Monday, September 26, 2011

Law and Order - SVU: Stolen From the Headlines

 Wednesdays at 10pm on NBC

Let’s kick-off this review with an amusing little anecdote shall we? Years ago, I was playing Scattegories with a few friends. The letter was T – the category was “offenses” and I was stumped. I couldn’t think of the proper name for any type of criminal activity (although now Trespassing comes right to mind) so I wrote “Touching Children in Bad Places”.  I don’t remember whether I got a point for that, but I do remember that my friends and all have sick senses of humour and we laughed a LOT. A few years later it occurred to us that Law and Order: Special Victims Unit had a disproportionate number of episodes focused on sexual crimes against children. It makes sense I guess….but from that moment on we’ve referred to the show as Law and Order: TCBP. For further inappropriate hilarity on the subject check-out an earlier blog entry about Netflix films: Netflix Docu-Fun: TCBP

The 13th season premiere of Law and Order: SVU was not in fact about Touching Children in Bad Places…but it WAS about forcing adults to touch YOU in bad places.

Sidenote: Does anyone else think ‘ripped from the headlines’ is just an excuse not to make up your own stories?

Anyway, this episode ‘borrowed’ from the recent headline grabbing news story about Nafissatou Diallo, a 32-year-old New York hotel maid, of Guinean heritage, who accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the IMF (International Monetary Fund), of forcing her to perform oral sex on him. Seriously I don’t even need to tell you what happened in the episode because the entire plot was actually in the news. It is important to remember that names and ‘details’ have been changed to protect the asses of producers.  The hotel maid is not from Guinea, she’s from the Sudan, which is a totally different country in Africa. The entitled sexual predator is not in charge of the IMF, he’s head of the Global Trust Fund, which is not at the all the same thing. Also, in reality, the charges against Strauss-Kahn were dismissed, but in SVU his counterpart was jailed on a lesser charge of ‘unlawful imprisonment’ because he stopped the maid from leaving his room. The moral of this story is that bad people don’t get off scot-free…in fiction.

Ratings: NBC’s most successful drama pulled in 7.60 million viewers, good for 4th in its timeslot (after CSI, The X-Factor and Revenge) and 11th place overall.

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