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Webposted April 13, 2002
by: Kay Kellam
Much to my surprise I'll tune in again and again
Carl Reiner as the estranged, grifter father of Dr. Garret Macy
I liked Jill Hennessy on Law and Order, but I liked Law and Order -- so when she turned up with her own show, Crossing Jordan, I wondered how good it would be. I didn't tune in at first, in fact, if I hadn't needed to review it for PopArtsPlace.com I'm not sure when I would have tuned in, if at all, but I'm glad I did.
The episode, For Harry with Love and Squalor, featured Carl Reiner, guest starring as Coroner Garret Macy's father. I always worry when shows pull in names to draw audience. It means either of two things, the show is great and these talented people want a chance to play in that particular sand box, or... well, the show will do anything to get us to watch.
In this case I vote the former, it was a good script with a great opportunity for Carl Reiner to show us he's still out there and doing well. The character was similar enough to the one he played in Ocean's 11 that I couldn't help but buy into the performance. It was as if a guy I'd bumped into before was getting a backstory... and a good one at that.
Don't get me wrong, these are two very different characters -- it is the actor who found the same core and common ground and played off of it nicely.
The only thing I could fault the show on is the simple fact that walking in having never before seen an episode I was a tad confused. Who is who, and how do they relate. A few characters got some explanation in the course of the episode, but I can out feeling as though I had watched a show divided in two parts. Half about the title character, Jordan Cavanaugh, and half about Dr. Garret Macy. It was thanks to research for this review that I found out they work in the same office! Presumably together. I never saw the two interact, and I'd have to watch the episode again but I don't think they even spent much time on shared ground.
That said the two halves were nicely balanced and I wasn't upset to be watching two disconnected story lines... just confused as to why. (If a show can leave me confused and curious, but not to the point it is a turn off, but to the point that I want to go to http://www.nbc.com/ and find out more, they've done an admirable job in walking that particular fine line.)
A basic run down of characters? I'm not sure I got enough out of the episode to tell you much, except about Jordan. Her favorite color is purple, she was kissed for the first time at age 12... she has issues, and depth, and is interesting enough to make we want to tune in again Monday. For that matter, she's interesting enough I'll probably start setting a VCR to find out more about the going's on in her life, and that of the rest of the gang at the Coroners office.
Carl Reiner on Crossing Jordan
Lorraine Toussaint to join Crossing Jordan