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Worst TV Show of the Week

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Law and Order on NBC


Recent controversies in late-night television have - at the very least - given NBC a lot of material to work with …and we’re not talking about the spat between Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien.  On January 15th, NBC aired an episode of Law & Order (Fridays, 8:00 p.m. ET) that was eerily reminiscent of David Letterman’s blackmail case.  Coincidence?  Perhaps.  But the timing is impeccable.  Unfortunately, while audiences snicker as the late-night hosts take pot-shots at network executives and one another, the grim, perverse explicitness of this particular Law & Order episode was nothing to laugh at.  In fact, it has been named the Worst TV Show of the Week.


The episode’s plot revolves around the murder of a journalist who had threatened to expose the sexual dalliances of a popular female talk show host.  Meanwhile, the talk show host calls the police to report that someone has blackmailed her.  The detectives surmise that when the journalist’s editor heard about the story, he concocted the blackmail scheme to extort a huge payoff for himself, killing the journalist in the process.  The story takes a kinky turn, however, when it is revealed that the female journalist was actually one of a string of women who had lesbian love affairs with the talk show host. 


As per usual, the episode contained frank, explicit dialogue about the murder.  Take for example this exchange between the detectives and the coroner:


Lupo:  “Any sign of sexual assault?”


Coroner:  “There's no vaginal tearing and there's no semen in her, so she hadn't had sex within 72 hours or she used a condom. But I did find this. A pubic hair from her upper inner thigh. And it isn't hers.” 


Bernard:  “Wrong color.”


Coroner:  “Wrong gender.  Find the penis it belongs to and you'll have a lead.” 


(Not exactly what you might want to hear during the Family Hour on a Friday night as you settle in to watch television with your kids.)


Incriminating photos were also shown of the host and a female lover, topless in bed. 


The most explicit content, however, came toward the end of the show, when detectives discover a sex tape of the journalist and her editor.  The tape depicts rough sex.  The editor strangles the journalist while he violently thrusts on top of her.  The camera angle crops just above their waists, but her knees are propped towards his torso.  She slaps him in the face, but he continues strangling her undeterred.  She doesn’t die on camera, but the video does reveal that someone else was in the room, filming the sordid act.  The cameraman turns out to be the mastermind of the blackmail scheme and the suspected murderer of the journalist.


Now that Jay Leno is moving back to his original 11:35 timeslot, it is to be hoped that NBC will make better choices with its line-up.  Clearly, given the graphic dialogue and violent, sexual content, Law & Order is only suitable for broadcast later in the evening…like maybe 12:05 a.m., right after Leno.  Who knows?  NBC has made worse choices.


For graphic sexual content Law & Order has been named the Worst TV Show of the Week.


Worst TV Show of the Week

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