A Cinecle View – Dear Dick Wolf Productions …

Tony Marion

Tony Marion

Dear Dick Wolf,

I am a HUGE fan of your procedural dramas; both the Law & Order and Chicago franchises.

While I’ve watched every single iteration of each, my hardcore fandom is limited to the time spanning the Briscoe and Curtis and Lupo and Bernard eras (with a slight vacation from viewing while Jessie L. Martin’s Detective Ed Green was recuperating from a gunshot wound so that Martin could tread the boards on Broadway) of the original Law & Order, and from episode one through just before the off-screen death of Elizabeth Hitchens/Nicole Wallace on Law & Order: Criminal Intent.


Or, as it’s called in my house, “The 2nd Worst Fate Of An Antagonist On A Police Procedural Ever”.

Before anyone asks, the “Worst Fate Of An Antagonist On A Police Procedural Ever” is that of Ruth Wilson’s Alice Morgan on Luther.


“But Tony, how can that be when the Elizabeth Hitchens/Nicole Wallace fiasco was first?” you may be wondering.

Because the producers of Luther established a relationship between John Luther and Alice Morgan that was SO SIMILAR to the relationship between Elizabeth Hitchens/Nicole Wallace and Bobby Goren on Law & Order: Criminal Intent that they had a precise road map of the worst way possible to resolve the relationship … and they followed it.

I’m also heavily invested in both Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med.

So, Mr. Wolf, as we approach a new season of television, I humbly beg you to follow the character relationship advice that I am about to give you before you drag down the narrative of another show that I care about through a different, but easily predictable, sin.


CHICAGO MED -- "Cold Front" Episode 214 -- Pictured: (l-r) Torrey DeVitto as Natalie Manning, Nick Gehlfuss as Will Halstead -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC)

CHICAGO MED — “Cold Front” Episode 214 — Pictured: (l-r) Torrey DeVitto as Natalie Manning, Nick Gehlfuss as Will Halstead — (Photo by: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC)

Please, Dick, just … no.

They’re both so far overwrought with angst and self righteousness that instead of pulling for them to make it work as a couple, I’ve completely lost interest in both of them as individuals. In other words, they are the “Ross and Rachel,” “Ted and Robin” or (admittedly, to a far lesser extent) “Leonard and Penny” of the Chicago Shared Universe.

I watch Friends nearly everyday. Yes, I’m white and I was in my 20’s during the 1990’s – SHOCKER! And while it was obvious to me even then, seeing syndicated replays of the episodes in my 40’s has made me realize what truly awful people both Ross and Rachel were.


They were both terribly selfish, insecure and only wanted the other when they themselves were unattached and the other was trying to make a relationship work with another poor victim.

I’ve always pulled for Monica and Chandler as a couple; two characters that each grew as individuals over the run of the show until they eventually complimented each other in the way that good couples in real life do.


And I’m far from alone in that assessment.

On a whole other level of awful were Ted and Robin on How I Met Your Mother. Ted is actually a more despicable human than any other character on television without the surname Lannister or Bolton. When his relationship with Robin failed and she found true (albeit, probably temporary) love with one of his BEST friends, Barney, Ted did everything that he could (short of luring Barney to a real estate deal where Omar and Brother Muzone would be lying in wait for him) to sabotage the couple’s wedding.

Similarly to Monica and Chandler, Robin and Barney both evolved over the course of the show until the characters actually seemed like a perfect fit.


Um, dude, do you think that you could stop rubbing up on my fiancee for like, I don’t know, five seconds?

Ted, on the other hand, remained whiney, insecure and pathologically obsessed with Robin through to the show’s ultimately hated conclusion in which he essentially told the following story to his children about their titular deceased mother, Christine, before he resumed his pursuit of Robin …

SIDEBAR: How I Met Your Mother creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas based the show on their friendship: Marshall and Lily are based loosely on Thomas and his wife, while Ted is based loosely on Bays, which begs the question, is Bays’ wife, Denise Cox, the basis for Robin, or Christine?

And while not heinous, two dimensional people like Ross, Rachel, and Ted, even Penny and Leonard, the central couple on The Big Bang Theory are not as interesting to me as Howard and Bernadette or even the high maintenance Sheldon and Amy.

My point is that for most TV viewers to care about a “great love story,” they need to care about the people involved, so I beg you, again, PLEASE STOP TRYING TO MAKE THE NATALIE MANNING/WILL HALSTEAD SUPERCOUPLE THING HAPPEN.

Dr. Choi & Nurse April make a cool couple, but we all know that the answer to the question “WHO SHOULD HOOK UP ON CHICAGO MED” is …

Dr. Connor Rhodes …


… and ANYONE! Now there’s a man that’s going to make some pretty babies no matter who provides the other half of the helix.

Thanks for listening, Mr. Wolf!

Tony Marion is a writer and filmmaker who splits time between Lancaster, PA and Baltimore, MD. He lives for the work of Descendents (the band), Chuck Palahniuk and Rian Johnson. Check out the digital embodiment of procrastination he calls his website here.

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