If you’re like me (and really, who isn’t?), you stopped watching Law & Order a couple of seasons back. Figuring that its best days were behind it, that the new cast was simply no good, and that the “ripped from the headlines-ness” of the show had run its course, we found better things to watch on Wednesday nights (like maybe Lost twice in a row in order to pick up all the little things we missed the first time around).

Well, Lost is now on Thursdays and the cast is far improved from what it was a short while ago, so there’s no reason to not be watching Law & Order again. Jack McCoy is now the D.A. (on an interim basis right now, but he’s going to run once the current term is over, I’m sure), and the new crew of folks is just incredible. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: Jeremy Sisto and Linus Roache bring an edge to the series that has been missing in recent years (and, both are from the vastly underrated series Kidnapped, which was on NBC briefly in the fall of 2006).

Last night, John Pankow was on in a guest-starring role, and he too, was spectacular. I’ve always seen Pankow as Paul Buchman’s shlubby cousin Ira on Mad About You, but in the role of a sleazy A.D.A. he was wonderful. Sure, I kept waiting for him to talk about Uncle Burt and Aunt Sylvia, but he didn’t,; rather he not-so-slyly tried to put one over on Jack McCoy and got himself fired in the process.

I’d understand if you still missed Lenny Briscoe, and that’s why you weren’t watching Law & Order, but trust me, you’ll like the new guys. The don’t have the same sort of morbid humor Bristow did, but as “cops on the edge” they’re good, and the cases are again interesting.

What’s not interesting, and fails to be most of the time I watch (and airs opposite Law & Order), is Cashmere Mafia. Last week it was explained to me that I just don’t “get” the program because I’m a guy. That if I was a woman I’d look not just at what was happening on screen, but what the people were wearing, because, I was told, the clothing is fantastic.

I watched the episode with this clothing caveat in mind last night and can honestly say that except for the pink scarf with the skulls on it that was shredded I can’t remember a single item that anyone wore at any point. Not a one. Maybe I was too focused on the incredibly silly plotlines still. But, you know what I decided? Anything that any of the characters wear ought to be secondary to what is actually taking place. If this was the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show I’d understand why the clothing would be more important than the plot, but this is, allegedly, a scripted drama. Why wouldn’t one care far more about what was taking place than who was wearing whom?

And no, for the record, I’m not sitting here in an undershirt and boxers while I type this. I have a wonderful pair of Gap jeans on, and a Brooks Brothers striped rugby polo. It may not be high fashion, but it’s comfortable and sane.