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17 November 2005 @ 02:11 pm
Review, "Starved", 11/15/05  
If someone on SVU wins an Emmy, do you think they'd go back to episodes about SVU cases?

This review is brought to us by basic math. I'll explain in a little while.

Summary of Episode:

The "Obey me or die" baby powder rapist strikes for the third time in a month. The squad interviews all three vics to find out anything they have in common. They stumble upon a single common denominator between these three intelligent, professional women: speed dating. Then there was this horrific 10 minutes where Olivia had this fake laugh going on that made my teeth hurt. Then the squad arrests the rapist--Mike--played by a puffy Dean Cain. His girlfriend gives him an alibi for the nights of the rapes so no go on a warrant. Casey Novak says to "break the alibi" so the detectives head out to do that. Then something must have happened because it went from an episode of SVU to a bad Lifetime Original film about the Terry Schiavo case.

DiNovia's Content Commentary:

An average beginning for SVU. Although Olivia spends an inordinate amount of time in the backs of ambulances, does she not? The area EMTs must know her on sight. And cringe when they see her.

Does anyone have the doink doink dates for last week's ep? Cuz I'm thinking that Elliot should still have been in that cast of his. I'm just saying that most people who get shot in the arm need casts for more than a week and a half.

::watches vic #3 explain that she's always very careful to lock the door:: ::takes sip of gatorade:: ::glances at credits that say "and Judith Light as Judge Liz Donnelly":: ::spews gatorade all over computer:: JUDGE Liz Donnelly?? When the FUCK did that happen?? A little warning would have been nice! Or...was that it? It was, wasn't it?

Munch: "What? I went through a dating slump a while back."
Fin: "Yeah. It's called 'adulthood'."

It's so sad when the writers go around their elbows to get to their ass. Case in point: there were approximately five minutes of set up where they finally identify the possible rapist as some dorkwad using the email address romeo@foruemail.com just so Olivia can say "He's looking for his new Juliet." /rolling eyes

If I ever have to watch this episode again, I'm going to watch the "Olivia undercover at speed dating" portion on MUTE, because I like eyecandy just as much as the next lesbian but damn, I cannot afford to lose more brain cells to that fake little laugh, those cutesy, blushy eye aversions, and the other general inanity perpetrated by Olivia Benson during that scene. Ugh. Don't get me wrong. I get the point. I totally do. Olivia had to convince the guy she was Rachel, an intelligent professional looking to date. So I'm assuming--not having ever dated a man before--that in order to convince a man of this, one has to be weirdly giggly and shit. Fine. However, times like these are why my remote has a MUTE button. So I can determine personally what I will and won't listen to. And I won't ever listen to that laugh again. Oh, and yeah, the other point of that scene was to remind us all of Olivia Benson's innate heterosexuality. Too bad it failed miserably. Now you all [writers, producers, etc.] are just looking ridonkulous. FYI.

And the Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in the World of Overkill goes to...the writers of SVU for following the "Olivia undercover at speed dating" segment of "Starved" with that asinine exchange between Elliot and Olivia where Olivia says "I could tell he was interested, ya know?" Sigh... Everyone sing along; you know the words. Yes, Olivia, we know that you are a straight girl. It's not as if you don't somehow work that into a conversation sometime during every episode, particularly this season. We appreciate the fact that you are identifying as h.e.t.e.r.o.s.e.x.u.a.l. Just be aware of two things, will you, dearheart? 1) The canon supposition of heterosexuality has never, ever stopped slash writers before and 2) The canon supposition of heterosexuality has led to weirder pairings than slash ones. For instance, how exactly do you feel about Branch, Liv?

Ironbone to English Dictionary:

You hear: [Olivia, reading from an email] Romeo wants to buy Rachel a drink.

Translation: Romeo wants to have hot monkey sex with Rachel.

OMG, I'm only up to act 2 in my freakin' notes! Writing content commentary on this ep is like slogging through orange Jello! Why is that? Oh yeah. ONCE AGAIN WE HAVE WAY TOO MUCH SHIT GOING ON IN A 46 MINUTE PERIOD. At least this time it was easier to follow but I swear! Serial rape, speed dating, psychiatrists with suspended licenses, binge alcoholism/bulimia, sham marriages, persistent vegetative states (seems to be the theme for the whole season, if you ask me), Schiavo-reminiscent feeding tube arguments, legislatively-issued injunctions, trial by media... I wonder if my doc is going to take one look at my MRI and say "You really should stop watching SVU if you hope to improve. They try to cram too much into their shows and it just causes the worst headaches! You're the fourth person we've found who suffers from this since September." Heh. Sporadic SVU-Related Migraines with Acute ::Headdesk:: Syndrome. Heh.

Is there some sort of weird writers coalition where they spend half of every writing session wondering how they can fuck over Casey Novak in court? I am very tired of The Great Unwashed making fun of Casey's alleged legal incompetence. I blame this perception partially on the writers and partially on a phenomenon known as "Golden Girl" Syndrome, where one tends to remember those who have gone before only in the best light. Alex didn't win every case and she made her fair share of idiotic mistakes (mouthing off to a Latino gangster about his machismo--thereby getting herself on a hit list--being a prime example) but you wouldn't know it from the criticism that Casey gets. Is there some sort of Rite of Begging I can perform to get the writers to stop with the courtroom/chambers eviscerations? I'd do it. In a heartbeat.

However! Branch vs. Casey! Round Two goes to CASEY again! No, you don't understand. I watched an ep of mothership earlier that Tuesday where Branch not only sandbagged Jack McCoy, but he did so publicly and with no compassion. He literally tore Jack's case in two and chucked it out the window while also making Jack look like an idiot in front of the Assistant State Attorney General. In so many words, he told Jack that he didn't care about what Jack thought or wanted or whether the case was solid or not, he was doing this and there was no discussion on the matter. And yet, when Branch gets into it with Casey, he totally backs down! I LOVE IT! I absolutely do. In "Goliath", Casey gave Branch the whatfor and now in "Starved", she sits--SITS--calmly at her desk and just lets Branch blow around her like the gasbag he is. She doesn't get flustered, she doesn't back pedal, she doesn't flinch. And he BACKS OFF. It doesn't quite make up for the whole "Casey is incompetent in court" undertone but it's a start. :D

Hey, question...Casey was in the hallway outside Cora's hospital room when Rapist Mike asked Olivia what she could do to expedite the death certificate on Cora, right? Then she has a case for Negligent Homicide on him in Cora's death. No really, she does. Rapist Mike is an emergency room doctor. He knew of Cora's binge drinking and her bulimia. He had medically specific information on how the two interacted on the Human organism and--knowing of her latest episode--he could reasonably foresee what would be the result of the next episode. Also, being her "boyfriend" for a year, an avowed control freak, and her husband, it could be reasonably said that he would have better than average knowledge on what psychological triggers routinely initiated binge drinking in Cora. Therefore, the phone call from prison in which he claimed he was suicidal was a calculated strike at Cora with the intent that she indulge in binge drinking. With the added medical knowledge, it equals a deadly weapon. All Casey would have to do is call Cora's mother to the stand to delineate his relationship with Cora and then call Olivia to the stand to reiterate his conversation with her regarding the life insurance and his OBVIOUS lack of remorse/grief. Come on! We've all seen Jack prosecute this very case! Ooooh! Here's a thought! Maybe she turned it over to Jack! Because it really is a homicide and not a sex crime. ::daydreams about Jack McCoy convicting Rapist Mike for Negligent Homicide based on Casey's legal expertise:: ::swoons::

DiNovia's Other Commentary:

10:19pm Casey Novak on screen! Looking like a freakin' GODDESS (hair color notwithstanding)! I have to say thank you to the wardrobe weasels, too, for getting right on that complaint of mine last week and buying some new pieces. Well done! I like the new coat and the new tailored look for our Limer Goddess. Lovely. However, your colleagues in hair and makeup are not off the hook. Therefore...

May I take just a moment here to verbally stab the hair weasels with a rusty fondue fork express how desperately upset I am that Casey is now a really bad bottled blonde? Casey should be a redhead. It makes sense. There is absolutely NO reason to resurrect Alex freakin' Cabot homogenize this beautiful young woman through the evils of bad blonde hair-dye. Because Alex is gone, deal with it she is a unique individual and should be accorded the rights inherent in that fact. I understand that Ms. Neal, herself, isn't pleased with the color which should make you pee your pants with fear because Limers and other DN fans are a force to be reckoned with give you pause. What are you smoking is the point, anyway? You have upset Ms. Neal, her fans, and Stephanie March fans all in one fell swoop. If the point was to make yourselves look hateful and ridonkulous alienate just about everyone, you have succeeded. I suggest you fix this before someone smacks you with a stick right away. You've already given Ms. Hargitay a fucking mullet made several glaring errors this season with Ms. Hargitay. Do you really want to worry about ground glass in your coffee two women on your bad side? Fuckers I didn't think so.

Pez-Dispenser Collector Geeks are funny! Pez-Dispenser Collector Geeks trying to date Olivia are LOVE! LOLOLOLOL

Mariska, may I just say how wonderful an actress you are? Specifically for this moment: "Rachel" goes for drinks with Rapist Mike and he falls into line with his routine, coming across as Mr. Control Freak. The fake "Rachel" smile on your face slowly disintegrates and suddenly you are only Olivia Benson, looking at Rapist Mike like the foul, disgusting insect he is. "Rachel" is no more. Now you are just an SVU detective who has caught the fucking scumbag you've been searching for. And it was so nicely played. Thank you.

Hey, is anyone out there actually writing Olivia/Fin fic? Cuz I swear, there is some really lovely subtext out there to snag up. From last season too, but damn! This season is RIFE with it!

Of course, it is also rife with Casey/Olivia subtext, and that makes me happy! Liv shaking her head after fighting with Casey over getting Cora on the stand for the Grand Jury. Liv confessing that she feels guilty for the part she's played in Cora's condition and Casey's confession of similar feelings. Casey and Liv's dueling lavender and vibrant blue outfits. Liv and Casey sitting right.damn.next.to.each.other in the gallery during Cora's mother's hearing in front of Donnelly.... Oh yes... Subtexty Goodness for all.... Yummy!

Oh, and that's JUDGE Drag Queen Donnelly to you! And don't you forget it! (It isn't just me, is it? She did look like a drag queen, right?)

Okay. If, in Ironbonespeak, "having a drink" is code for "having sex", is the scene where Rapist Mike forcibly orders Liv a Vodka martini, extra dirty, akin to rape? I am confuzzled.

Boy, what a trio of unlikable people we had in Mike, Cora, and Cora's mother! Mike, a smart-assed serial rapist with the face of the puffy boy next door. Cora, a simpering, deeply disturbed idiot with a penchant for looking unattractive no matter what she is doing. Cora's mother, a nervous wreck who blames anyone standing in the room at the time for the latest disaster to hit her life! I really did not feel particularly fond of anyone in this case. Even the rape victims seemed surly and unappealing. Was there anyone to feel sympathetic toward?

Speaking of Cora's mother, Veronica Cartwright was the perfect person to cast in that role as absolutely NO ONE does Nervous Nelly like Ms. Cartwright. That being said, though, was anyone else filled with dread that she was suddenly going to start vomiting up cherry pits? I swear, that movie has ruined me for Veronica's other roles. ::shakes head::

Oh, and writers, while I'm making lists of things I want...could you please have a Cell Phone of Plot Advancement Wakes Liv from Sleeping scene in every episode from now on? Kthx.

Warner appearing at 10:55pm does not make me happy. I'd like to see more of her. However, we were lucky to see her at all this episode, so I am not going to complain. Well, not too much.

Kudos to the writers for tying up the loose end of the accident and whether or not Cora had ever said that she didn't want to live in a vegetative state. When Rapist Mike was going on about it during the hearing, I said out loud, "Check on that. If he's lying, you can call him on that!" He wasn't lying. How strange that he would tell the truth about that one thing. LOL

By the way, speaking of the hearing, why on Earth was Donnelly sitting for that? Isn't the question of whether or not a person's feeding tube is removed a family court matter? Not a criminal court matter? Oh, RIGHT! That would have actually been TOO MUCH to cram into a 46 minute period. So sorry! You're right! It was much more expedient this way. Never mind the complete inaccuracy it portrays. Don't worry about it at all.

Aside on the Teaser for Next Week's Ep: Um...hello? WTF was THAT?? Was there any information in that teaser at all? I swear, I thought I had suddenly gone deaf! Jesus! Really, someone give them a damned Emmy before they hurt themselves! They are officially Trying Too Hard.

Aside to Ms. Neal: Happy Birthday! And many more!

Okay, most of the time when I do a rating, I rely on comparison to other episodes of the season and general "feel". In certain cases, though, I resort to a complex string of basic math equations where I give or dock Limes of Loveliness for certain events. As I did with this episode. Keeping in mind that we start out a rating with zero limes or lemons, this was the equation I ended up with for "Starved":

0 + 4 - 4 + 3 - 3 + 1 + 1 - 1 - 1 + 1 + 1 - 3 - 2 + 2 + 1 = 0 (I'm having Deja Clue..."One plus one plus two plus one..." "No, one plus two plus two plus one!"...)

And yes, that was a first. A rating of Zero. And so...

DiNovia's Rating:

A middle of the road episode. Nothing to write home about and yet nothing so sucky that I have to throw fruit. Hmmmm.... I hope this isn't a trend.

My State of Mind: pleasedpleased
What the Voices in My Head Hear: Joan Osborne--St. Teresa
Backwards Girl: Almost Evilfight_back83 on November 17th, 2005 08:14 pm (UTC)
Judith Light as a judge? Awesome, if not a complete double-take moment. Olivia's uber-girl-laugh of disinterest? Almost turned the channel. More than 30 seconds of Casey? Worth suffering through the rest of the show.

Why, oh, why can't we have the old SVU back? It's called formula and it works for a reason! Are they working under the adage of 'so many [bad] plotlines, so little time?' Gah! Just pick one - ONE.

As always, your reviews are love, dear! I have to make sure there are no liquids within thirty feet cuz I'm so terribly afraid of the spew-factor.
seftiri: Diane @ Habitat4Humanityseftiri on November 17th, 2005 08:50 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so glad to hear I wasn't the only one that cringed every time she giggled. U.G.H.

I want some good old SVU cases, please! Ones that Casey wins, kthx.

As always, your reviews are love, dear! I have to make sure there are no liquids within thirty feet cuz I'm so terribly afraid of the spew-factor.

Aww, thanks! And at the same time, sorry for the spew factor! ;)
Shit: lmaoshitashii on November 17th, 2005 09:01 pm (UTC)
I've probably said this before but you never fail to make me laugh....and spew raspberry flavored dasani water all over my keyboard. You owe me a new keyboard!

But seriously. Huge word. Especially bout Casey's new look. I mean what's next? Glasses? AHHH ::runs around in circles screaming:: I mean I don't deny my obsession with all things Alex Cabot but holy crap Casey is practically the complete opposite and she needs to stay that way! That's why I love her.

And Judge Donnelly made me fall of the futon and then jump up with incredulity...if you can express emotions in a jump....but my roommate was very suprised as to why I was sputtering at the TV when they showed Judith Light.

But I'll stop with this because I already ranted on my own lj and we pretty much agree on all the aspects of suckage.

Well done.
seftiri: LMAOseftiri on November 17th, 2005 10:33 pm (UTC)
Sorry about the keyboard! I probably have one lying around here that I can send you! LOL

And thanks! I'm glad you liked the review. I do wish I had had more notice of Liz Donnelly becoming a judge but I think I've dealt with it now. I'd much rather see Nora Lewin on the bench though. ;)
shayshaych_03 on November 17th, 2005 09:02 pm (UTC)
as usual, you make me giggle. the goose egg is tres funny.

i give it at least a partial thumb's up for the SuperF*cktastic Casey. the UberSuit of ADAPower was splendid. the dueling aquamarine and amethyst clothes = subtext heaven and the absolute lack of personal space between liv and casey in almost all their scenes is love.

:D as for next week... that's definitely a veruca salt moment. as in, emmy? "I WANT IT NOW"
seftiri: All Smilesseftiri on November 17th, 2005 10:37 pm (UTC)
Re: the goose egg...I really wanted to keep my ratings pics in the realm of foodstuffs...and a goose egg just seemed so appropos.

I agree with you on the clothing and subtext and really the lack of Limes is the hair people's fault...this ep got a Lime for every ten minutes bloc that Casey appeared on screen (4 total) and got docked a Lime for every ten minute bloc Casey appeared on screen as a blonde (-4 total). Not my fault, their fault. See how that works?

I would pay to have that song playing under the commercials for next week's ep. Seriously. LOL
shay: isisshaych_03 on November 17th, 2005 11:00 pm (UTC)
ahh if only i knew how to make music videos....
TrueXena: Too Pretty - Mactruexena on November 23rd, 2005 07:55 am (UTC)
But I do ;o)
Shut up and smile: Selina robemorningafter2 on November 17th, 2005 09:47 pm (UTC)
First, love the goose egg.

Judge Donnelly surprised the hell out of me. I was like, "What the... when did this happen? Is this what I get for neglecting to watch SVU until three weeks ago?" My dad, who couldn't even tell you the names of the actors who play the lead characters in the show (save maybe for Mariska. And by maybe, I mean probably not.) despite watching it whenever I do, looked at me like I'd grown a second head and said, "Are you feeling okay?"

The Rachel Laugh of Doom? Made me cringe every single time. One time my pen actually slid across the page I was writing on and I had to start all over again.

Casey was awesome though, despite the roots from hell... I miss the red hair... Agh, somebody NEEDS to do SOMETHING about the hair people. Maybe hire a bunch of limers to do Diane's hair? (I would totally volunteer, except anything more complicated than a ponytail is beyond me.)

Anyway, I've rambled enough. As always, I love your reviews. And I swear, at some point during this review, a starbust almost came out of my nose.
seftiri: Ghost Betweenseftiri on November 17th, 2005 10:40 pm (UTC)
OUCH!! A starburst coming out one's nose has GOT to be painful!

But I'm glad you liked the review!!

And I have obviously seen every ep this season and I was just as surprised as you were about Judge Donnelly. That was a bit of an SVU Sneak Attack. LOL

Shut up and smile: Gabbymorningafter2 on November 17th, 2005 10:49 pm (UTC)
Well, the whole starburst-out-of-the-nose thing was a bit painful. But I'd been sucking on it for a few minutes, so at least it wasn't a full size starburst. (Now THAT would hurt.)

See, I don't mind SVU Sneak Attacks... but I just don't like Donnelly. (I'd rather have seen Judge Ross...)
lime_magazine on November 17th, 2005 09:59 pm (UTC)
Too many points I agree on to list them all. One that stood out: Donnelly a judge...!!!!??????????!?
I also was caught in the compromising position of enjoying a refreshment; now congealing in the carpet.
seftiri: Mar Joyful Heartseftiri on November 17th, 2005 10:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Yep
I'm so glad I waited until today to do this review...although I think various people's carpets, keyboards, and noses would be better off if I had done it yesterday instead. I was totally not in the mood for it yesterday but today? Today I had my snark on.

I was in the zone. LOL

Glad you liked it! :D
(Deleted comment)
seftiri: Casey Kicks Assseftiri on November 17th, 2005 10:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! I am so glad you liked it!

I do think that Branch likes Casey. A lot. He sure does treat her the best of all the ADAs I've seen him with.

And the Goose Egg is apparently a Snow Goose Egg...go figure. I didn't even know until yesterday that there was such a thing as a website of goose egg comparisons LOL
Stacystacyyy on November 17th, 2005 11:41 pm (UTC)
Judge Donnelly did look like a drag queen. Complete with hair that made her look like she was flying.
seftiri: DN Joyseftiri on November 18th, 2005 12:16 am (UTC)
LOL Yeah, flying while sitting still! LOL

Very true!

And I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt she looked a little...overdone...


Danielle: Mariska and Diane - Hee!dani_ellie on November 18th, 2005 12:26 am (UTC)
(I'm having Deja Clue..."One plus one plus two plus one..." "No, one plus two plus two plus one!"...)

I used to be able to recite that entire scene. I tried recently and got myself lost in ones and twos. ;)

You crack me up, yo. :D

But dude, loads of Casey, loads of OliviaNCasey. Mmmm. I was NEVER a shipper for real before I started talking to you! ;)
seftiri: One Girl Armyseftiri on November 18th, 2005 12:54 am (UTC)
Guilty as charged. Send Liv to cuff me and Casey to interogate me and make me a happy little fangirl. ;)

Glad you liked the review! :D
deify_bd_wong on November 18th, 2005 12:53 am (UTC)
Do you really want to worry about ground glass in your coffee

You make my heart smile. :-)
seftiri: Liv's Girlseftiri on November 18th, 2005 12:56 am (UTC)
'Tis one of my fondest occupations, dear! Glad you liked it! :D
Lisarockcliffchic81 on November 18th, 2005 01:34 am (UTC)
Love the review and the goose egg.

I think reading this review when I did gave me good luck, as not even an hour later I got hired for the job I interviewed for not even 24hrs before.

My biggest question of the night was related to the whole judge bit too.

I've also decided I'll watch next weeks episode if only to find the endings to every sentence in the preview.
seftiri: distortionWOWseftiri on November 18th, 2005 05:18 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm so glad you liked it!

And CONTRATULATIONS on getting the job! You can't see it, but I am applauding for you right now. :D

I've also decided I'll watch next weeks episode if only to find the endings to every sentence in the preview.

Maybe that's their ploy...like the teasers for the evening news: "A business near you is selling drugs to your children right now. Tune in at 11pm to find out which one."

"SVU--You'll actually have to watch to show to find out what's going to happen in it."

Nah. Too long to be an effective motto.


Besides, it doesn't always work. Sometimes you could sit through the whole episode and never know what happened.

Lisa: tonyrockcliffchic81 on November 18th, 2005 06:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the congrats for the job, having been unemployed since June it's nice.

And yeah the motto's too long. I get confused too easily, I can watch an episode of any of the L&Os twice and still be confused by the end.
purplekudzu: squintpurplekudzu on November 18th, 2005 03:07 pm (UTC)
Ugh, the Rachel Laugh--I was so glad no one was watching with me, I was THAT embarrased by it. Hehe, but her comment to Elliot about knowing he was interested--I choose to interpret it as "yeah, I know I'm hot" rather than "yep, I'm a hetero." It makes my world a happier place.

Judge Judy--wouldn't there be some kind of conflict of interest with trying Casey's cases since she was/is her direct supervisor? Hmm...

"That being said, though, was anyone else filled with dread that she was suddenly going to start vomiting up cherry pits? I swear, that movie has ruined me for Veronica's other roles. ::shakes head::"

OMG YES! I kept waiting for it to happen!! And then I wiggled and squiggled lots in my chair when I read it in your review, because I was glad it wasn't just me either, LOL.

Lovely review! Oh, and nice egg, too!
seftiri: DN3seftiri on November 18th, 2005 04:02 pm (UTC)
LOLOLOL I am so glad someone else got that reference! :) I loved VC in Alien, lo, these many years ago but truly, all her roles were ruined for me by that scene in The Witches of Eastwick.
However, kudos to the woman for taking that unsympathetic and ultimately disgusting role in the first place.

Glad you liked the review, dear! And the egg! LOL