About Last Night...THE GOOD PLACE, MURPHY BROWN, LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT, and More - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote


September 28, 2018 by  

Special Victims Unit

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT — “Man Up” Episode 2001 — Pictured: Mariska Hargitay as Lieutenant Olivia Benson — (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/NBC)

Thursday TV featured the return of an iconic show, plus a couple of premiere double-headers. Let’s discuss THE BIG BANG THEORY, THE GOOD PLACE, MOM, LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT, and MURPHY BROWN…

THE BIG BANG THEORY: Penny and Leonard accidentally giving Amy and Sheldon the perfect wedding gift—really a regifting, but something the duo interpreted as the start of a scavenger hunt—was adorable.

THE GOOD PLACE: TED DANSON IS A NATIONAL TREASURE. Ahem. Anyway. But truly, the premiere double-header could have been really rough—not only were the central characters separate for most of the time, but they also weren’t entirely the people we knew for the first two seasons—but Danson helped hold it together, as his Michael embodied different personas to get everyone together. And, hey, Adam Scott is back! If only the credits hadn’t spoiled that…it could have been a genuine surprise.

MOM: After years with the same opening credits sequence, MOM shook things up last year. Not entirely sure why they opted to do it again this year, especially if that’s what they went with…

Outside of that, the premiere was fine. It felt a little more sitcom-y than normal (Christy and Bonnie trying to break back into the restaurant??), but the flashback to Christy’s first meeting was great; Anna Faris is somehow still underrated on this show.

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT: I went into the premiere thinking the thing that would bother me the most was Dylan Walsh—who is great—returning to the show as another high-profile perp. His season 8 character was so messed up (and had such an impact on the characters on the show), that it felt weird to bring him back again. But it’s also 20 seasons in, which means the writers have used thousands of actors already (many of whom have returned as different characters), and some people haven’t watched the entire run.

However, the problem is 20 seasons of history means viewers have, conceivably, 20 years of knowing a character. And what sticks out to me after watching the otherwise solid two-hour premiere was how absolutely misguided the abortion discussion (between Olivia and Amanda) was.

Yes, the writers were sure to have Liv say it was Amanda’s choice about whether she carried her pregnancy to term. The words carried no weight, though, because every other action and line in the scene indicated the exact opposite. It was a dirty, dirty, dirty move for Liv to make Amanda open up her phone so she could show the other woman a video of her kid; it felt manipulative and even crueler than the tactics protestors outside of clinics use—and Liv is, in theory, her friend. Olivia is a single mom and she knows how difficult that can be…where was any sympathy for Amanda, especially given how unstable her relationship is? (OK, and Liv now had an abortion? One she regrets? Uh, when? Seemingly, it would have been pre-SVU, which means she almost certainly wouldn’t regret her choice, given how that likely would have impacted her ability to do her job the way she did. And no matter what, there is virtually no way it wouldn’t have come up during 20 years of cases, therapy, adoption attempts, or the time Liv thought she was pregnant. Again, the problem with having 20 years of history on-screen…)

Look, Olivia Benson is not Wonder Woman; she’s a human (character) doing the very best she can. But that scene felt like such a 180 from the woman who has given so much to victims and who has generally been supportive (to non-perps)…I just don’t get what the writers were trying to accomplish. If the only motive was to justify why Amanda’s going to go through with the pregnancy (and since Kelli Giddish is pregnant in real-life, it’s a safe bet Amanda will remain that way, too), there are so many other ways they could have handled it.

MURPHY BROWN: As someone who never saw the original series, the best part of the revival was Murphy’s relationship with her son, Avery. They were sweet, funny, and the right amount of competitive. But, boy, showing that election footage—and the Hillary Clinton cameo—came on a tough day.

Which show(s) did you watch?

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