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Law & Order's Tendency To Recycle Actors Doesn't Sit Right With Fans

Dick Wolf's "Law & Order" saga has expanded rapidly in the years since the original series hit the airwaves. Title after title has made it to the small screen and thrived, with fan favorite "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" running for hundreds of episodes. In that time, a near-countless number of characters have joined the franchise either in a cameo capacity or as main players. Some of these folks have even been played by the same actor — a trend that has brought on a mixed response from the "Law & Order" fan community.

In the "Law & Order: SVU" subreddit, user u/Tyedye1997 kicked off a conversation about the show's recycling of actors. While some in the thread voiced their irritation over this trend, many — the original poster included — shared that they find it fun. "I enjoy the familar faces. It's pretty amusing that they do this. Sometimes I watch episodes like "where have I seen them before?" commented u/StillBigLex. Other commenters chimed in with examples of "Law & Order" actors who have pulled double duty, resulting in quite an extensive list.

Of course, this reuse isn't exclusive to the world of "Law & Order." Another television franchise with Dick Wolf's name attached to it has done this, too.

The One Chicago franchise has a few dual-role actors, too

Dick Wolf has built a television empire under the "Law & Order" banner, and he has started to do it again. The One Chicago franchise — consisting of "Chicago Fire," "Chicago P.D.," "Chicago Med," and "Chicago Justice" — has begun to take over the small screen within the past several years. These titles have done their best to differentiate themselves from those in Wolf's "Law & Order" universe, but from time to time, similarities become apparent. Most pertinently, the One Chicago series has taken to reusing some of its actors just like the "Law & Order" franchise has for years.

For example, longtime "Chicago Med" staple Brian Tee, who famously brought Dr. Ethan Choi to life on the program, actually pulled double duty. In the "Chicago P.D." episode "The Three G's" from Season 2, Tee took on the role of criminal Jesse Kong — an easily forgettable one-off gig. Daniel Kyri has also played two characters in the One Chicago world: Darren Ritter on "Chicago Fire" and Lane Tucker in the "Chicago Med" Season 3 episode "Devil in Disguise." Guy Lockard joins Tee and Kyri, having portrayed Dr. Dylan Scott on "Chicago Med" and Lewis in the "Chicago Fire" episode "Light Things Up" from Season 8.

Seeing as both "Law & Order" and One Chicago have done it, it stands to reason fans will have to continue dealing with Dick Wolf's recycling of actors across all of his shows.