During the 15 minutes it takes to shoot our feature story “Why L.A. Law is Closed,” I have four of the most interesting and enlightening things to say that happened since I got here, so I’m half-glad. But despite the amount of time I spent in this Law Office, I have absolutely no idea why they closed the doors—except for one odd reason.
I went in there to ask some questions about the closing of the “Most Popular TV Program in the History of the Universe”—which basically means they don’t program it anymore. And the guy who answered the door, Anthony Johnson, is a TMZ employee.
“You know, like, it’s not terrible that you’re here, but are you hired by TMZ, like, now?” I asked Anthony.
“Yes sir,” he said.
“Do you know anything about it, do you think this is even true?” I asked.
“Yeah, no, no, no,” he said. “It’s not true.”
“I’m just curious. I don’t think the show should be done at all.”
“No, no, no,” he said. “The show was great, but it’s not done.”
“What’s not done?” I asked.
“I don’t know. I think they have a new show.”
So maybe TMZ is not hired for TMZ.
Our next stop was a hole in the wall bar called One Lattitude. It was packed with hipsters at the time.
“So when did you go to law school?”
“1999. Law school is really, really hard,” he said. “Maybe I should quit. Law school was rough.”
I walked over to one of the bars in the area and talked to a bartender, who asked me why I was hanging out here.
“I just want to talk about the history of ‘Law and Order,’” I said.
“Why did they move away from ‘Law and Order’ to ‘Law and Order: True Crime?’” he asked.
I said because they had two law shows in total. One show was doing well, and the other was not. But how could you tell if one is better than the other?
“I thought you’d want to tell me what was the difference.”
“The ‘True Crime’ one is about stuff that really happened, like…hell, it’s just getting better and better. And it’s not like it’s a band of other shows about similar subjects. It’s just…movies and TV shows, you know? Movies, TV shows, movies…,” I said.
“Why did they switch to True Crime?” he asked.
“I really don’t know.”
He then goes outside to hang out.
After speaking with a couple of beers in the 90s, I went inside to see a shooting game. I walked over to the counter, shook hands with the guy behind the counter, and took a shot.
“I just wanted to learn how to drink,” I said.
“How did you know the guy behind the counter?”
“I went through the whole route of every bar around here, and where I couldn’t find a bartender who knew bartenders, I asked on Yelp, and this guy, who thought it was a joke, let me borrow him.”
I headed for the ladies’ room, grabbed some stationary and a copy of the Los Angeles Times, sat down on a chair, and had a glass of wine.
It was an interesting experience to have been in that Law Office, and I certainly wish TMZ all the best with their new show.