Warning: I highly recommend that you watch the episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode that aired just before Law & Order: Organized Crime before reading this review.
Someone once said that you can’t go home. While this rule is not set in stone, it doesn’t mean that the reunion will be all sunshine and roses.
Law & Order: Organized Crime premiered Thursday on NBC. An off shoot of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, it focuses on former SVU detective Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni). Ten years after leaving the force and his long time partner, Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), Stabler has returned to New York. His new job is going after organized crime. Roped back in by personal loss, Stabler has to do his job while dealing with the repercussions of his past actions.
Stabler is back. Though it has been ten years since fans have seen him in the Law and Order universe, nothing has changed with the character. This show feels like a natural extension of where we left off in 2011. There is just enough to tie him to his professional past while allowing for more than enough room for him to grow as a police officer and a human being.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
Law & Order: Organized Crime airs on Thursday Night at 10 PM.
March is Women’s History Month. This year, I would like to shine a spotlight on some of the female characters who both push against the glass ceiling and inspire us.
Behind Her Eyes (Netflix): It would have been easy to peg Adele (Eve Hewson) as the wronged wife and Louise (Simona Brown) as a modern version of Glenn Close’s character from Fatal Attraction. But both women are given the opportunity to be fully fledged characters that go well beyond the stereotypes.
Bridgerton (Netflix): For non-fans of the BPD (British Period Drama), Bridgerton would just another Jane Austen-ish historical romance/drama. But fans know that though women are second class citizens in this world, they have other abilities that are not obvious to the naked eye. My favorite characters are Eloise Bridgerton (Claudia Jessie) and Lady Danbury (Adjoah Andoh). Instead of mindlessly following in her elder sister’s footsteps, Eloise would love to be free of the constrictions that women are placed under in the 19th century. For her part, Lady Danbury is a badass who knows of her place in society and uses her experiences wisely.
WandaVision (DisneyPlus): Every female character in this series is fully formed. As we learn more about this world and the women who inhabit it, their humanity is revealed in a manner that is normal and natural. They are allowed to be who they are without being pegged as certain character types and forced into boxes that can be easily checked off.
P.S. That series finale last night was nothing short of mind blowing. I don’t know about anyone else, but I am ready for season 2.
Law & Order: SVU (NBC): For a television show to last twenty plus years, it has to have a certain something about it. In a nutshell, what makes it stand out is the difficult subject the show brings to the forefront and the capable female detectives whose job it is to solve the crimes. At the head of the unit is Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay). Though she has been working sex crimes for decades, the job has not hardened her. She can be tough when she has to be, but she can also be compassion and humane. Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) has fought against her demons and survived. That alone is worth its weight in gold. The newest and youngest member of the squad is Katriona Tamin (Jamie Gray Hyder). Though she still has a lot to learn, she has the passion and the drive to bring the criminals to justice.
Readers, what other female characters inspire you? Feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below.
From a writing perspective, one of the upshots of creating a science fiction and fantasy narrative is that the number of stories one can tell is nearly endless. However, that does not mean that the reader or viewer is entertained.
The pilot of the new NBC series, Debris, premiered last night. MI6 agent Finola Jones (Riann Steele) and CIA agent Brian Beneventi (Jonathan Tucker) have been tasked with answering questions about an alien space craft and its effects on human beings.
If I was generous, I would give this program an A for effort. The show tries to live up to the trailer and the genre. But it was nothing more than background noise. Whatever story hook the created is non-existent. Though I did finish watching the pilot, there was nothing that inspired me into continuing on with further episodes.
The premise of Young Rock is that The Rock (aka Dwayne Johnson) is running for President in 2032. He sits down with an interviewer to tell his story.
On Kenan (Kenan Thompson) the title character is a television host and a recent widower living in Atlanta. Supported by his brother, Gary (Chris Redd) and his father-in-law Rick (Don Johnson), he is attempting to put his life together after his wife’s passing.
I told myself that I wanted to give both shows on a shot. Now that I have, I can move on. Young Rock is boring and Kenan is just a modern reboot of Full House.
Do I recommend them? No.
Kenan and Young Rock air consecutively at 8:00 and 8:30 on NBC on Tuesday.
World on Fire (PBS): This PBS/Masterpiece follows a group of individuals as World War II is on the horizon.
Mrs. America (F/X/Hulu): In the 1970’s, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was close to becoming the law of the land. A tug of war begins between one group of women that is for it and another that is against it.
Sanditon (PBS): Based off the unfinished book of the same name by Jane Austen, we follow Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams), a young woman who leaves her family for the seaside resort town of Sanditon.
The first day on any new job is often confusing and/or head spinning.
The new medical drama Nurses aired last night on NBC. Grace (Tiera Skovbye), Natasha (Ashley Collins), Keon (Jordan Johnson-Hinds), Nazneen (Sandy Sidhu), and Wolf (Donald MacLean Jr.) are all rookie nurses. New hires at the fictional St. Mary’s hospital, the pilot follows them as they try to adapt during their first day on the job. If they expected an easy work day, their expectations immediately go out the window. And then, like all television dramas, the personal lives of the characters come into play, making work just a little more complicated.
I watched the first episode last night. So far, so good. The cast is well chosen and the narrative is compelling. Only time will tell if the series lasts. But overall, it’s not a bad way to spend an hour of our television watching time.
If there is one thing that Americans have lost over the last four years, it is that we have lost a sense of decency.
On Thursday, in lieu of the cancelled Presidential debate, each candidate held a televised town Hall. You know who’s town hall aired on NBC with Savannah Guthrie as moderator. Vice President Joe Biden’s town hall aired on ABC with George Stephanopoulos moderating.
I didn’t watch you know who’s town hall. But I watched enough clips to know that it was not worth watching. Instead of talking about what he would do for the American people if he is re-elected, he once again claimed the spotlight and whined.
One of the questions that was asked of the Vice President, was his stance on the rights of the LGBTQ community. His response is as follows:
This is the type of person I want to be President. Is he perfect? No. But at the very least, he understands that the role of a public servant is to serve the community. It is not intended to be used for personal gain or to fill an emotional hole created by difficult parent.
If I were to list the reasons to vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the number one reason is a vote for decency. If we are to move forward as a nation, we need a President and an administration that represents that sense of decency. That administration will be led by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Among the many boundaries that Covid-19 ignores is the health of the person it infects. On one end of the spectrum, the person could be the picture of optimal physical health. On the other end of the spectrum, they could be dealing with dealing with multiple health issues. It means nothing to this disease.
Dr. Joseph Fair is a respected virologist and a regular NBC contributor. In the nearly two months since the virus has taken hold of the country, he is one of the doctors who has become the voice of reason and science. Now he has joined the ranks of those who are sick with Covid-19.
I understand the frustration of those who are eager to go back to the pre-Covid-19 normal. I’ve been home nearly 24/7 for two months. While I am fortunate to be able to work from home, I am more than ready to get out in the world. Especially with summer on the horizon.
However, I also know that Covid-19 has killed over 80,000 Americans and sickened over 1,000,000 Americans. Those who protest and/or ignore the stay at home orders are not only endangering their lives, they are endangering the lives of everyone they come in contact with. If staying at home, and only going out for the most basic of needs (while wearing a mask) means that I am doing my part to save lives, so be it.
Let the fools who believe they can’t get sick with the virus live in a fantasy world. I will live in the real world, knowing that I am doing all I can to protect my health and the health of those around me.
If there is one thing that holds us back, it is what we fear.
Fear Factor originally aired on NBC from 2001-2006. Hosted by Joe Rogan, the premise of the show is that contestants attempt to complete physically or emotionally daunting extreme challenges. If they fail to complete the challenge or their fear gets in the way, they are eliminated. At the end of each episode, the winner walked away with $50,000.
We all have to face our fears at some point. However, doing so for the chance to be on TV and win $50,000 cheapens that challenge of facing our fears. I would rather face my fears because I need to, rather than doing so for a potential payday or 15 minutes of fame.
Family sitcoms have been part and parcel of the television landscape since the beginning. The question is, do these programs stand out from the pack or are they just a little too predictable?
Indebted premiered on Thursday. Linda (Fran Drescher) and Stew (Steven Weber) are a middle aged couple who, well, have not been the most responsible when it comes to their finances. When their debt becomes too much to bear, they move in with their son, Dave (Adam Pally) and daughter in law Rebecca (Abby Elliott). When generations collide, as they usually do, misunderstandings occur.
The thing about pilots is that they never reveal the nuances and the colors in both the characters and the narrative. That takes at least a season or two to develop. I was drawn to the show because it followed the standard premise of a family sitcom, but it felt like it belonged in 2020.
The problem with this show is that it trades on stereotypes and predictable character molds. I appreciate that the characters are Jewish, as there continues to be a dearth of positive Jewish representation on television. But I felt like the writers and the creative team leaned a little too far on the stereotypes instead of using them as a launching point for greater character and narrative exploration.