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  1. Corvino

    S07.E13: Kelly's Story

    What an episode! The whole time, I was worried about her because she was so alone. Lived alone on a basement floor (at least she and we were spared a scene of her falling backward down those stairs she had to struggle up!), and essentially had grown up without parents. It seemed as if she was a child of adultery, so her mother and father had never lived together and she was shut out of his real family life. And she couldn't live with her mother till there was no alternative, because her mother was "traveling"? Eh what? So many really awful people on this show have been surrounded by loving, caring, enabling (if misguided) parents and partners and other relatives, and she, who deserved so much better, had such a thin, iffy support system. And she didn't just have an episode or two of childhood molestation: she had an unspeakable POS who groomed her, raped her and tortured her for YEARS. With nobody to react appropriately when she told! But the way he (hooray!) ended-- what a story! She's at the bus stop, her rapist/torturer drives by in a car and smiles at her, she raises her eyes and starts her habit of praying for his death... and the bus hits his car and kills him. WOW!! If this were written as fiction, a lot of people would grumble about it being too incredible. And then she felt guilty about it. Oh, Kelly, no. You needn't have felt guilty about it if you'd killed him personally with a hammer. Yes indeed, this episode showed Dr. Now lovable as never before. Starting with the taxi scene, where he tried to help pull her forward. I felt for him as well as her when he said it would be awful if she fell down between the seats, and then she did and it was awful. And then "Can he do this? Won't he hurt himself?" Then he was so gentle with her thereafter. I was very relieved when he sent her to the hospital and to rehab, so that she'd benefit from the magic of having to be on the healthy diet right away and lose a lot. The giant hamburger in rehab-- noooooo! But she got over that and lost over half her body weight. I started to fear early on when she was silent and Dr. Now did many more than usual of the voiceovers, at points where the poundticipant usually does them. "Did she die?" I thought. Then I was relieved when we heard from her again. BUT...!! There was a reason for the paucity of her voiceovers; we got the sad news, right when she was on track and taking steps to finish college. I profoundly agree that it was excellent that if her health conditions meant she had to die, she died, suddenly, while she was hopeful as, perhaps, never before. And that she's now in a better place and full of joy. But (in the Christian paradox: even when you believe in Heaven you cry about the sadness of a death like this, as even Jesus did) this was the first episode of the show that made me actually cry. Others were sad (Robert! I think he was actually the poundticipant who lost the most, even without the surgery, largely because he had one of those huge lymphedemas at his waist removed; down 500 pounds on just that and diet when he died) but this one brought the tears. And reading the Live Chat and this forum brings them back. Glad to have you guys to connect and sniffle with.
  2. Corvino

    S07.E11: Jeanne's Story

    I watched this episode while cutting out pieces for my next quilt. Therefore, I was looking down at the cloth and scissors when many of the most delightful details, like the live insect on her leg or the feces in the wound, came up. Missed it! I had to come read the Live Chat just now to appreciate all the details. Do I want to re-watch it to see it all?? But her father dying-- and the stories of sudden death you guys brought out-- all that was sad sad SAD. Dr. Now was indeed lovely to her mother in his condolences, but a daughter losing a father is a big thing. He should have said something nice to her too. It seemed to me the only saving grace in her life that she had invited her father back and forgiven him, and thus had over fifteen years of an intact (if dysfunctional) family before he died. Oh dear, though: we had a whole month without molestation or rape being part of the background, and here we are again. Her grandmother making her smoke for punishment was something new, though. I was relieved when they got home and the camera people showed six dogs, moving and alive, in one shot. That only leaves three to worry about.
  3. Corvino

    S02.E10: Blood of Patriots

    I'm glad other people brought up the episode's not dealing with what happened to the pseudo-daughter. She was fascinating both as a supposedly traumatized mute and then as the secret weapon. I thought she was going to turn out to be Orin's weapon, but I thought it would be by her having developed some Carrie-like destructive powers under Krill mistreatment. Explosive blood! Ha! Anyway, I wanted to know! I spent the two post-pre-treaty scenes yelling at the screen "WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PSEUDO-DAUGHTER?" I like Welnoc's initial suggestion that she was just sent home to her people. They could assume she was a victim of PTSD (even if he met her after he escaped from the POW camp; she wouldn't have been sitting pretty in Krill territory wherever she was) and cut her some slack for threatening Talla. I was pleased that the Krill commander said they weren't interested in her, which meant they didn't know she was the weapon, which meant our people were free to be nice. If she had any sense, under the changed circumstances she'd claim she was an innocent victim of Orin's obsession, anyway.
  4. I was disappointed in yesterday's show because Dr. Phil did not dispense justice. To me, Kelly didn't need to have friends planted in the audience to get the applause: she unwisely started the war, but she was the obvious lesser offender as it went on. She freely expressed her opinions about the other woman in a restricted group of 11, which no one else would ever have got to see if it had stopped there; the other woman retaliated by threatening her with lawsuits and ratting her out so that she lost her job. With obviously no remorse at all; she was, she claims, defending her good name. With the result that now several million people know what Kelly called her-- and had it confirmed by her fictitious lawyer, her lies, her extreme reaction and that smirk. Oooooh did I hate her outward persona (not supposed to, and insufficient data to, actually hate the person) for that smirk. I'll bet a couple of million other viewers did too. But Dr. Phil, though he threatened to throw her off the stage at one point, did not try to waken her to a sense of her exaggerated reaction and the real wrong she did Kelly. Instead, he brought on Coach Mike, who seemed to me desperately irrelevant at that point, and dispensed even-handed beneficence at the end, getting them both life coaching. This does not seem to me to grapple with the issues, though I'm sure they could both profit from it. Where's the outrage? Oy-- apparently he had a lower opinion of Kelly than I did because she encroached upon his privileged space: she dared to use psychology jargon without a degree. This raises the whole issue of whether psychology is a science open only to the professionals, or a set of common-sense observations that anyone can use. (I have an opinion on that. What, I'm not supposed to advise a friend to pause???) I thought he made too much fun of her for that and too little fun of the other woman for her overkill and making up a lawyer and lying about getting secret recordings from Facebook via a subpoena without a case and her obvious malevolence. And whatever happened to his principle of not bringing the stalker and their victim together? No, Phil, not yer finest hour. Okay, let's go see (I recorded it) what he does about the delusional girl of today.
  5. I thought that woman was in a better place mentally than many catfishing victims you see on the show: she believed the research, was furious that she'd been scammed, and kept making that pantomime of blowing the scammer away with a shotgun. Which, if only symbolic, is healthy, surely. I wish her well in recovering her self-esteem-- Dr. Phil should have given her a nice vacation at Origins or whichever of his go-to places is most beautiful and pleasurable. But what I found most enlightening was Phil's revelation, if it's true, that people behind those catfish factories in Nigeria say they deliberately leave in the laughable mistakes in English for which they are notorious-- to screen their prospects for the right victims. If someone calls them on the bad English, they know that person is too alert to be a good target and don’t proceed with the scam. Oh dear! Every time I get one of those messages by e-mail or phone, I've always so enjoyed the ineptitude of the scammer style, and it spoils my pleasure a bit if it's a tool of the trade.
  6. Corvino

    S19.E20: The Book of Esther

    To me, the point of this episode, and the reason I looked very much forward to it, was that it should have been all about the horrors of the Turpin-like family; all about the crime, not the detectives' feelings and conduct as the primary focus. So there was too much about our heroes instead of more development of the case. It would have been easy for Amanda to just call Social Services when she saw through the window a little girl chained up and crying out, and then we could have had arrests and awful stuff coming out at trial and thoughts on what would happen to the kids (or younger generation, anyway, since Esther was not a kid). Yes, it was a bad decision to make it an action story with SWAT and that lousy bummer of an ending instead of a crime-and-trial story. It was nice to see Amanda's developing relationship with Esther, their smile as their eyes met in the bowling alley and all, but that could have been preserved and improved if she'd called Social Services. The incest angle seemed like too much. My friend I watched it with couldn't believe it was over because that was just allowed to dangle or fade out. Did they just bring it in in order to make it an SVU case, when it turned out they were living in NYC rather than New Jersey? They never said whether the brother-sister incest was a one-time thing by captives (as in "Flowers in the Attic") or a matter of monstrous policy by the father-- the detectives asserted the latter, but it wasn't backed up. Dead-end plot strand. Except where we found out that incest is legal (among consenting adults) in New Jersey. Good heavens! www.nj.com suggests that this was an oversight: Sexual relationships among adult relatives are legal, but they weren't always. Incest was outlawed in New Jersey until 1979, when the state enacted a new criminal code that left a section planned for incest blank, according to Peter Gilbreth, a Morristown-based attorney who handles both criminal and family cases. “It’s really surprising that the statute was not enacted, in light of a long legislative history prohibiting that conduct,” Gilbreth said. Under the old statute, incest was a crime that carried a maximum penalty of 15 years in state prison, Gilbreth said. This sounds to me as if they left it blank because they meant to put in a new, thoughtful statute, perhaps with lighter penalties, then forgot to do so before they passed it. Huh! Esther needed a psychiatrist (and to live), but Amanda didn't need one at the end, did she? She went back to church.
  7. I wish Dr. Phil would clarify things better. That episode on Thursday was supposedly about whether the couple should get divorced and which of them was the bad guy (both or neither; he sent them both to OnSite but was going to make sure they were there separately), but there was an enormous issue about the wife that he should have said more about. She reported that she'd been abused in previous relationships, and at the end when he was handing down his judgements he said her problems stemmed from having been "violated". I didn't notice any talk about actual rape before, except when she complained that her husband had sex with her when she was sound asleep and he said he didn't. But she did say that when she was 15 her thirteen-year-old sister committed suicide! Shot herself in a school bathroom because she was being bullied at school! Well, surely THAT was the initial trauma that messed up the poor woman's life, and got her into the bad relationships and the weird marriage. I know people are driven to kill themselves and deserve our sympathy and sorrow, and if you're not a certain kind of religious believer you have the right to commit suicide, and a child is not fully responsible for the decision, but at the same time it is the most hurtful possible thing you can ever do to your friends and loved ones. It may not be what you intend to say by your deed, but you're saying "I choose death over my relationship with you. Forever." It will take some doing for her to get over that, and I wish Phil had made that clearer.
  8. Corvino

    S06.E11: Renee's Story

    I think the word for the subject of the week should be "protagonist". If this seems too hoity-toity for our guilty pleasure show, let me point out that it bestows dignity on the person; my second choice, "subject", might be okay but might be too objectifying. When the ancient Greeks used "protagonist" for the main character in a play, its literal meaning was sort of "first arguer"-- an agon was a conversation with argument or opposition in it. Well, the protagonists on this show do a lot of arguing, and also, to proceed to the more modern meaning of that root, have a lot of agony. Hmm-- I seem to have different aesthetic standards than some people on the Live Chat thread. I thought both Renee's daughter and her son were really good-looking, in the same way. What great bone structure, in each case! I was eager to see if Renee herself would turn out to have that bone structure underneath all the fat, but we never got to see if this is true. It seems to show, in any case, that she did it to herself with no help from any genetic tendency toward overweight. No, wait a minute, though, those awful breasts were not passed on; maybe the kids just took after the abusive father, in body though not in soul. Yes, please God, breast reduction!!!!!
  9. Corvino

    S19.E15: In Loco Parentis

    I didn't think Mia was a bad person, and I don't think she can accurately be described as deliberately and maliciously ruining a guy's life with a false rape accusation. What seems to have happened the first time is that she was brought up to please people and say what they wanted to hear; this guy was pressuring her to have sex and, indeed, lying on top of her (notice how small she was compared with him!); and she didn't want to have sex but said yes out of lifetime habit. He did, then, from her point of view, force sex on her when she didn't want it, so her emotional truth was that she had been raped. The only trouble was that he had no way of knowing that; his truth was that she had consented to what was in fact very aggressive pressure, but, in the way of some college boys, especially when they've been drinking, he didn't realize how aggressive he was being and how reluctant she was. (His style of seduction kind of sets him up as having it in his character to proceed to what he knows is rape later.) She then, full of regret and disgust that she had been used for sex when she didn't want it, talked to that other guy and other people and expressed her emotional truth, which was not a legal truth. It got into the hands of the college anti-assault machinery, and, again wanting to please people, she went along with the process. Then when she fully realized that her story had ruined his college career and, he said, his life, she tried (idiotically, yes; invite him to a public forum with witnesses and apologize there, girl!) to make it up to him. I think this is a pretty good picture of a gray-toned accuser. I was relieved that they didn't ruin Carisi. Last week we had Cassidy completely melt down on the stand, and then we got the promo for this week which took all the fragments from this episode of Carisi acting furious, so that it looked as if he too was going to run amok. But no, the promo was deceptive and he was under emotional stress but retained his moral compass. (Apart from that one stupidity of telling Mia to conceal her oral consent.) Why is Carisi's sister's last name Carisi? Did she never marry Mia's father, did she keep her maiden name when she did, or did she marry their cousin of the same name?
  10. Corvino

    S06.E08: Robert's Story

    This episode satisfied me in the middle (just watched the Supersized one tonight on the 11 p.m. repeat, not knowing from any previous viewings how it ended) by answering a question I've had for a long time. I have looked at these horrors of giant lymphedemas people had on this and other shows, and heard Dr. Now and others talking about weight loss and compression and such, and I was screaming "JUST CUT IT OFF!" Especially on people's legs. When I looked on line to see if excising them was possible, everybody was still talking about weight loss and compression. So I greeted the fact that they could get rid of Robert's awful stomach bags surgically with joy. I was so looking forward to his getting the other one removed too, and to seeing how he would look when he stood up without them. Then, shock and sadness, and frustration of that desire besides everything else. So... lymphedema excision surgery is very intricate and difficult, tying off thousands of little blood vessels, and dangerous? It's unlucky that when they performed it for once on the show, it was on someone with a weak heart rather than all those robust people with beach balls on their legs. I would certainly want to risk it if I ever developed such a thing. I liked him from the start, and was surprised when I read the Live Chat (this is a pleasant thing to do, watch the show and then relive it by seeing how everybody reacted to it as it happened) to read that so many disliked him at first. I must have carried over very low expectations from that terrible woman last week, but I thought "Well, at least he's letting people help him stand up and he's moving a few steps. He's trying." Yes, a low bar. But with Kathryn's help and lack of subversion of his diet, he was doing so well at weight loss without getting within shouting distance of actual bariatric surgery. Such a shame. Yes, tears for the first time for this show. And the death brought out so much pain and sorrow from people on this forum! My sorrow and condolences to Robert's loved ones and to the victims of pain and outrage who have shared it here.
  11. But WAS Dr. Phil, the mandated reporter, going to turn them in and get their kids taken away? He talked a good game, but at the end there was just a rather feeble, disappointing admonition to them to straighten up and fly right or something would happen. Though I have to admit I am recording today's episode, which looks like fun, right now, and I'll give him one more chance if it turns out well, yesterday's episode made me think it might be a good idea to give up "Dr. Phil" for Lent
  12. Well, as to the two-part mumbling cad and the women he treated shoddily, I did like the plot structure and character arc of yesterday's show. He came on the show all ready to explain himself and propose to his girlfriend, secure in the knowledge that this would be welcome, and instead he was hit with a lot of comments about what kind of man he was, which seemed to cause him surprise; then, instead of his plan to bring out that ring on the air going anywhere, the girlfriend, not he, was singled out and sent to that gorgeous place to get back her self-esteem. Rescued from him! It makes a satisfying story, though real life is so messy that I won't be surprised, though I would be sad, to learn later that she has gone back to him. Exactly! As ed1962 says, I was afraid they were going to get Robin up there to give her cosmetics. But no, she appeared in her more admirable capacity as the world's leading advocate and defender of battered women. Is she really?
  13. Corvino

    S19.E13: The Undiscovered Country

    Ooh, I knew most of you guys would hate this. It is absolutely true that Barba's suddenly getting emotionally over-involved with this particular suffering couple and putting his career and freedom on the line to help them and end their baby's suffering absolutely came out of nowhere. I liked the couple's different reactions to the dilemma, I liked that Olivia saved the husband's life by going in and spotting that it was a paintball gun, I was sentimentally fond of the parents rushing at each other and hugging after all the yelling, and I liked the improbable fact that there they both were spectating in the courtroom, together and free, while only Barba was on trial. And I cared about the poor baby's plight and cheered that its pain was ended. But boy was that unnecessary except for plot purposes. Neither the parents nor Barba had to do anything to hasten its death; it was going to die soon, and if it didn't have brain activity one presumes it wasn't suffering in any sense we can understand. An ocean of pain may have existed inside the baby's head, but without consciousness there was no one there to assess or feel the pain. It certainly was a freshly cobbled-up and deeply just-dragged-in excuse to have him depart ("I have to move on"). But you realize the Law and Order franchise has never been about consistent characterization for the regulars. It's primarily about the Case Of The Week, with highly coloured emotional extremes in the one-off characters involved in the case, and that's why I like it. Well, maybe we do get a sense of a through-line for some people because of the quality of the actors-- we all know what kind of person Olivia is, and one has a sense of who Fin and Rollins and Carisi are, and many in the past. But their opinions change like the wind. Here last week Amanda was mouthing some the-right-has-a-point ideas, and this week she's the mouthpiece of the (leftist, on the whole) right to die. Someone last week complained that if Jack McCoy came back he'd be all leftist and progressive, and that showed sometimes on the Mothership, but I remember (with displeasure) the episode where he convicted a sympathetic defendant who'd been on the run for decades after being peripherally involved in a Weatherman-type murder, and his last line was to contemptuously remark that when her prison term was up "maybe the Sixties will be over by then." IMHO, opinions and reactions by regulars on this show are very largely situational, for the convenience of the story. I am tolerant of this. But it certainly was a stretch to have Barba do this for strangers. The other time he got personally involved in life or death, it was kind of in the opposite direction-- wanting his grandmother to go to a nursing home instead of staying in her apartment and dying sooner the way she wanted to. Yep, their convictions are situational and episode-specific.
  14. I was actually interested in last Friday's show (which was supposed to be last Thursday's show): but I was interested in it for a reason nobody has mentioned yet, and it turned out Dr. Phil wasn't interested in it. Namely, that Carrie's husband quit a Wall Street job with a tremendous salary to become a (legal) marijuana retailer for much, much less money. At first I applauded him for breaking out of the soul-destroying corporate rat race and following his bliss to a fulfilling job, and then he started emphasizing that he did it largely so that he could spend a lot more time with his children and raise them, because his wife was already neglecting them while the family was rich. Either way, or if it was both reasons, I cheered him for having good values and knowing what was important in life. Meanwhile, Carrie was revealing her horrible values by her complete focus on expensive material things and ceaseless socializing and partying as the life she wanted and was outraged at losing. Dr. Phil hinted at this being a problem in the early part of the show, but then switched the focus completely to her drinking, and, as others say here, the financial planning and the VR goggles. I actually didn't think the financial planning advice was at all bad: the woman is living an aimless life with no structure and no goals, and taking charge of her finances would be a good morale booster. But this isn't just a case of alcoholism; it seems to me a case of a marriage crashing and burning because one party got his feet back on the ground and the other continued to suffer from a near-terminal case of affluenza. I wish Dr. Phil had brought out that this wasn't just a money problem or an addiction problem; it's mainly a spiritual problem.
  15. Corvino

    S19.E07: Something Happened

    Well now, I got preoccupied around Thanksgiving and had no idea L&O:SVU was back to having new episodes until I looked in the TV listings for last night, then checked back to see if I'd missed any. Therefore, I was not in on any of the publicity and saw none of the promos; I came completely unspoiled to viewing it On Demand yesterday. And I thought it was terrific! A sad, awful story about how one man's evil, that of Laurel and Lila's father, spread out (as Olivia said) like ripples in a pond, surely ruining Lila's happiness as her state of angry denial showed, and screwing up Laurel so badly that she lost it when her father died and went home with a stranger, had the consensual sex with him she thought she wanted from her father, mistook him for her father and killed him out of crazy jealousy. And her ideas about every girl's experience with her father were so off the mark that Olivia finally had to come to opening her own old wounds and telling her the truth about her own father, in order to shock her out of stereotyping and back to reality. When they were fencing around at length about their respective feelings for their fathers, I was yelling at the screen, "Come on, Olivia, tell her!" Therefore, I experienced the show as the writers wanted me to, without the baggage of resentment about Emmy aspirations and suchlike. From that perspective, it was great. I'm fascinated by the way half the comments here so far were written before the show even aired, expressing dread about what it would be. I'm so glad it never came into my mind that there might be a retcon about William Lewis or the underground prison thing. As some have said, it was much better than what was dreaded. Perhaps the too-much-Olivia-centeredness was expressed by the way they seemed to stop caring about poor, fascinating Laurel at the end, hustling her out of there without a word of consolation the moment she confessed to the murder, while the final shot was of Olivia all alone in the interrogation room registering her shattered state at what she'd gone through. I would have liked the ending to be a word of comfort on how Laurel had quite a decent mental-health defence and her sister could get help, but we can presume that happened. Anyway, would some others here have liked it more if they hadn't been tormented by the promos and horrid anticipations of retcons and Saint Olivia the Saviour first?