Just How Much of the Law & Order: Los Angeles Pilot Was Based on Lindsay Lohan?
Dick Wolf's Law & Order franchise has translated hundreds of fascinating newspaper headlines into television gold by using a foolproof formula that is digestible for viewers, easy to repeat (L&O has cranked out 22 hour-long episodes per season) and so addictive that it kept audiences hooked to the original series for two decades. With that understanding, and the expectation that last night's Law & Order: Los Angeles pilot could usher in the first of 20 seasons, it was disappointing to see Wolf begin his newest spin-off with the most over saturated headline in Hollywood: Lindsay Lohan.
Aside from the constant name-dropping of Hollywood hot spots (Mondrian, Avalon, the Edison, Chin Chin, etc.) and the tired Tinseltown stereotypes (the ass-kissing club promoter, the philandering actor), Law & Order: Los Angeles was all-too-familiar. There were hardened badges, melodramatic office patter and lots of serious reaction shots. And oh, it even used TMZ as a helpful tool in last night's investigation, which was based on the Hollywood "Burglar Bunch" case where a group of young people raided the homes of Orlando Bloom, Rachel Bilson, Audrina Patridge -- and yes, Lindsay Lohan -- earlier this year.
It was a good plot for a pilot, mainly because like in real life, none of the burglars were unattractive -- or worse, middle-aged. But Law & Order writers upped the Los Angeles quotient by tying a naive, hard-partying starlet and her mother/manager into the case. As the actresses' career plummeted, her mother sought other income by joining the fictional Burglar Bunch and ensuring that their targets were not home on the pertinent night by insisting that her daughter date and/or sleep with said target. It was a sad scenario that both parodied Lindsay Lohan and no doubt had Dina Lohan considering new career alternatives. Especially now that her daughter is again unable to work because of a stint in rehab.
What exactly were the damning details that linked Lohan to last night's fictional starlet, Chelsea Senate, though? Your evidence lies below.
· Like Lohan, Chelsea Senate was a Disney star, as evidenced by the following conversation, acted with no irony whatsoever.
Sr. Det. Rex Winters: My daughter loves her in those two dance school movies.
Jr. Det. TJ Jaruszalski: Those were Disney movies. She was just a kid.
Sr. Det. Rex Winters: How old is she now?
Jr. Det. TJ Jaruszalski: Old. 20.
· Like Lohan, Chelsea Senate drank and popped Ecstasy in clubs that she was not legally permitted to be in.
· Sr. Det. Rex Winters (Skeet Ulrich) describes Chelsea Senate as an "erratic star who's been fired off her last two jobs." Lohan was fired The Other Side.
· Like Lindsay and her mother, Chelsea Senate and her mother are shown club-hopping together and sharing a dangerously codependent bond.
· According to the sage Sr. Det. Rex Winters again, Chelsea Senate "goes through money like it's water," which is a problem since she single-handedly supports two agents, three publicists and her mother. Similarly, Lohan's spotty career and legal obligations have prevented her from supporting her manager (her mother) and her publicity team.
· Finally, like Lindsay Lohan, Chelsea Senate was thrown onto the audition circuit as a young child because of her mother. As years wore on, Chelsea's mother was so exicted to be fulfilling her own fantasy vicariously through Chelsea, that she quit saying "no" to her daughter."
What do you think of Wolf's Lindsay Lohan likesness and who do you think Law & Order: Los Angeles will parody next week? Fingers crossed for Mel Gibson.
(p.s. If I never hear a bald, middle-aged detective ask a Hollywood starlet about a club called "Throb," again, it will be too soon.)