Knee-jerk review: NBC's "Law & Order SVU"

1. Now we remember why we quit watching this show.
2. Though Linus Roache should have his own spin off: "Mike Cutter, D.A." We love his character. So good to see him again. We miss the original "Law & Order."
3. Mariska Hargitay looks very old and tired here. Maybe she should have left the show with Chris Meloni.
4. And what's with her crying scene? Eliot's retiring, he's not moving to Norway.
5. We still can't believe Ice T has created a television acting career for himself.
6. Same with Richard Belzer. We remember watching him as some scary R-rated comic on a 1980s HBO comedy special.
7. "SVU" is just plain crazy. The season premiere isn't as loopy as some recent episodes, which often pile on plot twist after plot twist at the expense of logic and plausibility, suggest that every suspect is a criminal mastermind and/or foamy-mouthed sociopath, and never met a salacious detail that wasn't worth exploiting. Tonight we get discussions of gang rape, forced oral sex (and the disposition of the resulting fluid), and mass murder, along with some sanctimonious preaching about African civil wars, Euro-trash politicians, U.S immigration policy, and classism.
8. The show wants to educate you, sure, but it mostly wants to shock you with sex and violence.
9. Once upon a time, "Law & Order" would use a real world headline only as a jumping-off point. But here, the season premiere pretty much spends the first 30 minutes following the same exact narrative as the infamous Dominique Strauss-Kahn rape case. What is this, "Dateline" with Ann Curry? Where's the fictionalization and dramatic license? Yawn.

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