User Reviews (3)

Add a Review

  • Warning: Spoilers
    A good example of the series when it was hitting its stride. A soap opera star is found beaten half to death in Central Park, and Ceretta and Logan are on the case. Leads take them to fans of the series, then into the community of memento collectors, and into the darker depths of stalkers. It all gives the detectives plenty of opportunity to roll their eyes and make wisecracks about the nuts and weirdos who obsess over soap opera characters. The quips aren't too cutting for obvious commercial reasons. (Who knows how many obsessed fans are following "Law and Order"?)

    The poor woman who was attacked has lost her career, her voice, her ability to walk properly. When the detective finally present the perp to Moriarty and his gang in the DA's office, he turns out to be a slightly wimpy, smiling, matter-of-fact young man who claims that he and Lucy, the TV star, are one and the same. The DA's shrink declares him fit for trial. The defense's shrink, with the support of the perp's father, a sadly aged Colonel Klink, claims that the perp has been hearing a voice since adolescence and that the voice told him to do it. Is the defense phonying up an insanity plea for attempted murder? If so, the jury doesn't find the argument convincing.

    Actually, if the young man is hearing voices, he's lucky that there's only been one. And if he's telling the truth, the hallucinations started at about the age of highest risk, adolescence and early adulthood. Auditory hallucinations aren't pleasant either. They're usually commanding and accusatory. They don't sing an aria from Tosca.

    There's one scene that is intended to be amusing, when Ceretta and Logan visit a female impersonator who has bought one of Lucy's dresses for his act. I thought the character was disgusting, using garish female garb and grooming in a night club act. I only wear mine on special Saturday nights, and then only your basic black with cute ruffles on the shoulders. That performer should be ashamed of himself, a nonpareil of flamboyant self display.
  • Although Season 1's quality was higher and more consistent generally (writing and story that is, the production values got more refined in the second), Season 2 was solid viewing as well. It did very well with having to deal with a lot of change and while the quality did dip a little after "God Bless the Child" for a bit, the season got back on track with "Heaven" (a second season and early season gem). "His Hour Upon a Stage" could have been better but was still pretty good.

    "Star Struck" is more than pretty good. Actually thought it to be a great episode and up there, as far as previous Season 2 episodes go, with "Confession", "Asylum", "God Bless the Child" and "Heaven" as one of the season's best. With it being one of the episodes up to this point of the season to be more than very good, most of the previous Season 2 episodes being that or a little bit less (no misfires, true for the whole of Season 1 as well).

    Everything, well very, very close to everything, is done right. More than right, brilliantly even. If the very beginning (the first 10 minutes) got going a little quicker and had a little more of the tension seen particularly once the perpetrator is caught and brought to trial, it's very competently done but on the ordinary side, "Star Struck" would have been even better than it was. While a season high point, it just falls a little shy of being an early season one.

    What always worked in the early seasons and still mostly continued to work in 'Law and Order's' run works brilliantly here in "Star Struck". It is slickly shot with a more refined visual style than with the first season. The music didn't feel to me too much, used sparingly and only properly dramatic, without being overly so, when all is revealed. The direction is accomodating but also alert.

    The episode is very intelligently written and never feels over-simplified or muddled. Some may find Stone's writing at the end on the pragmatic side, to me it was quite powerful and honest and is hardly irrelevant today. Same goes for the story, not an easy subject and partly based on a taken from the headlines story still felt deeply at the time but handled tensely and sensitively. Nothing is too obvious but it's not hard to follow, one roots for the case to be solved too.

    All the characters are written well, have always really liked Stone and the perpetrator is a genuine creep. The chemistry was understandably not completely settled at the beginning of the season but has gelled well now, which makes make the procedural/investigative elements intriguing. For me though the second half had more tension and excitement, which was actually true of a good deal of the early season episodes. It is a very well acted episode, Michael Moriarty really does sell it at the end and Bradley White is suitably unsettling.

    In summary, great and one of the season's best. 9/10
  • This episode of Law And Order deals with a defendant pleading insanity in the brutal assault of soap opera star Blanche Baker. Bradley White is our guilty party he is as obsessed with Baker as that demented fool in California who shot and killed Rebecca Schaefer on which this episode is partly based.

    Michael Moriarty puts it plainly enough at the end. The ordinary lay people who make up jury pools are most assuredly not psychiatrists. That defendant White is absolutely nuts everyone agrees. But the standard is insane enough that he cannot appreciate the consequences of his actions. It is also clear that White, his father Werner Klemperer, and his attorney Stephen Joyce are looking for a John Hinckley type of verdict where he's taken to a hospital and then maybe let out and presumably he'd stalk Baker again. Or another example would be assassin Dan White who killed Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk in San Francisco. Although no one alleges it was an overdose of Twinkies that set White off.

    Joyce has tried and has made a specialty of insanity defenses. Moriarty is up against the best in that field.

    See how this one comes out and what 12 ordinary citizens do.