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  1. The Reddit detectives seem to have cracked the case based on what John said about the bit on Late Night - John Oliver Literally Blew Up the Year 2020
  2. That's one of the areas I was talking about when I said they need to up the level of writing. I have no problem with her ex being a prick too since it's not an unusual dynamic at all for people to go from one controlling abusive relationship to another. It would have been nice to have seen some debate about reporting the ex to the brass and how he was the type of cop who made SVU's job harder. Or to mention that the lawyer was role playing a bit,seeing how easily she was manipulated by controlling men to try to win the case and carrying zealous representation a bit too far. So instead of being the same type of asshole as all the other adult men involved in the case he was a mirror of the protagonists using his insight to try to push the victim into doing what he thought was necessary. Or at the very least a different type of asshole. No no no! For the love of all that is holy never publicly say that you like dysfunctional family stuff on a Warren Leight run show! That type of encouragement only increases the likelihood that we see another Kim Rollins arc or Sheila coming back and kidnapping Fin's grandson...
  3. The Good: The COTW, It was nothing special or new, but it was nice to see them doing a classic SVU plot without trying to pile up twists, and to show how current circumstances affect the same old patterns of dysfunctional behavior without overtly pushing an agenda or presenting every speculation from social media as fact. Plus everyone involved was competent and it didn't have St. Benson saving the day as a resolution. Carisi! He was really good this week and so was the legal side. It is nice to see Carisi, not as an adjunct of the squad who still works for Liv even if he now has another evil political lawyer boss as well, but as separate, yet equally important, representative of the people in the criminal justice system. Fin. While I thought that the lawsuit plot never really elevated above meh it was nice to them promising a Fin story and actually delivering, plus Ice-T actually getting something to do is always worthy of kudos. The guest cast. Specifically Riki Lindhome and the kids. They did a nice job with what they were given and sold it without overacting. Plus Jason Kravits was solid as always. The rest were solid, but didn't really elevate the stock characters the writers gave them. They seem like they are actually going to try to keep continuing with having Benson being a hands on leader instead of a superhero and an actual human who learns from her mistakes! I think they've tried to do this before, but they've always gone back on it immediately. And a Dodds Jr. reference to boot! Continuity twice in a row too?! It was nice to see the show seeming to realize that a woman can be a victim of abuse and still bear some responsibility and moral culpanility for her actions. Everyone was acting like investigators with empathy and an understanding of the emotional and psychological dynamics of abusive relationships and not activists with badges. The Bad: With the exception of a few of the Carisi scenes the dialogue seemed a little flat. In fact the writing overall. If you are going to try for a classic SVU feel, which I wholeheartedly support, with the smaller cast and budgets of the current era you really need to elevate your game. They didn't and competence is no longer enough. The confrontation between Benson and Carisi, It felt unnecessary and didn't ring true to their established relationship. It was like a repeat of Fin and Carisi from last week without the excuse of emotions running so high that people would lash out and say things they know aren't true and don't really mean. Overall it was solid, if unspectacular and gives me hope that they are going to keep going in a good direction. I'm hoping they can build on this at some point and give us a truly great episode.
  4. True, but I suspect that MASH might have shot those scenes differently if Alan Alda couldn't move the top half of his face due to Botox and half of the writers couldn't write dialogue that didn't require the cast to sell the hell out of it with every trick in the book including facial expressions in order to make it halfway passable...
  5. A few thoughts about some minor points about this episode that I haven't noticed anyone address yet. So with the scenes of the desk sergeant doing COVID screening before visitors entering the squad room does this mean the writers will be hesitant to show randos off the street bursting in? If so at least one positive thing will have come out of this #%@#ing pandemic. I didn't have time to do any research before posting my thoughts on this episode but I kind of bumped on the IAB officer talking about "gladiator" cops. I have always seen discussions of policing styles or mentalities framed as guardians vs. warriors and now that I've had a chance to do some googling it seems to confirm that they pulled it out of their butts. It bugs me because I have a nagging suspicion that they used the word gladiator so that they could do the contrived 22 letter episode title thing or maybe because they liked the alliteration. Speaking of sloppiness how old is the chief supposed to be? I was under the impression he was supposed to be fairly young. Because when he talks about his father hitting the ceiling at sergeant that ended in the mid 70's and was done by the 80's (not that there wasn't still discrimination) so assuming he is in his early 40's his father should have been in that first generation that was able to break through. It wouldn't have required a lot of tweaking to make it his grandfather or talk about how his dad was a captain, but had to make a lot of compromises to move up. It's not like you have to do a ton of research to know this - if you watched Hill Street Blues for instance you would know how times had changed but old attitudes lingered. Of course if none of the 3 writers credited on the teleplay watched the classics of the police procedural genre it explains a lot about the writing issues of the past half decade of SVU...
  6. I hope you are not a banker. Because you are giving them WAY more credit than their track record warrants... I highly doubt they are going to make Garland an antagonist. They wouldn't have promoted him to the main cast if that was under consideration.
  7. The Good: The case. It wasn't obvious from the beginning, but they also didn't add unnecessary twists. It flowed logically and brought in the social issues they were exploring naturally. And they didn't feel the need to give us a unearned happy ending. Good use of the whole cast. It was nice to see the actual detectives in the field and Benson being more of a leader. Everyone got something to do and Benson was front and center without taking over everything. Benson was wrong. Let me repeat BENSON WAS WRONG. Even though they added all sorts of caveats about how her heart was in the right place and she was the only one not worried about politics etc, and she did everything she could to make amends they actually gave us Olivia Benson as a flawed human being. 'Bout freaking time. Carisi. He was actually acting as an ADA and not an auxiliary detective and Benson's personal lawyer. Hopefully this means they have gotten a handle on how to write Carisi in his new position and this will keep going moving forward. Some nice nods to past continuity. Heck we even got an AMARO reference! The Bad: Benoah. One thing that has stayed consistent among all the different showrunners, different writers and approaches, etc. is that these scenes add nothing except a chance to beat us over the heads with overacting and clumsy attempts at thematic resonance. I guess partial credit for at least advancing the plot somewhat by giving LIv a motive for the conversation at the end, but since when does she need an actual reason to do something stupid against all logic and reason? The Fin and Carisi argument. As others mentioned it was just totally unnecessary and a bit OOC. Why not have Rollins be the one Fin was angry at and accusing of racism/bias since there is actually some grounding there? And keep the conflict between Fin and Carisi to the law and Fin's behavior? Or maybe dive a bit deeper with Carisi pointing out that Fin has always prided himself over being a good soldier and has stood up for far worse? Maybe asked him if he had some lingering biases of his own relating to the victim's sexuality and that was why he wasn't hiding his own feelings so that they could get justice? A lot of false notes there. Speaking of false notes - the music. Especially at the end, They've gotten really heavy handed with the background music over the last few years almost to the point of self parody. Let's dial it back a bit show. Overall this was a solid episode. Maybe a B+. Certainly better than I expected given the previews and the subject matter and it left me hopeful for the rest of the season. I hope they can keep it up.
  8. You forgot to mention that Bill has been telling Gwen for years that she needed to stand up for herself and not taking anymore of his BS and to kick him if the nuts if he keeps it up. And that what upset him the most is that Blake lost sponsorships and airplay after tweeting that he hoped his fans would "take care of her" because no one cares more than him about domestic violence etc. but OMG cancel culture...
  9. I highly doubt they knew in advance. The technical departments on SNL are some of the best in the business and most likely it is a combination of political figures having certain styles (even if Kamala Harris isn't quite as distinctive as Hillary Clinton where they pretty much only had to have the same outfit in 5 different colors) and being able to come up with something very quickly if need be. And luckily wardrobe isn't something where the decline in live television production and changing technologies mean that things aren't quite up to the same standards as they used to be (I notice more camera errors these days and the sound quality on the musical performances is sometimes uneven.)
  10. BPD is the lazy television's writer's favorite! Got a character you have written into a corner by having them do stupid things that are totally OOC? Have an actor who wants to show their "range"? They're not overacting or poorly written they are bi-polar! And then you can put them on meds and viola - reset button!
  11. "One last time"? You think this is last time 2020 sticks it to us. You sweet summer child...
  12. As far as Alec Baldwin as Trump is concerned, I have to agree with @cambridgeguy that it is not done yet, no matter how much he (and we) might wish. I was hoping that we would get an engaged Alec Baldwin performance which we did, even if not all of the writing was quite as sharp as we might hope for. He can still be brilliant as Trump when he is pissed off instead of depressed by POTUS's antics and I was hoping that the glee at the election results and his disgust at Trump's actions wouldn't be overcome by the fact that this just about everyone was predicting what he did for some time now. It also helps when the writers come up with something good and the bit at the piano was a great idea. And as far as Alec Baldwin appearing in a sketch is concerned it usually means he really wants to work with a particular host just like him appearing as the pilot in the Sully sketch with Tom Hanks.
  13. I don't think we can read any tea leaves about Mariska's role in this season from any of the media coverage or trailers. Given the long break caused by COVID and the fact that Mariska stans have been keeping the zombified corpse of SVU on the air they need to go after that core audience hard. And adding Garland as a regular can go in number of directions as I mentioned above. The only media coverage that would clearly show a change is if she is announced as doing a multi-episode appearance on Meloni's show or Hate Crimes, Especially if she launches Hate Crimes. Otherwise we won't know if they make any progress in convincing Mariska that you can be the star of the show without being in every scene until we see the episodes.
  14. I agree with most of this. I only take issue with minor point. Caruso definitely and memorably hurt his career, but saying he "never" achieved that kind of success again? I'm going to have to disagree...
  15. wknt3

    Major Crimes

    James Duff: "So you're saying you want more Rusty?"
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