Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What's Right With: Law and Order: SVU

A few weeks ago I wrote a little write up on a favorite show of mine: The Golden Girls. This week I want to talk about another show that I greatly enjoy. Law and Order: Special Victims Unit is my favorite mystery and crime show on television and it should be yours too. Now I realize that you have probably watched the show and probably like it as well but that has never stopped me from telling you why you should like something you already like.

What’s Right

Shits Fucked Up: I do hope you can excuse my language but I wanted to be frank with this one as it is a phrase I utter or think during every episode. Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (SVU) deals with cases in New York City involving crimes of a sexual nature. These are the types of crimes that will having you shaking your head in disbelief and increase your sense of disappointment in the human race. Each and every week I find myself amazed at how disturbing the episodes can be. Whether it’s a story about a kiddie toucher turned murderer or a sexual offender back to his old tricks, the level of depravity on SVU is of the charts.

It’s a proper mystery: Although this may also be a flaw of the show it always keeps me in front of the television. Every episode begins with a shocking display of the crime or the discovery of the crime scene itself. What follows is a series of twists and turns as the detectives work through their list of leads and suspects. The entire time the viewer is invited to make their own assumptions about who is guilty. Is it the man in the dark trench coat? Is it the lady at the fish market? Or perhaps the family dog? Simply put the show keeps you consistently guessing who has committed the crime. Unfortunately however the show does pull a cheap trick of making the actual guilty party hidden until the last moments of the show. This means that no matter how clever the audience has been they will rarely be correct in their prediction of who committed the crime. Cheap trick? Yes. But does it keep you watching? Hell yes.

It has Ice T: I am not as crazy about hip hop as Bob George or the rest of my peers on this blog but I do enjoy it. I have always respected and enjoyed Ice-T as an entertainer much more so than as rapper. In SVU he plays the role of Fin Tutuola, who is the wise talking and street smart minority cop. Although the role Ice-T plays is fairly generic as a minority he is still very fun to watch and he does add an additional amount of coolness to the show. Also worth noting is the fact that Ice-T wrote a song about killing cops, the song was called Cop Killer, and now he is on TV playing as a cop. IRONY.

The cast is attractive: There is nothing better than watching attractive people doing interesting things, which is something SVU has. The female characters have a sense of understated beauty which I absolutely love in a woman. Sure there is something great about a lady whose looks simply knock you on your ass but I really like the tough beauty that is the cast of SVU. The lead character Olivia Benson walks the line well of being a tough cop yet sensitive and feminine and her looks play in that role nicely. My personal favorite is the Assistant District Attorney, Casey Novak (shown in picture above). Once again she is not the type of pretty that would not stop traffic per say, but she is still absolutely beautiful, plus I love a smart woman in a smart suit. I would totally let her sentence me, to a hot date! Am I right guys? I am so right.

It looks great in HD: Let it be known that I am AV nerd of sorts. Although I don’t delve too deep into the confusing world of HDTV specs and numbers I still want all of my programming to be in glorious, mind melting, earth shattering high definition. From the get go SVU has always looked spectacular on any nice HDTV. Law and Order: SVU was actually the first program I saw in HD and it still stands out to me as the gold standard of high definition. Trust me when I say that the moment I plug up my new TV, I will be running it through its paces with an episode of SVU.

What’s Wrong

It’s Cheap: As I alluded to earlier in the article the show seems to invite the viewer to guess and watch closely to find out who is guilty of the crime. The entire episode I sit there taking notes on who has done what, who seems guilty and who seems innocent, but just when I think I have it all figured the out the show says “Ha Ha, I fooled you! The real criminal is the random person I just introduced! Drama!!” Although having a twist ending is interesting and always makes me slap my hands together and say “well damn, I didn’t see that coming.” I can’t help but feel tricked. When the show constantly makes me watch the first 50 minutes of the show only to completely negate that time by introducing a major twist in the last 10 minutes I can’t help but to feel that I have wasted my time. The feeling is never enough to put me off the show, but it simply feels like a lazy attempt to keep me watching for the show’s entirety. But hell, it does work, so good on ‘em.

The Verdict

Law and Order SVU is a big hit in my family and a favorite of my mother. My mother has very good taste, so logic tells us that Law and Order SVU is good. Watch it.

Law and Order SVU airs on NBC on Wednesday’s at 9pm eastern. The show also airs damn near constantly on USA on weeknights.

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