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I just finished watching tonight's SVU. How on earth did they manage to pull off the best episode of the season and *still* make it suck?

Good points: Casey Novak is back. The prosecutor from L&O: Los Angeles was in the episode and, for the most part, kicked ass. Tutuola was a steady and welcome presence. Not to mention the voice of reason.

Bad points: Completely unbelievable and unrealistic plot. Coincidences too bizarre to believe -- a rape taking place at the same time the victim's room mate is in their apartment practicing anti-rape measures with her boyfriend. The defendant having a secret familial connection to the victim's family. No Olivia Benson (which is really odd given the number of folks who ship Novak with Benson; I think if she'd known Novak was back, you wouldn't have been able to keep her out of the squad room with a court order). The case going to trial in the first place (overall lack of evidence plus a victim who falsely accused another man of being her attacker).

Hidden messages: Three-strike laws are good, prisons have plenty of room for new and returning prisoners, and victims of molestation almost always go on to commit offenses of their own and should never be given the benefit of doubt.

ETA: Darn DDoS attack -- looks like it got worse again and that's why this didn't cross post.
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I saw an episode of Hoarding: Buried Alive last night. One of the people featured was a woman who shopped in order to lessen feeling anxious. I know hoarding is often associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), but in this case I could actually see how the two fit together. I then realized knitting helps me squash feelings of anxiety, which explains why I can handle being in crowds and unfamiliar situations a heck of a lot better when I have my knitting with me. And why I'd much rather knit than deal with the piles of stuff filling my own home.

I haven't managed to identify what I've come to think of as the underlying sekret message in this week's L&O:SVU. For one thing, I'm still thinking about last week's episode. That one began with a guy stabbed outside of a sex club and, as the episode develops, we see that people who swing are bad people -- con-artists, murderers, and people so sick they will have sex with their own blood relatives. Naturally, the only culturally allowable sex should be vanilla sex with your legally wed spouse. Anything else is sick or will lead to disaster. Although the episode didn't have anything to do with homosexuality, I think it's safe to expand that to "legally wed opposite-sex spouse." *sigh*

One thing I do remember about this week's episode is Stabler remarking about how in the many years they (Benson and Stabler) have been SVU detectives there have been very few women rapists and therefore it was highly unlikely the current perp was a woman. This is true, that statistically women rapists are rare, but the comment reminded me that Stabler and Benson have been doing this work for far too long -- I think back to the very first season, in which the detectives are sent for psychological check-ups to make sure they were fit for the job, and think both Benson and Stabler would fail were they to be tested now.

On an unrelated note, one of my half-brothers is on the verge of losing his house. He signed the purchase agreement two years ago and since then has made exactly one house-payment. This irks me to no end -- my truck-driver brother sees himself as a devout Christian and yet there he stays, making excuses rather than payments. Excuses include "I had to quit my job because my employer was making me drive for longer periods of time than is allowable by law," "I spent so much on gas money commuting to my job that there wasn't any money left over to pay the mortgage," and "I spent that paycheck moving my daughter home to Michigan/providing a nice Christmas for my grandkids/paying for car repair/paying my son's bail." My brother is currently interviewing for a new job, but the new place is 72 miles from his home, so once again he'll be spending a huge percentage of his income on fuel. And his live-in girlfriend is on the verge of losing her house -- she had renters, put it up for sale, thought she found a buyer and evicted the renters, only to have the sale fall through. So now she has no renters and no income with which to make the mortgage payments. I feel worse for her than I do my brother -- probably because her actions do not scream hypocrite.
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I watched SVU last night and, oh boy, was I ever annoyed.

Plot wise, the story didn't jump all over the place the way most recent episodes have done. And I was surprised that when it was a video thing on campus it wasn't a ripped from the headlines one about the poor kid who committed suicide after his roommate recorded him having sex with his boyfriend.

What really pissed me off was the kid saying he'd selected the SVU unit because they have the highest solve ratio of any police group in NYC. Pissed because for most the season the more subtle message has been "cops and the justice system can't be trusted." And I was furious that the kid felt he had to manipulate the police into doing their job.

I was also furious with the kid for using blackmail to reach his goals. And with Stabler for going off on his own. Even with being watched, he should have been able to leave a covert message for Cragen or Finn or Munch. (Was Munch even in this episode?)

I was also annoyed that the SVU was able to solve the original crime, and that they were able to find the solution so quickly. I feel that if it was that obvious, the kid himself would have worked it out himself and years ago. I also thought it was completely unbelievable when Olivia shows up at the crime scene with the kid in tow. Oh yeah, like that'd really happen.

So for me, the main message of yesterday's episode was "the police have to be forced to do their jobs."
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Major thought: Cragen has lost control of his unit. Stabler is ill-suited for command. Benson bends too many rules and, lately, lets her emotions overrule her brain.

Second thought: I believe Munch speaks French (Richard Belzer certainly does) and I think I remember something about Munch being on the French version of L&O. Rather than speak with the originally identified victim, Munch creates a fictitious facebook-like identity and uses it to exchange text messages with her. When other victims see their messages and start coming forward, I was surprised that the new folks were automatically believed; speaking for myself, I wondered if some of them were stepping forward not because they were victimized, but because they thought there would be a financial benefit to claiming victimization from this particular bad guy.

Last thought: I found following the episode difficult to follow, even though I was pretty darn sure the rich guy was a creep right from the get go.
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Which I think has become a thing (although sometimes in responses to other people's posts, not in my own blog).

SPOILER WARNING (although considering my opinion of SVU, "spoiled" fits the show more than I what I expect to post here)

Major thought: Once again the episode indicated that (A) the police/prosecutor's office cannot be trusted because they are dishonest and guilty of criminal behavior themselves. Oh, SVU, what happened to you? I feel like I'm a mom in an interrogation room, looking across the table at my kid, and wondering just where it all went wrong.

Also, yesterday's ep was confusing. Lots of she's bad, no she's good, no she's bad, rinse, repeat. If the person who stole the money was identified, I missed it. I know who the killer was, but by then I no longer cared.
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I've mentioned before that Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is going down the crapper. I'm more convinced than ever, because )
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I'm totally grooving on PBS' Inspector Lewis. Elfin convinced me of the worthiness of slash between Lewis and Morse many years ago, and now that Morse is gone, I think Lewis and Hathaway make a fine pairing. Not to mention Hathaway is interesting to look at. I wouldn't have pegged him for my type (although now that I've said pegged, very naughty thoughts are going through my mind)...

Meanwhile, in my following of copyright issues, I somehow stumbled across an article about Lily Allen, a UK musician who complained about piracy and called for more anti-piracy legislation on her blog -- only to have it revealed that she herself created illicit mixtapes full of copyrighted music and made them available to the public. I was vastly amused. And more convinced than ever that most people don't see this type of free use as wrong and won't until they begin to feel that every single thing they do or have been involved in in the past ought to produce more income for themselves. (I put Jon Gosselin into this category too (and how sad is it that I even know how to spell his name.) (Come to think of it, I think it's a bizzare form of entitlement and makes me think of Christopher Meloni and his "player haters" remark. Being one of the few people still watching SVU, I can honestly say he's making *way* too much money as a caricature.)

Back to Lily Allen. Yesterday I read this article http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090923/1409046297.shtml which lead to Dan Bull's open letter to Lily (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HL9-esIM2CY), which is catchy enough that I found myself humming all afternoon and lead me downloading his latest album from his website (www.danbull.com). I'm listening to Safe again today and enjoying it enough that I plan to keep an eye out for this guy. Now if only he'd appear on an episode of Inspector Lewis, perhaps as a musician friend of Hathaway.

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