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Thursday, 21 of November of 2019

Tag » Law & Order: SVU

Law & Order – “Brazil”

We deal with disagreements with emotional detachment and reason.”

I invented Law & Order bingo last night:

  • Ripped from the headlines story (often with an anvilicious message)
  • Mildly callous one-liner to kick off theme song
  • Special guest star looking for an Emmy nomination
    • BONUS: Special guest star is better known for comedic work, trying to prove their range/be taken seriously as a thespian (or the network is trying to pull in a different demographic)
  • Some tidbit about a character’s personal life is revealed
  • Show hits the Law & Order twist (red herrings, on the stand reversals, defense attorney shenanigans, etc.)
    • BONUS: Twist doubles the story back into another ripped from the headlines story
  • Schiff One Liner at the close of the episode

You see that? That’s the bingo arm of “Brazil” waving in the air.
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Finding the Formula in the Characters

With Lost’s upcoming return, I wanted to take a brief moment to discuss the shows that aren’t exactly innovative in terms of narrative or character or having a big honking mythology. Yes, I’m talking about the other hour-long dramas that are on TV and that, let’s be honest, may not necessarily get the critical love and attention that they may deserve. More importantly though, I want to, hopefully, parse out some of the differences in between these shows and see how they ultimately survive compared to other shows like Lost that burns us up inside, but fizzle on screen.

I’ll admit that Lost’s return isn’t the only motivating factor here. Burn Notice is on tonight, one of my favorite formula shows, and ABC’s Castle was just given two more episodes (presumably based on either the strength of last week’s series high ratings or to cover some post-Ugly Betty spots in the schedule, but in either case it’s a sign of confidence in the series), so it seems appropriate to discuss the issue of formula on TV right now. Read more »