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Monday, April 7, 2008

Law & Order: SVU Is the Most Gratuitous Show on Television

posted by on April 7 at 15:12 PM

Here is a simple list of last night’s episode’s major plot points:

A bee-yootiful woman is found in an elevator shaft in a ballgown. She has been strangled with her own pantyhose and her breasts have been cut off. She has not been raped. (“Why would he kill her and not rape her?” is the big question so far.)

Said woman is covered in schist! Schist! This somehow leads to a tape of her climbing a wall in the ballgown with a bunch of other people dressed as dandies. The leader—maybe he killed her! He’s got a moustache!

Nope, he left her at the bar, where she was roofied.

The bartender saw her leave with a very generic looking man. A man! He’s the criminal!

They get hundreds of tips telling them it’s the local newsanchor. (“He’s got an alibi. He was on Teevee!” the detectives mutter, unhappily.)

They connect the pattern of her murder with a Hannibal Lecter-like serial killer. He’s got an alibi, unfortch! He’s in jail! He leers at them when they talk to him.

They catch the generic-looking man! He’s not guilty but he’s obsessed with the serial killer. What a coincidence.

Hey, remember the (bee-yootiful) bartender? She got kidnapped. Dang! But, in an artistic vision, the kidnapper made her blood into the shape of the Venus deMilo! They showed us a side-by-side comparison on a high-tech screen.

Race to find her. The serial killer’s pattern says that she’s got only twelve more hours to live!

Someone pizza box-bombs the office, giving the sergeant the opportunity to say, “Benson, you’re off the case.

The serial killer has a comic book series! And there are four more murders in the comic series, and the ballgown woman (remember her?) looks just like the woman on the cover. And the Venus deMilo blood! That’s in there, too.

Whew, found the bartender just in time, although she was strapped near-naked to a mattress, surrounded by rats. And she’s cut all up on her chest. But her titties are intact (thank god!).

Oh wait! The bartender! She’s also an intern at a law firm and she’s been visiting the serial killer! She’s part of the cult of people obsessed with him.

Oh wait! Benson (she’s off the case, you know), was going home and the guy who bombed the office is waiting for her there with a knife! Good thing she can kick his ass (in a sexy, sexy fight).

Oh wait! The bartender’s dad was the serial killer’s best friend, and she visits him so she can sleep with him. And kill for him.

Case closed! Good job, everyone.

I’m pretty sure that’s everything that has ever happened, on any police procedural television show, ever.

RSS icon Comments


the worst part is, this episode has already been aired on 3 separate occasion I can recount actually seeing.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | April 7, 2008 3:17 PM

i feel dumber for even having read all that, much less watched it. christ.

Posted by JasonC | April 7, 2008 3:24 PM

What annoyed me about that episode is that there were no special victims!! Why did the special victims unit get the case?! I watch SVU for the special victims only and I want my hour back!

Posted by poppy | April 7, 2008 3:25 PM

This Onion article is essential reading. It pretty much covers all the bases.

Posted by flamingbanjo | April 7, 2008 3:27 PM

That show is utter crap and gives L&O a bad name.

Posted by w7ngman | April 7, 2008 3:28 PM

I would hatefuck SVU so hard.

Posted by laterite | April 7, 2008 3:29 PM

But, but, but... Its got Christopher Meloni!!!

I'll watch it just for him.

Posted by Spalding | April 7, 2008 3:33 PM

I watch it for Diane Neal (sexy lawyer) and Ice-T (because Bodycount is an awesome band).

But I agree, last night's episode was waaaaay too over the top...even for SVU.

Posted by Hernandez | April 7, 2008 3:37 PM

Christ I'm glad I stopped watching TV. That hurt my brain just to read, never mind watch.

Posted by Reverse Polarity | April 7, 2008 3:37 PM

I've never watched even a single episode. Now I don't feel so bad.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | April 7, 2008 3:41 PM

Christopher Meloni? You mean FREAKSHOW??

Posted by leek | April 7, 2008 3:49 PM

You think that's bad? I saw this totally f'ed up show on KCTS where this naked psychotic dude, covered in fur, eats nothing but cookies, and screams his freakin' head off. "Cookies cookies cookies!" he roars in this lunatic voice, foaming at the mouth, while his eyes are pointing in every direction. Seriously gratuitous messed up sh-t. I just hope my kids never see it.

Posted by Gurldoggie | April 7, 2008 3:55 PM

L&O: SVU is just plain sick.

Actually, about the only one I can stomach in the L&O series is ... no, forget it, I can't. I can't stand CSI or CSI: LV (but love CSI: Miami and CSI: NY) for the same basic reason.

And don't get me started about the torture pr0n on 24 ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 7, 2008 4:13 PM


Posted by michael strangeways | April 7, 2008 4:14 PM

L&O SVU is probably the most spectacular show on television. Thank you, Florek, for your awesome delivery of dialogue.

What I'm trying to say here is that all y'all is idiots.

Posted by ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ | April 7, 2008 4:20 PM

Congrats, Ari, on noticing something that the rest of the country figured out about 9 years ago.

Posted by Matty Worth | April 7, 2008 4:40 PM

I missed last night's episode, but I love Law & Order, Law & Order SVU and Criminal Intent. Maybe the stories a bit contrived, but you have to give them some props for coming up with some new material after what? 20 years of being on TV? Anyway, did you see the episode with Cynthia Nixon as a psychopath/multiple personality? Suuuweeet! :) I heart law & order! I used to like ER, but it bores me anymore. I guess the end really came when they killed that one doctor with the helicopter!

Posted by Kristin Bell | April 7, 2008 4:44 PM

Why don't they do an episode about a skeezy homeless dude who just ups and murders a random stranger for no reason one day, and they catch him right away, and he confesses immediately? What is it about the fetishization of extreme cartoon evil over the real, banal kind?

Oh, wait. It's network TV. It's supposed to suck.

I kind of miss "Adam-12" and all those old-time cop shows, where the most dramatic thing that would happen was a guy with a flat tire on the freeway. Will the pregnant lady make it to the hospital in time? Yes. Yes, she will.

Posted by Fnarf | April 7, 2008 4:59 PM

Fnarf, I hate to break it to you, but most of these kids are too young to remember those shows. But for me, yeah, I'd take Dragnet or Highway Patrol over most of this crap.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | April 7, 2008 5:21 PM


Posted by Sirkowski | April 7, 2008 5:38 PM


Posted by Will in Seattle | April 7, 2008 6:02 PM

Old episodes of Dragnet, especially ones features the hijinks of hippies (shoplifting! breaking off car aerials! littering!) have never been equalled as stoner entertainment.

Posted by Fnarf | April 7, 2008 6:06 PM

Sexy Victims Unit (all the crimes are sexual, right?)

My mini-rant about this show is that it sums up everything that the American public seems to want during prime time.

Me, I just want the sexy lawyer. No guns or cops or car chases or murders. Why can't they just do softcore on primetime?

Posted by Victim | April 7, 2008 6:36 PM

@19, Thanks to DVD box sets and the power of cable television everybody can enjoy Adam-12 and Dragnet. And don't forget the 3rd spin-off Emergency! which followed two plucky firemen as they pioneered the job of paramedic in LA county. The pilot of Emergency! even features the guys from Adam-12...

Posted by PopTart | April 7, 2008 7:25 PM

Randolph Mantooth

Posted by Paulus | April 7, 2008 9:49 PM

I love Emergency, but I haven't looked for it in DVD or run across it. I did download Chips from iTunes and let me just say that when I was younger I was too young to fully appreciate Jon and Paunch in their tight-fitting uniforms! I know this is bad, but Eric Estrada is and has always been damn sexy! I love watching Chips is quite relaxing and it brings me back in time!

Posted by Kristin Bell | April 8, 2008 7:07 AM

With shows like SVU, CSI & L&O at the top of the ratings, how can we continue to claim that "all life is sacred"? These are just teleplays of slasher movies, with the single intent of fueling the blood lust in the human heart. Our art reflects our true belief that life is very cheap. Ask yourself a simple question: "If humans were so kind & sweet, and truly wanted everyone to live happily everafter, would these shows have such great ratings?" We know the answer, don't we?

And don't give me the BS about "great writing". The whole premise of the SLOG entry was that this story gets recycled 5 times a month! There may only be 32 truly unique sitcom plots, but at least the intent there is to make us laugh. We can't we appeal to our "better angels"? Or at least the funny bone?

Posted by Sir Vic | April 8, 2008 8:48 AM

Ari, this is the BEST TV cop show review I've ever read.

Oh, wait. It's the BEST TV cop show review ever written in the history of the entire world! Including the Amazon and Antarctica!

Posted by Spoogie | April 8, 2008 8:53 AM

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