What did you think of Liza on 'L&O'?

94433__liza_l_1(SPOILER ALERT: If you were out trick-or-treating last night and taped Liza Minnelli’s Gest guest appearance on Law & Order: Criminal Intent but haven’t watched it yet,you’ll want to hold off on reading this item.)

For those of you who watched, however, there’s much to discuss. To me, the most refreshing part of last night’s episode, in which Minnelli played the mother of a JonBenet-like murder victim, was how it served as a reminder that she’s much more than a tabloid punch line. (The woman is an Oscar winner, after all!) The flirty dinner/subtle interrogation scene between Minnelli and Vincent D’Onofrio’s Det. Goren (pictured) — prior to which her character comically tries to disguise a pre-roasted chicken as a home-cooked delight — was riveting stuff. In a few short minutes, Minnelli managed to convey romantic desperation, piteous cluelessness, self-obsession, self-consciousness, all with an undercurrent of deep grief — and often all at the same time. And that exchange was only first runner-up to the devastating closing act, where her character offers forgiveness to the neighborhood boy who thinks he’s responsible for her daughter’s cold-case murder.

So where to next for Liza? I’d love to see her cast in a dramedy about four female friends approaching retirement age. (Perhaps we could fill out the cast with a few other Oscar winners and/or nominees, say Dianne Wiest, Goldie Hawn, and Alfre Woodard?). Minnelli’s certainly got the comic timing (didn’t you love the way she practically slammed the door on Kathryn Erbe’s Det. Eames to score some alone time with D’Onofrio?), and anyhow, doesn’t this generation deserve its own Golden Girls?

What did you think of Liza’s L&O debut? And, putting on your studio-exec hat, where would you cast her for her followup role?

addCredit(“Law & Order: Criminal Intent: Virginia Sherwood”)

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  • dan cullinane

    oh man, you just blogged about liza minelli…what are you, like 100? maybe you and she could star in a tv series about geriatrics in a home for the washed up…

  • Elizabeth

    I watched the show last night and I had the same opinion as M. Slezak. I was thinking, “wow, she’s a really great actress despite all her craziness!” Lest we forget, she held her own on Arrested Development as well.

  • Lesha

    I miss the Golden Girls :(

  • Laura

    I was really happy to see Liza on the show and thought the same thing as Michael Slezak. Boy, can she act! Let’s see more of her! But I am thinking film…maybe a poignant dramedy about a woman who overcame the shadow a legendary mother to achieve success in her own right?

  • Blair

    Wow, there is so much bitterness here…I have read some of the PopWatch comments today, and I see so many critics.

  • Kari

    I love Lucille 2! I actually saw her in concert last year, and she said that she’s ready to do more acting and only Ronnie Howard appreciates how funny she is…

  • junior

    To me, this wasn’t so much an event (as Elizabeth said, she did to a turn on “AD”) but a nice reminder that Liza is truly a talent and should be working! She’s not Elizabeth Taylor old (although Liz isn’t old either, she’s just busy counting her diamonds/AIDS fundraiser money) and she looks great. I didn’t watch the whole episode but did see the D’Onofrio scene and she was fantastic (total guest emmy award nom worthy).
    With the family-centered “Six Feet Under” gone, HBO could add a “Hannah and Her Sisters” style drama about a theatrical New York family full ‘o problems and Liza could be the matriarch (I’m feelin’ Tyne Daly as her sister but I have no idea why).

  • Gregg

    Was that Mr. Noodle from Sesame Street as Liza’s next door neighbor?

  • mrj

    was anyone else bothered by the fact that her whole upper face is so botoxed that it doesnt move? she could blink and move her mouth but her eyebrows & forehead were solid. it was distracting!!!

  • cj

    she did great

  • HH

    She was absolutely hilarious as wonderfully sweet and clueless (but oh so shrewd) Lucille 2 on AD — her comic timing with language and physical comedy was near-flawless! (The vertigo!!!) And she was wonderful in the less-comic scenes as well – her humilation by Gob at the country club was heartbreaking. She’s still amazing!

  • Flick

    I missed the episode last night, but after her cameo on the new My Chemical Romance album and her turn on AD, she’s A-OK in my book.

  • brandonk

    As a gay man, I’m contractually bound to support Liza in anything she does (including that marriage-I don’t want to talk about it), but she really was hilarious on “Arrested Development.” A “Golden Girls” for the 21st century would be great!

  • Dave

    Ok, Brandon K., this is the second time today on the Popwatch blog that I agree with you 100 percent. I think we need to talk ;-)

  • Sally

    Didn’t see it, but here’s my take on Liza. Never liked her because she’s a reincarnation of her mother on stage (and off), which is very sad. She’s had a time of it trying to be her own person and step aside from Judy, who was one of a kind.
    Now, having wrote that – yes, she should go TV all the way. Clean up her boozing way and get back in the spotlight on TV. I mean – how much longer can she do those concert tours?

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