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14 December 2005 @ 07:40 am
Review, "Alien", 12/06/05  
To be filed under the heading Better Late Than Never, I give to you the long-awaited review of "Alien"!!

I told you I'd get done with it!  :D



Brought to you, live, from Nyquilville, it's DiNovia's SVU Review House Party!




Summary of Episode:

When a young boy with stab wounds to his spine is dumped in front of a local ER like a bag of dirty laundry, SVU detectives Munch, Stabler, Benson, and Benson's Hair are called upon to investigate.  The kid claims he doesn't know what happened or who attacked him while his parents insist a school bully must be responsible because their son was beaten the week before by an unknown assailant.  When questioned about that incident, the child insists he fell out of a tree.  Aware that they are SVU detectives and not tree surgeons, the squad decides to pursue the "school bully" angle.  Which leads us on a merry romp through the land of TV Stars of the Past!  See the principal of the school?  Naomi Oates Harper of "Mama's Family" sure cleans up well, doesn't she?  And is that Annie from "Caroline in the City" as lesbian co-parent Zoe Dunlop?  And hello Georgie Whitsig from "Sisters"!  A judge now?  How special for you! 

DiNovia's Content Commentary:

Aww!  No ambulance ride for Olivia this week either?  Poor thing.  Maybe she can get her weekly lollipop at the bank.

Hell of a way to find out that you'll never walk again.  "Mommy, Daddy, who are these strangers and why won't my legs work?"  You'd think either the parents would have explained that to him earlier or would have waited until later. 

Proving once again that children watch too much TV, Sean Hamill claims that the bruises he suffered at the hands of another child came from "falling out of a tree".  Thank god he didn't say he'd walked into a door otherwise his parents would have to wonder why their prepubescent son was watching so much Lifetime Television.

Oh look!  Milli Vanilli aka Millie Vizcarrando is back.  One of my Yahoo groups is wondering why we are seeing so much of the lovely CSI.  I wasn't too worried about it until I noticed that she's listed as Detective Vizcarrando on IMDB.com.  Hmmmmm...

So the fat bully claims his half-sister can vouch for him, they went to get ice cream.  Immediately, of course, our detectives assume the fat kid is lying.  The little girl's story seemed plausible and she said that Charlie did not ask her to lie.  Why then do our intrepid detectives decide she is lying for him?  They don't find out about the discrepency in times until much later.  And it's Millie Vanilli that finds the weapon used on Sean and determines that the fingerprints on the scissors are consistent with those left by an 8-year-old.  Boy, is she GOOD!  I probably would have said "consistent with those left by a person between the ages of 6 to 10", just to be on the safe side but Milli Vanilli, no, she nails the age!  I wonder how many 8-year-old perp's fingerprints she had to study to be so conclusive?

So Charlie is covering for Emma.  Awwww.   Moving on.

Who wrote this episode?  Lemme check on that.  ::insert hold muzak here::  AHA!  A man!  I absolutely fucking knew it!  Because there is no fucking way that a pair of LESBIAN PARENTS would sue a Catholic school to keep their bullied and abused daughter in that school.  NO FUCKING WAY.  What a ridiculous premise.  The Catholic hard line on the evils of homosexuality notwithstanding, there's the whole women will never be equal and can never be called to serve god as anything other than a Nun.  And let's not forget the guilt factor.  You are asking me to believe that two reasonable, intelligent lesbians kept their daughter in a Catholic school to prove a point?  It doesn't work.  No matter how much hair you cut off or how sick you make one of the mothers.  It just doesn't work.

Okay.  Was there a half-price special on gay subplots or something?  Lesbianism.  Same-sex parenting.  Religiously sanctioned homophobia.  The concept that rape can cure lesbianism.  Gay marriage.  Legal rights of gay and lesbian couples.  The concept that homosexuality is equal to pedophilia.  Custody battles between grandparents and the lesbian parent.  The concept that one person can turn another person gay.  Anti-gay rhetoric and bogus studies used by an attorney to further the anti-gay agenda of the religious right.  O_o  Quite a bit to jam in there, don't you think?  Lately, SVU eps have seemed like those trick peanut jars.  You know, the ones that when you open them, a spring-coiled snake thing explodes outward at you, startling you? 

AND DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE ILLNESS/DEATH OF THE BIRTH MOTHER!!  This is exactly why I no longer watch ER, why I no longer watch ANY network show that claims a regularly appearing lesbian couple.  One half of the couple ALWAYS LEAVES IN SOME SORT OF CATASTROPHIC MANNER!  It's as if there is absolutely no way any television writer can conceive a plot where two women make a regular home together, pay their bills, have arguments, and raise children without one of them facing an inquest for pedophilia, being arrested, or fucking DYING!  "Law & Order" mothership is rife with examples of lesbians who kill.  Can you think of a single episode of the mothership that dealt with lesbianism that portrayed the lesbian as a flat out innocent human being that was a victim of a crime?  I can't think of one.  The most notable "lesbian" on Criminal Intent is Bobby Goren's arch nemesis, who killed her lover and then switched back to men as if her sexuality is somehow interchangable, like a pair of socks.  On ER, Kim Legaspi left Kerry Weaver after the brouhaha surrounding an inquest into inappropriate conduct with a minor.  Then Kerry's partner, Sandy, the mother of their child, dies in the line of duty.  Name me one happy, healthy, adjusted lesbian couple from any network television show.  Just one!  If you're like me, the only one you can come up with is Ross's ex and her partner on Friends.  And as far as I know, they were only seen on the show twice.  Pathetic.  This episode is no less pathetic with Kate Boyd dying of lupus.

You know, I really appreciated Zoe's claim that since she had no recognized legal rights in the US as Kate's partner or Emma's mother that the detectives were wrong in questioning Emma in her presence alone.  That took guts.  But then she turned right around and tried to press her claim as a parent in the temporary custody hearing and I appreciated the judge's take that she can't have it both ways.  And this is the woman we think had the wherewithal to "prove a point" by suing the school to keep Emma IN?  Pardon me while I give you the patented Casey Novak Smirk of Yeah, Right.

Okay, so the original case that started this socio-cultural firestorm...you know, where Emma stabbed a kid in the spine with a pair of scissors?  It was resolved in this episode.  No, really.  It was.  Think back to when Olivia walked into a courtroom and spoke to some bland, faceless guy.  She was wearing one of those vibrant blue shirts that I love so much.  Which is the only reason I was paying attention at all.  But apparently she found logs of IM conversations between the parapalegic bully and Emma where he threatened her with rape and other "cures" for lesbianism on a regular basis, thereby establishing a clear history of violent harrassment by the "victim".  Emma got a deal.  Probation and counselling.  You probably missed the whole exchange.  It took all of 15 seconds.

I honestly do not know a single lesbian who would have thought taking pictures of a naked 8-year-old lying in bed with her would have been a GOOD IDEA, no matter what the supposed aim of the photographs.  Let alone one who would have had them LYING AROUND THE HOUSE FOR JUST ANYONE TO FIND.  Apparently, in IronboneLand, lesbians are disease-ridden idiots with no concept of reality and no understanding of the current climate for gays and lesbians in the Catholic Church, let alone in the world of law enforcement and jurisprudence.  Oh, my aching head!

DiNovia's Other Commentary:

10:26pm Casey Novak on screen!  And I was almost squeeful about her seemingly darker hair until dani_ellie pointed out that this was an episode taped months and months ago and put into the line-up here.  Which would explain the guest appearance of Remnants of Whore Hair.  Ugh.

So, of course, I had to commence with Plan B, and I wrote to the "Hair Gal" to express--as politely as possible--our growing dislike of Casey's blonde hair.  An excerpt of my letter follows:

However, there is one little criticism I have this season: I do not like her as a blonde.  It turns out, I'm afraid, that I am not alone in my assessment, either.  I have the distinct pleasure of being in touch with a handful or so of SVU fans on a weekly basis and for the most part, we all agree.  Ms. Neal and, by extension, Casey Novak looks better as a redhead.

Not just physically, though I admit that the red hair does complement Ms. Neal's lovely pallor more readily.  As a redhead, Casey Novak is distinguished in a very important way from both Alexandra Cabot and Liz Donnelly.  Those of us who are Casey Novak fans do not want her to look like Alex Cabot or Liz Donnelly.  We celebrate the character's differences and feel that making her a blonde has homogenized her.  Blondes are a common sight on television.  Redheads, however, stand out.

Besides, it is my understanding that Stephanie March will be reprising her role as Alexandra Cabot in Mr. Wolf's new offering "Conviction".  Ms. March makes an excellent blonde and Alex Cabot fans, I'm sure, will agree that color goes better with Ms. March's coloring and eyes.

So, until I receive a response or until I feel the need again, I will be dispensing with the strike through paragraph.  Trust me, it's probably only temporary.  ;)

Oh, and may I just say this?

QUACK, OLIVIA.  QUACK.
Stolen from deify_bd_wong.

For consistent and vocal gay advocacy in this episode and for such gems as "Same-sex parents raise children all the time!", Olivia Benson is hereby presented with her very own subtext lime:




There was also a bit of subtexty goodness from a C/O perspective and from a Casey perspective.  So another Subtext Lime for that: 

That poor kid!  In one 46 minute period she has suffered bullying, abuse, has committed a crime, has been arrested, has had her mother die, has had her grandparents sue for her custody, has had her remaining parent arrested, has been psychologically manipulated to accuse her mother of molestation, has had her grandparents arrested...  You know, most people don't have to deal with that much in one LIFETIME let alone in one hour. 

Oh, Casey Novak, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways...

I love thee for coming up with Unlawful Imprisonment with a Hate Crime rider as the crime for the grandparents.

I love thee for going after Mrs. Claus on the stand and discovering the complicity of her lawyer.

I love thee for saying "Privilege protects the client, not the attorney, Your Honor!"

I love thee for getting the attorney a judicial censure for a "serious breach of ethical conduct" and for forcing a mistrial!

And I love thee for having thy desk absolutely covered with relevant scientific, legal, and psychological studies to show to the grandparents to prove to them what idiots they are.

Huang, my love, I could watch you glare daggers at interfering homophobic grandparents and their idiotic opinions every day.  You are pure love.

Stabler, on the other hand...  Dear, you need to check those books out from Casey's Library of Relevant Sexuality Material and read them very closely.  The next time you automatically believe a lesbian is a pedophile with the crappiest and most conveniently ridiculous "evidence" available to man, I'm going to smack you in the head with a brick!  If I had a Hattori Hanzo sword, I'd spank you with it and send you home to your mother!  You asshole.

Okay..this episode didn't suck.  Much.  I was actually thrilled by the amount of subtext and the generally mature handling of what could have been a nightmare topic.  Also, because this epsiode was an older one and Casey wasn't as blonde, I don't have to subtract a Lime of Loveliness for Unhappy Blondeness.

So here is my rating:

DiNovia's Rating:



Twoodles, my darlings!

DiNovia

 
 
My State of Mind: relievedrelieved
What the Voices in My Head Hear: VAST
 
 
 
shayshaych_03 on December 14th, 2005 01:15 pm (UTC)
*snorfling* LOL

>>Name me one happy, healthy, adjusted lesbian couple from any network television show.

Willow and Kennedy.

oh you want current? Olivia and Casey. ;)

of course there's always the Soap Opera that is The L Word (i've seen four whole eps now LOL)

i think what i liked best about this ep was it wasn't schmaltzy. yeah mom died, but we didn't get a big flatline scene where the other mom is dragged away in cuffs as the grandparents smirk oh so selfrighteously through their tears.

oh and after watching a dvd recorded version of hi def cold case and a dvd recorded version of hi def svu... i've got to say... whatever cold case is doing gives their show MUCH better lighting. svu is always so damn dark in my caps. :/
seftiri: ADA Novakseftiri on December 14th, 2005 01:40 pm (UTC)
Willow and Kennedy! Thank you! I knew there had to be ONE!

Casey and Olivia don't count until it's canon, dear. Sorry. ;)

(no subject) - shaych_03 on December 14th, 2005 01:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - seftiri on December 14th, 2005 02:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shaych_03 on December 14th, 2005 02:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Catherine: bring itshinko0278 on December 14th, 2005 03:12 pm (UTC)
Jessie and Katie from Once and Again, of course they didn't get much of a storyline and by the time they could have gotten one the show was going off the air.
seftiri: Casey Musicseftiri on December 14th, 2005 04:10 pm (UTC)
Ahh, thank you! I didn't watch that show but I do remember hearing about them. :)
Backwards Girl: Bunnies - Anyafight_back83 on December 14th, 2005 03:13 pm (UTC)
I love reviews first thing in the morning! They make me bouncy! And they make me cackle. Which, really, is a terribly hard combination to accomplish.

And, oh, with the horrible evil/dead ending to all lesbian couples! They DO all either end up dead or evil or both (Since Willow/Kennedy was mentioned, gotta mention Willow/Tara). I, personally, don't know any lesbian couples who have ended up either.

My dear, your reviews are better than the episodes themselves, I swear it. This almost makes having to be awake this early worth it.
seftiri: iconredheadsseftiri on December 14th, 2005 04:11 pm (UTC)
::hugs::

I'm glad you liked it! Sorry you had to be up so early!
joemacsanne on December 14th, 2005 04:05 pm (UTC)
Are you kidding me? The best part (imo) of ER was that Kerry and her girlfriend went splitsville. Only because I couldn't stand Kerry. Actually, I was hoping that when Lucy died it would've been Kerry instead. *ugh* She was the worst part of ER, all tight-assed and rude (again, imo). No I don't mind the actress, but the character I could've done without ...

And the whole basis of the (SVU) episode was that the birth mother couldn't be there! So she had to leave/die/etc. It would've been less believeable had the 'lesbian walked out on her family', and slightly more insulting.

I liked this ep, I thought it was well done. Maybe minus the 'naked pics in bed' part, but that was a minor 5 minute bit that I can ignore.
seftiri: Hungerseftiri on December 14th, 2005 04:17 pm (UTC)
Sorry, dear. I like Kerry Weaver. Always did. She's my "type", i.e. hard or tough exteriors hiding a sad, lonely woman beneath.

And Laura Innes, who plays Kerry, actually directed the episode where Lucy died. /interesting factoid

I actually don't think that the plot of Alien would have suffered at all with both parents alive. In fact, it would have made several things more interesting, for instance the grandparents suing for custody and the arrest of Zoe for molestation. Nothing in that plot specifically hinged on the absence of the birth mother. At least, not in my opinion.

I do agree that it would have been insulting if the mother had walked out on the family though. Glad they didn't go that route.

I liked this ep too. I gave it a positive rating, after all. There are just some things that just didn't fit, in my opinion.

Sorry you didn't agree with my review.

::hugs::
(no subject) - joemacsanne on December 14th, 2005 06:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
seftiri: iconhumanpeersseftiri on December 14th, 2005 04:24 pm (UTC)
Sorry you had to spend $4 on a cup of coffee because of me!! ;)

Glad you liked the review.

And yes, television's handling of the garden-variety lesbian couple is just...strange.
Tiffany: teh casey not incompetentpiekid on December 14th, 2005 04:53 pm (UTC)
Um? ...as if her sexuality is somehow interchangable??? Uh, yeah... anyway... the only real motivation we see in Nicole Wallace is to use people for her own ends, so I'm not sure she's as a very good example here; we haven't seen her in a real relationship.

Otherwise, I love thee for the ways that thou lovest Casey! You mention every reason I wanted to kiss my TV that night.
Tiffany: svu subpoenaed by novakpiekid on December 14th, 2005 06:21 pm (UTC)
Oh, I forgot... FYI: Ross's ex was Carol, her partner was Susan, and they were in more than two episodes... yes, I used to watch Friends, it was a guilty pleasure, what can I say? </confession>
(no subject) - seftiri on December 14th, 2005 07:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - piekid on December 14th, 2005 08:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - seftiri on December 14th, 2005 07:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - piekid on December 14th, 2005 08:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - seftiri on December 14th, 2005 09:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - piekid on December 14th, 2005 09:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - seftiri on December 14th, 2005 09:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - piekid on December 14th, 2005 10:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - seftiri on December 14th, 2005 10:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - piekid on December 14th, 2005 10:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Shut up and smile: girl bootsmorningafter2 on December 14th, 2005 06:02 pm (UTC)
It's kind of sad that the sanest TV lesbians I can think of are Ross's ex-wife and her partner from Friends, whose names I can't even reacall.

Anyway, your review is a bright spot on an otherwise sucky sick day. (Third this week, at least sixth in the last month. o_O)

Despite my better instincts, I kind of like Millie whatever-her-last-name-is. Of course, by the time ten at night comes, I'm tired and not watching carefully enough to get all but the most glaringly obvious things, which is part of why I love your reviews so much.

For the plot jumps, I'm just grateful they stuck to one basic storyline. No car accident-to-Katrina kidnapping-to-escaped pedophiles-to-anthrax-to-journalist protectint sources this time. (If I'm remembering "Storm" correctly.)

I did love Casey in this one. And she was on before the episode was half over! And Olivia was quacktastic, wasn't she? (It's the painkillers, I swear.) And the subtext was love.

This review just takes the place of what would have been this week's new episode. Finally got to see "Strain"! *Cheers*
seftiri: DiMar Friend Loveseftiri on December 14th, 2005 07:30 pm (UTC)
Aww, sweetie! I'm sorry you're sick! ::hugs::

The only thing that worries me about Milli Vizcarrando is that we've been seeing quite a bit of her. I'm afraid she's going to be used as a temporary fill-in for MH while she's out with the sweet baby and then she's going to be killed when MH returns to a full schedule.

That could just be my writer paranoia speaking, though.

Casey and Olivia were lovely in this ep. Both together and apart. ::happy sigh::
(no subject) - morningafter2 on December 14th, 2005 09:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
purplekudzu: coffeepurplekudzu on December 14th, 2005 06:40 pm (UTC)
Holy Homos, Super Oliska!
Okay, so, Super Oliska didn't really make an appearance in this ep, but it just had to be said.

Oh Olivia, you are so gay. Quack already.

Seftiri, you most deinitely nailed all the reasons to love Casey. And, hmm...Casey, just why were you able to so easily find and access such a variety of research reports on lesbian parenting and related topics????

As for other TV Lesbians...Ellen and Laurie from Ellen--they were a pretty damn normal lesbian couple and even though they broke up, it was also for normal breakup reasons. And, I dunno if anyone other than me is watching this show, but "Out Of Practice" (Monday nights 9:30 on CBS) has a realistic lesbian main character, who *gasp* talks about sex and gets to make out with women *on screen* occasionally! Oh and, there's no parental warning at the begining of this show like there used to be for Ellen. Don't get me started.

Loved the review as usual, Seftiri. Hope you are feeling much better!
seftiri: quacklivseftiri on December 14th, 2005 07:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Holy Homos, Super Oliska!
You are definitely right about Laurie and Ellen...see what one forgets in one's old age? ;)

I do watch OoP and I do like Regina, but she has been made to look a bit promiscuous and has been characterized as a lesbian who can't hold down a relationship for more than 6 months. That bothers me a bit but probably because I have never met a lesbian like that. Yet. LOL

Glad you liked the review! And glad I nailed the Reasons To Kiss Casey! :D
Mystic Amethystmysticamethyst on December 14th, 2005 06:40 pm (UTC)
Yay, I come home to visit my family, and I get a review. Love Olivia's subtext lime :)

"Lately, SVU eps have seemed like those trick peanut jars. You know, the ones that when you open them, a spring-coiled snake thing explodes outward at you, startling you? "

I so agree with that. For happy lesbian couples how about Helen/Nikki from Bad Girls? :)
seftiri: NovakJusticeseftiri on December 14th, 2005 07:41 pm (UTC)
Is Bad Girls on cable or on a network? I'm not familiar with the show.

Glad you liked the review! And the subtext lime! :D
Danielle: Mariska and Diane - Hee!dani_ellie on December 15th, 2005 12:59 am (UTC)
OMG that truck is AWESOME. I want one.

Mmm, Casey.

You? Are amazing. :D
seftiri: O_oseftiri on December 15th, 2005 01:18 am (UTC)
Let me tell you, dearest, finding that truck was ridiculously simple. I just put "50's ads" in Google and it was like the second one on the list. Perfect for what I had in mind.

And yes. Mmmm....Casey. :)

Thank you, my darling. I'm glad you liked it! :D
(Anonymous) on December 15th, 2005 03:30 am (UTC)
Yes, the review is in!!!!!! As always, it's right on target. But on the reasons to love Casey...does anyone really need a reason?? I mean, come on...if Casey Novak, the fictional character, was somehow brought to this reality, I'm pretty sure it'd look something like the intro scene in the first Austin Powers, where he's being chased by all those 60's girls. With the exception of the bad teeth.
seftiri: LMAOseftiri on December 15th, 2005 05:12 am (UTC)
You have a point. Can you imagine? Squealing fangirls/fanboys running after her as if she were the Beatles or something?

LOL

Now that's an image. LOLOL

Glad you liked the review! :D
TrueXena: Too Pretty - Mactruexena on December 16th, 2005 05:11 am (UTC)
ahhh, the review is in. Now my week can start. ;o) A loverly review. Thank you for making me giggle, and laugh out loud.

When do we get a new episode? cuz like I cant be bothered with actually looking for a schedule or nothin' like that. I figure you'd know anyways. ;o)
seftiri: Goliath Casey Rumsfeldseftiri on December 16th, 2005 12:17 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you liked the review, dear! Sorry it was so late!

The next new episode is "Blast", to air on Jan. 3rd.

Oh so long away!! But I certainly can't begrudge the actors their Christmas holidays. :)