Dick Wolf has a lot to answer for. Turning a franchise into a generation-defining police procedural for one, and ensuring all our ears prick up at that distinctive theme music at the start of each episode. But sometimes too much of a good thing isn’t what the doctor (or the DA) ordered, and Tracey Spicer has had enough.

Dear Boom Boom,

I’m sorry. It’s over. I’d like to say, “It’s not you. It’s me”. But that simply wouldn’t be true.

When we first met in the summer of ’95 I was attracted by your strength, certainty, and ability to tie up plot lines neatly within a 45-minute episode. Yes, I was a little bit in love with Detective Elliot Stabler, the strong and silent type. (Shhh! Don’t tell hubby.) The smart and sassy Detective Olivia Benson felt like an old friend. I chuckled at the wry comments of Detectives John Munch and Lennie Briscoe, nodded at the wisdom of psychiatrist Dr. George Huang, and got down in the ‘hood with Det. Fin Tutuola, AKA Ice-T.

Each franchise offered different delights, including an eloquence of bright and beautiful lawyers.

The tension between Assistant D.A. Abby Carmichael and District Attorney Jack McCoy was a joy to behold. We were always led to a safe and satisfying conclusion. But then, something went wrong.

The ‘Boom Boom’ heralding the start of each episode began to grate.

So did the first line of almost every script: “Oh my gawd”, as an unsuspecting punter stumbles upon a dead body.

Now, I don’t want to turn this into a personal attack. I know bee-stung lips are popular. But, seriously, was Mariska Hargitay attacked by a swarm of killer bees on a charity trip to Africa? In some scenes, her lips are an entirely separate character. She should be arrested for crimes against her face.

Her boss, portrayed by Dann Florek, must be quite the negotiator: Captain Donald Cragen has gone from being a bit player to centre stage. What is it with the two ‘n’s, anyway? Speaking of strange names, who calls themselves B.D. Wong? (Hubby thinks it stands for Big Dickhead. I would never be that rude.) This character is the one who’s really jumped the shark – or the mutilated corpse, as the case may be.

Suddenly, the forensic psychiatrist is at the scene of every crime, collecting evidence, rescuing abused children, and generally breaking the law. This is my problem: You’ve become nothing more than a poor man’s C.S.I.

When I heard all the Law & Order franchises had been cancelled, I was devastated.Now, I’m relieved. Some people need to be saved from themselves.

After all, isn’t that what the criminal justice system is all about?

Yours no-longer-faithfully,

Tracey Spicer

Tracey Spicer

Tracey Spicer is a Sky News anchor, 2UE broadcaster, columnist for News. Ltd. and www.thehoopla.com.au, and corporate trainer for www.spicercommunications.biz.

She used to like pina coladas until she got caught in the rain that one time. Long walks on the beach still feature prominently and has a standing offer for Steve Molk to join her on one sometime.

Law & Order is no longer on her must watch list.