The new Law and Order: Criminal Intent season begins with a 2 parter that has Detective Robert Goren leaving the show. I knew this was coming, but I'm going to miss the character played so expertly by the brilliant Vincent D'Onofrio.
Why I Like Goren
What's not to like about a man who is smart, well-read, moral, and good at his job? Goren could match wits with anyone and come out on top. I loved the puzzle aspect of CI, and the way Bobby always managed to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Of course, it's the writing that makes or breaks any entertainment vehicle, but actors bring to life the larger than life characters created by excellent writers.
Why I Like D'Onofrio
What's not to like about an actor who is talented, smart, and good at his job? I assume he's smart, and I like to believe he is well-read also. I base those assumptions on his interest in the life of Robert Howard of Cross Plains, Texas, and his subsequent producing of the movie The Whole Wide World about Howard, the author of the pulp fiction stories about Conan the Barbarian.
I love that movie, and not just because Howard is from the same part of Texas as my husband. In case you don't know about Howard or the movie based on his life, here's the gist of it.
In the 1930s, young schoolteacher Novalyne Price, played by Renee Zellweger before she filmed Jerry Maguire, meets Robert Howard who is young, handsome, and rather eccentric. In today's world, he'd probably be diagnosed as bipolar. When they meet, Howard is already a pulp fiction success, and Novalyne is an aspiring writer. Their friendship becomes an odd, rather rocky, courtship that ends with Howard's tragic suicide. The movie is based largely on Novalyne's memoir. She received a writing credit along with Michael Scott Myers.
D'Onofrio was brilliant in the film. If you've never heard of this movie, I suspect it's because it was low budget with little publicity and probably limited release before it ended up in the video store. It's a gem, and D'Onofrio is memorable as Robert Howard, a man who wanted desperately to have a larger than life love but whose true passion was writing the stories of his imagination.
Cast: Exit Right
Along with D'Onofrio, Kathryne Erbe, his dynamite-in-a-small-package partner Eames, is leaving along with Eric Bogosian, their captain who had taken over from Jamie Sheridan left because of his Bell's Palsy. That leaves newcomer Jeff Goldblum at the helm who will break in Brit Saffron Burrows as partner to replace Julianne Nicholson.
Musical chairs in TV land means trial and error testing to see who clicks with viewers.
Farewell, Bobby Goren aka Vincent D'Onofrio and Eames aka Kathryn Erbe. You'll be missed.