I used to be a huge Law & Order fan. Years ago, I used to watch every episode of all the L&O incarnations. Gradually, though, I had to give them all up. There’s just no point in me watching episodic police procedurals in this day and age when said procedurals have no interest whatsoever in character development or story arcs. They are disposable, and meant to be disposable, so why waste my time?
So, it’s a genre I’ve abandoned. Still, I always liked L&O, especially the mothership, and I took note that the mothership was canceled last week just one year shy of breaking the all-time prime-time drama record for consecutive years on the air, having tied at 20 with Gunsmoke.
I also used to have a lot of respect for L&O: SVU, which in its earlier years was a surprisingly dark and uncompromising show for network TV — before it became too popular and instead started catering to a more middle-of-the road level of crime-drama bleakness.
But I still check in from time to time (maybe once or twice a season) to see who has been rotated in and out of the cast, if nothing else.
I just watched the season finale of SVU, “Shattered” (mostly because I needed something to have on while assembling a Shop-Vac). If indicative of the series at large (which I kind of doubt, or at least truly hope not to be the case) then, my, how the series has fallen.
This was one of the most overwrought, overwritten, overacted, cliched, messy, haphazard, contrived, godawful pieces of garbage I have ever seen from a L&O show — okay, excepting most of Criminal Intent‘s episodes, a series I had to abandon many, many years ago after its weekly absurdity of allowing every episode to be an exercise in Vincent D’Onofrio getting all the bad guys to turn on each other and confess in highly contrived and unlikely fashion.
The SVU finale featured a hostage situation created by a woman so insufferably crazy (and acted with ham-handed awfulness by an actress I’m not even going to bother looking up the name of) that I was rooting for her to be shot for the entire interminable 15 minutes that the hostage sequence was allowed to go on.
Meanwhile, we have M.E. Warner bleeding out on the floor, Benson draining blood from her chest cavity with a tube, Stabler crawling around air ducts like he’s Bruce Willis in Die Hard, and Sharon Stone as an ADA who must try to connect with the crazy lady by telling a sad tale about the depression she went through after having a life-changing mastectomy that left her abandoned by her lover. Yes.
SVU used to be a reliable, substantive police procedural. This pathetic excuse for a season finale was utter cliched garbage, horribly constructed and executed. Just jaw-dropping.