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Kara

Sorry you're having a bad night. Just close your eyes & think of Stephen...

Matt

I caught only the second half of the show. To me, it seemed so transparently transposed that I didn't think it would be possible for it to do much harm.

But then again, there's that Mencken line -- "Never overestimate the intelligence of the American people."

On the bright side, the Rove character did get 15 years in jail. If L&O is a bellweather, that means that Patrick Fitzgerald won't be able to get Cheney, but will get Rove. And that would be fine with me. So let's hope that we really were watching a mirror.

Phoenician in a time of Romans

Think of it this way - it'll get all the wingnuts nodding along to it UNTIL you point out the obvious parallel.

Chrys

You should have watched CSI: NY instead. The characters included a threesome, a voyeur and a mermaid. Not much room for aggravation there!

Kevin Wolf

As I've said before, I've kind of lost track of the original L&O series. They used to have insteresting debates on issues (like the death penalty) that had a right/left political element. But the debates got less interesting and poorly written and they starting tilting to the right with the DA Branch character.

KEn

The original hasn't had many good episodes lately.

SVU is having a hard time, I think, and is relying on a schism between the two leads for drama these days.

CI is good every other week when D'Onofrio is on.


But good lord they're so much better than any of the CSIs and their clones on CBS.

burritoboy

The entire idea is so ludicrously wrong that the series' decline is highlighted by it.

1. The plot requires a very high level executive power, not a legislative one. Using legislative figures completely misunderstands what occurred. (maybe a governor figure would suffice, but I doubt that)

2. Again, US congresmen simply aren't important enough (there are hundreds of them, after all).

3. Also critical is that there is corruption and corruption. The K Street project and Abramoff have very little relation to ordinary corruption. It's an institutionalized part of the current government, arranged at the highest possible levels. It's one of the props that keeps the Republican regime running on a nationwide level. Indeed, the K Street project has been extended into multiple foreign countries as well.

It has almost nothing to do with a single Congressman taking random bribes to get individuals random favors. Instead, it's essentially involuntary tribute (tribute in the sense used by the Roman Empire) from the business community to the Republican dictatorship on a scale that would make even a Roman emperor impressed.

4. Using a Congressman cannot impart what Plame really meant, since Plame is merely one incident in the founding of a dictatorship. In Plame, the Bush regime notified the entire establishment that it was willing to do anything (including knowingly getting people killed at second-hand) to silence any criticism whatsoever.

SAP

Lance,

I stopped watching L&O after Jerry Orbach died. What was the point?

Matt

I guess that, in the end, this highlights something happening in our culture right now. It's becoming more acceptable to point out Republican corruption, but you still can't do so directly. Can't have the advertisers jumping ship.

Lance

Kara, Thanks. That did help.

Silas, I keep asking myself that question. I said Law and Order is my favorite show, but that was force of habit. I'm with KEn. L&O:CI is the show now.

Chrys, that certainly sounds more entertaining.

Matt, Thinking it over in the clear light of day, and in a better mood thanks to Kara, I see that the reason for the Party switch was so that the Rove character could try to hide behind the old This is a political vendetta dodge. If the DA was still the old Kennedy liberal Adam Schiff the writers would have left the Rove character a Republican. But burritoboy gets at something else. Making Rove a Congressman's aide, even a Congressman who plans to run for President, didn't wash.

cgeye

This week's SVU ep was just as bad, shoehorning Anthony Anderson into the plot as an antagonistic, fat, black cop (and yes, all of those terms were pejoratives, and mattered), tangling with Stabler and bungling a sexual assualt investigation through several dodgy interrogations, deaths, and at least one NYPD negligence lawsuit. (Oh, they don't search the crip kids, many of whom possibly disabled through gang shootings? Ah-*henh*.)

And, oh, yeah, the reason? To rail against childhood morbid obesity and Type II Diabetes.

The implicit racism? The sexual assualts? The documented hate crimes, dismissable because they were denounced by a prissy, lighter-skinned black assemblyman? The lack of investigation of the website that promoted pictures of hate crimes? All dismissable -- and even the fat slob of a cop looked at the obese kids with revulsion. And can I say how *tired* I am of the L&O twist of the perp-being-the-thing-he/she-fears? It solves nothing, it creates no tension, and it *justifies* hate crimes, since those former fatties/fags/whores were degnerate, from the get-go?

It was the worst episode, insight- and intelligence-wise, since the one where a pre-op MTF transsexual moved from victim to perp, and the cops couldn't be bothered to place her in protective custody, so she wouldn't be raped to death in stir.

Did I mention that BOSTON PUBLIC covered the same topic, in the same night, but from the angle of high fructose corn syrup toxicity? And, despite Denny Crane, it made more sense? Sheesh.

Dick Wolf, twist and rotate.

cgeye

And as for me and my house, the best L&O is CI -- when Chris Noth and Annabella Sciorra are on.

Intelligent, unpretentious, and less stressful with the Bobby-head-bobbing-going-nutso-the-next-time-
Nicole-Wallace-says-boo! and the thing...

And Noth? He's just so dreamy -- and without the skeletors of SEX AND THE CITY, just so palatable, too.

DavidNYC

This was a very weak episode. But I very much doubt there was any Gang-of-500-style misunderstanding and "both sides do it" equivocation going on here.

Dick Wolf is pretty liberal, and usually takes shots at the conservative establishemnt. Remember this?

The controversy centers around Wednesday's episode in which a police officer investigating a murder of a federal judge suggested putting out an all points bulletin for "somebody in a Tom DeLay T-shirt."

I seem to recall Lennie making a crack about a search for a suspect being as difficult as finding WMDs in Iraq.

L&O's ripped from the headlines episodes work best when they re-tell the story in a way that somewhat diverges from reality but, in so doing, gets at a larger truth. The best-ever example of this was the multi-part Homicide crossover about Ken Starr.

This Rove episode totally failed on that score. It was a boring rehash of what we already knew. The only details they bothered to change were irrelevant or, as Lance observes, helped to obfuscate the larger truth. (And what's more, Jack McCall/Wolcott from Deadwood looks very non-liberal to me.)

So, again, I agree that this episode was weak, but I don't see a bad motive behind it.

SV

Thank you.

I watched the first 20 minutes, but as the general direction became obvious, I couldn't continue. I couldn't articulate why it made me so disgusted - I have no problem with individual Democrats as villians in fiction. I tried to tell myself that they were trying to say "Hey, Republicans, this is what it would look like if the Democrats did this. Can't you see how this is treasonous now?"

But you're spot on - it was completely unnecessary to flip the situation and too easily supportive of the "they all do it" scenario. If the L&O people wanted to dramatize the Valerie Plame story, they could have changed the names or made the roles local, but there is no equivalent Democratic politician or example of Democratic politicians behaving this way.

As for Noth - YES. The first time he appeared on Criminal Intent, and Logan referred to reading the Patriot Act in the original German (!!!) I remembered what I had been missing all these years.

But what do I know - to me the best L&O was the Noth-Sorvino year. If only Abbey Carmichael had teamed up with Cerreta and Logan. She was a convincing enough Republican without being a coughFontannacough quasi-fascist bully.

cgeye

Don't speak to me of Fontanna. Just. Don't.

I loved the man in CRIME STORY. That was when one could ignore Miranda and all the other nice laws that help people from being beat into confessions, guilty or not. *So* not pretty, here -- and unlike SVU or CI, he doesn't seem to muss up his hair when he explodes, like he's born to beatdown.

And Noth? This week, all decent storytelling instincts went south, so Miss Whoopi Goldberg could grandstand. It doesn't take Di Onofrio to grill a suspect so hard her wig *and* her dreads fall out -- they allowed Noth's character to fall into his weakness (family abuse), without letting him dig out enough to see he was being played. And was it too much for anyone at the precinct to notice that a full-fledged criminal gang existed *before* the cop got shot? Well, probably, yes....

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