Friday, March 1, 2013

Law & Order SVU and the Chris-Rihanna (Abusive) Relationship

Law and Order - SVU [Special Victims Unit], my favorite show of all time (at least until recently), of which I've watched every single episode of every single season so far, just aired an apparently controversial episode. Titled "Funny Valentine," the horribly-performed episode is undoubtedly the story of the  pop stars couple, Rihanna and Chris Brown. Because of the twist in the end, I've been wondering if SVU could get in trouble for doing what they did--since they basically "stole" the real-life story of Rihanna and Chris--but then again, precisely because of the twist in the end, they can't be charged with anything. Still, the similarities are too strong:

- Chris Brown's (C.B.) character is Caleb Bryant (C.B.)... and Caleb looks like Chris, too (hah)
- Caleb is a rapper; Micha (the girlfriend) is an R&B star
- the abuse (the celebrity-couple's domestic violence was a sensation in the U.S. media back in 2009 when it first happened, and the one in the show gets the same publicity)
- Micha defends Caleb, saying "he didn't mean to hurt me"--but she has a black eye and is otherwise severely abused; he hit her, kicked her, pushed her to the ground, choked her, forced her head into his crotch, etc., etc.
- police photos of her in the state of abuse appear in the public and are circulated all over
- when Micha finally gets a restraining order against him, he's not to be within 50 yards of her... and she invites him over and they sleep together, and he gets in trouble, kind of, but not exactly
- Micha is angry that the police are after Caleb and won't leave him alone--and that makes her want to defend him even more
- they get back together, and Caleb takes her on some nice romantic trip

There were hardly any differences:

- there's a shooting and someone close to both Micha and Caleb gets killed (by Caleb)
- there's a murder at the end (very predictable, especially after Detective Olivia Benson (who was my favorite character on the show along with her work partner Detective Elliot Stabler, who's no longer on the show and the show terribly sucks without him!) says to her team mates when they wonder what they're supposed to do now, since Micha doesn't want help and they've escaped, "We just wait ... for the inevitable." Meaning when Caleb kills Micha, which is obviously what happens.

I am no fan of Rihanna or of Chris, and certainly not of their relationship, but I absolutely hated this episode. It had no story, damnit! (If you're an SVU fan, then you know what I mean because SVU is generally brilliant. Ever since Chris Meloni, played by Elliot Stabler, has quit, the show is completely worthless. I'm going to quit watching it any week now.) Olivia, played by Mariska Hargitay, is just not doing a good job anymore in acting. Most episodes this season have been horrible. They're trying to tell us that Olivia has a lover/boyfriend, who's a mystery man that the audience never gets to see but who keeps sorta popping up or at least is hinted at based on Olivia's plans every now and then. In "Funny Valentin," Olivia says at one point that "they [the couple] should do a double date with Chris and Rihanna." ... like the audience didn't know this was already about them. Her lines are also getting dull.

I also don't know what to think of the ending and how it portrayed the two characters. I mean, yes, they wanted to convey a certain reality, a certain message to their audience (e.g., that an abusive man is likely to remain abusive, and when he chokes a woman once, he's likely to kill her the next time or at least sooner or later), but I don't know how I feel about its having been Rihanna and Chris. I also wonder, just personally, how these two feel about the episode. Rihanna is, after all, sort of being warned, "Don't do it, girl, don't stay with this boy! He's most probably going to kill you!" And Chris is being told, "Boy, you're likely to be a murderer sooner or later!" No?

Of course, it's also possible that the twist in the ending was intentional so that they could put an end to the story and, in case they're ever charged with anything, to grant them the reason to say, "Na'ah! This wasn't Rihanna and Chris's story, since our character in the show gets killed in the end, whereas we all know that Rihanna is alive."

But, yeah, SVU is losing its charm. I'm really, really disappointed. I have been so in the last two seasons, where hardly any episode has been engaging enough for me to appreciate and enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. I also wonder, just personally, Minnesota Law Firm how these two feel about the episode.


Dare to opine :)

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