Picture this. Tuesday-night TV. Flipping through the channels, we are once again turned off by the sea of slop. On the reality front, there are those pitiful fatties on The Biggest Loser and that egomaniac on The Rebel Billionaire. Frankly, AdFreak can’t stomach either one. So we’re relieved and comforted to come across a real, honest to goodness drama, Law & Order, familiar like an old friend.
We know we can count on the compelling writing, the unfolding drama of the investigation and then the trial, all the while assured that it will conclude with a verdict that will either satisfy or shock us. We’ll take either.
But oh no, not this time. After investing an entire hour in this episode of Law & Order: SVU (which is not so easy these days), we are left hanging as the trial comes down the wire on a sticky rape case. As the jury foreman reads the verdict, “We the jury find” … fade to black. Yep, no verdict, no closure, no satisfaction. NBC cops out and asks viewers to log onto NBC.com to vote on the ending or select an ending, I don’t really know which, since I was busy hurling obscenities at the screen.
The verdict on Law & Order is like the punch line of a joke. Why would you leave us hanging? OK, we get the thinking behind this boneheaded move: “Let’s engage the viewer and make it interactive.” You know what? Some of us just want to be entertained, not interactive. How about the guys who get paid to write these shows actually finish the stinkin’ script?
NBC says this is meant to “empower” viewers. If, in network lingo, “empower” means “infuriate,” then they’re spot on.
—Posted by Alison Fahey