I confess that I watch Law and Order SVU and Law and Order SUV and Law and Order Criminal Intent and Law and Order Murder She Wrote and I never critiqued myself about it until Shawn came along and started groaning whenever the possibility of watching a L&O episode arose. Sunday night, I convinced him to watch Criminal Intent with me through sheer bribery that required me to rub his back for the whole hour and endure his comments about how dumb the show is and of course, it was an extremely bad example, i.e. Corbin Bernson was the guest star and you could see from a mile away that he was also the secret bad guy. L&O always has a secret bad guy; a character introduced early on as an aside who surfaces again later as the one who murdered all the co-eds because his mother forced him to wear cheerleading outfits as a boy. So by virtue of the fact that there's always a secret bad guy, you can pretty much guess who's responsible. But then the other thing that happens all the time is that they get these very miniscule clues that save their case at the last minute. In this one, they found an old envelope containing pink sand that could only, only be found in this one yard in all of the island of New York. In addition, the final moments of the show had Corbin (who was pretending to be a nice guy even though he'd hired an ex-con to kill his wife) illustrate his true colors with the duped wife watching on the other side of the secret cop mirror. Like, the smarmy detective goes, "Your wife wants to open this greeting card business. I think she's a great artist." And Corbin sneers back, "Yeah, if you like talent less bitches" or something like that--something you would never do if you were pretending to be in love with your wife to beat a jail sentence. Now Shawn will never watch it with me again.
But he was in Savannah last night, replanning their cityscape, so I was able to watch L&O in peace. Unfortunately, another pitfall of the show is that they try to keep things semi-topical and only slightly veiled with other stories. Like, after the Jeffrey Dahmer arrest, they had a similar show about a wire-rimmed glasses wearing weirdo gay cannibal named Joffrey Daimer (played by none other than Chad Lowe. No, he wasn't the actor in that one, though CL did appear as a cannibal of female flesh in more recent episode). Last night's episode was about none other than our balloon-following friend, Teri Schiavo. Except in this version, her name was Karen (just like that other persistent vegetable state person named Karen Anne Quindlan. Is this supposed to be a clever inside joke for people born before 1988?). They deviated from the story somewhat in that Teri's family blew up the husband to prevent him from removing the feeding tube, but still. The show was sympathetic of the family's plight, presenting this faux complex ethical question, Wouldn't you kill another person who was trying to murder your beloved and helpless family member? They didn't address the more important questions about quality of life or the actual likelihood of her recover (nil) or the fact that she has the brain capacity of a houseplant.
In other TV news, caught some of America’s Top Dead Girl. They cut the fat girl; what a shocker. Here is this plus-sized girl surrounded for several weeks (or is it hours? Who knows in reality TV since they stretch the season on to 20 times its real time length) by fawnlike girls who subsist on nothing more than Evian and air, and Tyra Banks tells her, “You’ve just lost that sparkle of confidence you used to have when you first arrived.” No shit. I lose self-esteem just from watching the show while eating ginger cookies. Twiggy, the world’s first super model, is a judge and she sat down to give the girls a heart-to-heart talk, explaining to them that before she hit the scene, models were voluptuous, healthy, normal sized girls, but that she was luckily able to change all that to create the first ever heroin chic chic. Her point was that they should embrace their flaws; a way to reinforce this point would’ve been to keep Plus Sized, but they sent her off without even a recommendation to a photographer at More magazine.