Law & Order: SVU (“Behave”) and Law & Order: LA (“Hollywood”) – Review

Here’s my review of the “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” episode “Behave” which aired Wednesday, September 29, 2010; at 9PM/8c on NBC.

Summary: A rape victim, Vicki (Hewitt), is brought into the hospital initially claiming she has been attacked multiple times by the same man. Detectives Benson (Hargitay) and Stabler (Meloni) are determined to help her, but she lives in such terror that she then denies she has been raped at all and refuses to submit to a rape kit.

As Benson looks for a way to help, she is horrified to learn that there are police precincts and evidence labs across the country that never test their rape kits at all. The investigation soon leads her to Los Angeles where she meets Detective Rex Winters (guest star Skeet Ulrich), who has information that could finally help Vicki get justice. Also starring: Ice-T (Detective Odafin Tutuola), Richard Belzer (Detective John Munch), B.D. Wong (Dr. George Huang) and Tamara Tunie (Dr. Melinda Warner).

Review: All in all it was a good episode in my opinion, it made me feel as if I was watching as season 6 or 7 episode of SVU. Benson says a line in the episode that is usually directed at her, “Your MY bitch now.”, usually she’s the one being called a ‘bitch’. This was one of the shocking/classic new SVU’s that really gets your attention! The episode was based on Mariska’s Joyful Heart Foundation and rape-kit backlogging, where rape kits are just sitting in evidence lockers and on shelves all over the U.S. collecting dust and mold.

I think Jennifer Love Hewitt’s portrayal of Vicki deserves an Emmy nomination! Her acting was simply beautiful! And writer Jonathan Greene did a marvelous job in writing this episode – like I said above, the new SVU’s now have a season 6 and 7 feeling; which that is a good feeling!

I give the episode a 9.5/10; good job SVU! Below is the number of U.S. viewers who watched the episode – I wish SVU’s viewership would go up to the 11-12 millions again; the episodes are going back to their original style – plus great guest stars.

 
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Here’s my review of the “Law & Order: Los Angeles” premiere episode “Hollywood” which aired Wednesday, September 29, 2010; at 10PM/9c on NBC.
 
Summary: When a group of thieves target the homes of young Hollywood, Detectives Rex Winters (Skeet Ulrich) and Tomas “TJ” Jaruszalski (Corey Stoll) soon discover there is more to the crimes than meets the eye. After the perpetrators are uncovered, another shocking crime is committed at the home of young starlet Chelsea Sennett (guest star Danielle Panabaker) and her stage mom, Trudy (guest star Shawnee Smith.) As everyone starts turning on each other, Deputy District Attorney Morales (Alfred Molina) remains intent on exposing the real ringleader. Also starring Wanda De Jesus, Regina Hall and guest star Wyatt Russell.
 
Review: The LOLA series premiere is something of an ‘acquired taste’ – it depends on the point of view you have of this episode and how it was written. In my opinion the episode was below par for a ‘series’ premiere but as for a regular Law & Order episode it was Jim Dandy!
 
Some key factors from all the other versions of the franchise were missing: the opening voice over which is usually done by Steven Zirnkilton was not there (it’s been done in EVERY episode of the U.S. series’). Also it did not have a Law & Order opening sequence – a 10 second logo bump with the ‘Law & Order music’ and “Created by: Dick Wolf” was there, but that was it. No cast images, proper theme muisc, and it occasionally did the ‘DOINK-DOINK’ (but  not enough for me).  Rumors say that we will have an opening voice-over and opening sequence in the third or fourth episode of the season, but that is wait-and-see (i.e. rumor).
 
As for the episode itself: I thought the “Law” part was a bit slow and overdone; and in the first scenes of the episode we ‘see through the eyes of the criminal’ (Law & Order: Criminal Intent) which really ticked me off – that’s one key part about Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, and Law & Order: UK: THE MYSTERY! We DON’T want to see who did the crime until ‘trial’, that’s why there is “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (returning to USA Network for a final season in 2011, with Vincent D’Onofrio returning as Detective Robert Goren).
 
Skeet Ulrich and Corey Stoll’s characters have an early Logan & Curtis/Briscoe (Chris Noth & Benjamin Bratt/Jerry Orbach, RIP) thing going. Ulrich being Logan & Curtis (except Logan & Curtis were Jr. Detectives) and Stoll being Briscoe (except Briscoe was Sr. Detective). One line from the episode made me laugh though; when a woman wanted to take Winters’ picture.
 
I would love to take your picture” – Woman
No.” – Winters (looking at Jaruszalski)
He mean’s ‘yes’.” – Jaruszalski (Winters looks at Jaruszalski)
 
Wanda De Jesus will only be in this episode as Lt. Gonzales – she only got one line in the whole episode.
 
I heard Palm Springs was worth the drive.” – Gonzales.
We found them sucking on slurpees by grandma’s pool.” – Jaruszalski (he and Winters bringing in suspects)
 
The crime was ‘ripped from the headlines’ of the Bling Ring – group of  teens thieving homes of celebs like Paris Hilton. It also seemed to follow the Mother-daughter relationship of Lindsay Lohan and her mother.
 
Whereas the “Order” part was to me the best part of the episode; this is where Alfred Molina and Regina Hall come in and get down to business! As per deals are on/off the table for suspects, we go to trial where the mother Trudy (Shawnee Smith) is on the stand and Molina is questioning her as Mike Cutter would on the original series. In the end the mother pleads guilty and goes to jail, 15 years to life.
 
The acting with Corey Stoll and Alfred Molina was top notch! Whereas Skeet Ulrich and Regina Hall need to work on it (it’s been said next weeks episode, “Echo Park” is supposed to be better, wait-and-see). I think “Law & Order: LA” is okay, just needs some time and a little work and it’ll be okay.
 
I still feel the “Law & Order” in the show, it’s just in Los Angeles – but it’s relatively the same show, even though it lacks what gives it acknowledgement from other cops shows that try to match “Law & Order”: the voice-over and the opening sequence.
 
I give it a 7/10, it needs work but other than a few key/minor things the episode was fine – as an episode, not a ‘premiere episode’!
 
* ‘Summaries’ belong to NBC/The Futon Critic, ‘U.S. Viewers’ belong to TVByTheNumbers, and all other content belongs to Josh Morton (mortonslawandorderci).
 
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4 Comments

  1. gahks
    Posted October 1, 2010 at 9:25 am | Permalink | Reply

    I’ve just finished watching the entirety of season 8 of ‘SVU’ on DVD and my goodness, was it good! The finale ‘Screwed’ was one of the most gut-wrenching episodes in the series’ history. Like you, I regard seasons 6 and 7 in very high esteem, and contend that seasons 4-8 marked the pinnacle of the show, when the writing and acting was at its very best. Sure, there was some ‘stunt casting’ but the actors’ performances were memorable and not forgettable (I’d cite Angela Lansbury’s creepy matriarch as one). Hopefully season 12 can join the ranks of those classic years!

    I still need to watch the ‘LOLA’ premiere. Badly. Just to see how and why Wolf and Masters, who are both experienced and talented, could get it so wrong and get such mixed reviews. 😦 I want Rene Balcer back!

    • mortonsloci
      Posted October 2, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

      To me the season eight finale of SVU (“Screwed”) was the beginning of the writing style declining, some season nine and ten episodes were okay but season eleven is when SVU was at it’s worse for more than eight episodes out of the season.

      Season twelve on the other hand seems to be picking up off of SVU’s sixth season; which I don’t mind the show doing at all. The season ten finale (“Zebras”) should be included as ‘okay’ with season twelve. By May 2011 I hope I can add s12 of SVU with the ‘classic years’! 🙂

  2. gahks
    Posted October 1, 2010 at 9:27 am | Permalink | Reply

    P.S. Will be interesting to see how “Echo Park” fares in the ratings, given the fact that it’s supposed to be a better episode and the premiere got such a dire reception.

    • mortonsloci
      Posted October 2, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Some fans have disapproved the LOLA premiere while the others want more. I’ll watch through episode 5 before I make my official verdict on LOLA!

      I’ll be watching “Echo Park”!

2 Trackbacks

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