The 23 skin tones of Law & Order

I have a crush this big
on Mariska Hargitay.

But watch out Mariska, cus here comes Alana de la Garza.

It's like Angie Harmon was some kind of weak, broken prototype, like an Apple II or something, and then the Law and Order people were thought Hey, why don't we just invent new, faster, sleeker, slimmer quasi-cultural, powerful, vulnerable women who navigate positions of authority while still keeping in check ungovernable torrents of unsheathed, raw emotion? Aren't ethical undecidables always more affecting when they're being agonized over by attractive people? What sweetens the bitter rhubarb of a gristly murder or a toxic rape like a dip of nearly white, but not quite white sugar? Kid lost both parents, will never be the same? Who better to agonize over it, but ultimately not be able to help and be wrenched by the agony of impotence, like a butched-up whisp of cotton-down cloud blown in from the Big Rock Candy Mountain? When someone looks into your eyes and reads your very soul, who better to do it than somebody with gigantic eyes? They're like Bambi's mom all dolled up in formfitting polycotton blouses -- that old Law and Order staple that, try as it might, never gets old -- for Maxim's annual Hottest Jurisprudence issue.

The job gets to them, you know -- but they need it. They need the job.

"Why do you do it? What keeps you going?" asks one minor character per season.

"I have to," she responds, eyes glistening with Vaseline, lips trembling like jelly on a trampoline. "It keeps me single."

Law and Order, I have the biggest crush on your formula. It's like Doctor Pepper. All around the world, plug it in, and it just works.

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