Law & Order SVU: Character Review: Alexandra Cabot

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

It would be easy if life was black and white. But life is not black and white. There are shades of grey that contain complications, human failings and other stumbling blocks. On Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, DA Alexandra Cabot (Stephanie March) has a difficult job. She has to follow the law and prosecute the accused while advocating for the victims.

The moral center of the SVU, DA Cabot represents the tough choices that she and her colleagues have to make. At times, Cabot had to put aside her own feelings or slightly bend the letter of the law to ensure that the accused is found guilty and send to jail.

To sum it up: DA Cabot tries to do what is right. But sometimes doing what is right is not exactly legal or moral. In those instances, one must make a choice. As a character, fans remember her because of those shades of grey. A boring character lives in a black and white world. A human character with flaws, hopes and desires lives in a world of grey. It is that grey that brings in the audience and keeps them coming back for more.


After the Fall: New Yorkers Remember September 2001 and the Years that Followed Book Review

History can be told in one of two ways. The first way is cold, hard facts written down in a neat and orderly timeline. The second way is to tell the stories of those who lived through history.

After the Fall New Yorkers Remember September 2011 and the Years That Followed was published days before the tenth anniversary of the attack. Edited by Mary Marshall Black, Peter Bearman, Catherine Ellis and Stephen Drury Smith, the book contains a series of interviews with a group of diverse New Yorkers who worked or lived near the Twin Towers in the fall of 2001.

I loved this book. Those of us above a certain age all have stories to tell about 9/11. But these stories are personal, hard hitting and may draw a few tears. I especially appreciated the interviews with the survivors who are Muslim-American or originally from South Asia. After the towers fell, it was all too easy to point the fingers at anyone who even remotely looked like those who were responsible for 9/11. It is much harder to separate those responsible from the average person of color who was just as affected by the attack as any American.

I absolutely recommend it.

Throwback Thursday-The Jerry Springer Show (1991-2018)

Daytime talk shows are generally known to be harmless and mostly entertaining.

The Jerry Springer Show (1991-2018) was on the television schedule for nearly twenty years. Hosted by Jerry Springer, it had the general label of a talk show. But unlike other daytime talk shows, the guest list did not consist of celebrities talking about their latest project or news makers discussing a recent headline.

The guest list consisted of Neo-Nazis, cheating spouses and other wonderfully intellectually stimulating guests. Along the way, violence was par for the course for the audience’s pleasure.

I will put it this way when it comes to The Jerry Springer Show. If had a choice of watching this program or turning the television off, I would rather turn off the television.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely not.

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