&F reunion, karmically, isn't even Howard, but Taraji P.