After the season's best episode so far, last week's subtly moving "The War at Home," this one about fallen child TV stars and the Albanian mafia was bound to be a bit of a letdown and - big surprise - it was.
I know I'm not the only one who's becoming uncomfortable with the
Law & Order franchise's growing dependence on "current events" (read: E!News fodder) for plotlines. This episode's basis in the lives of ex-
Saved by the Bell cast members was so thinly veiled, if
Dustin Diamond weren't so desperate for publicity that he'd peddle his own sex tape, I'm sure Screech would be making a slander case.
Instead, it might be
Dancing with the Stars loser
Mario Lopez (aka A.C. Slater) calling up his lawyer - and maybe even winning the suit. Can't you just hear the
Criminal Intent writers' defense: "You see,
their character was named Slater, but
our character was named Skater." Come on, Skater isn't even a name.
Well, it just occurred to me that I spent the last two paragraphs of a
Law & Order commentary discussing
Saved by the Bell - so either something's wrong with me or with the people running this show. I mean, a Screech stand-in selling bootleg
Harry Potter DVDs out of an ice-cream truck? It's all just a little silly for this (generally) dignified franchise.
However, all that's not to say I was bored for a minute. On the contrary, the descent of Skater's deluded "best friend" into near-madness by the end of this one was like watching a really, really entertaining car crash. Plus, he asked Logan and Wheeler if they were "from TV Guide - for the interview," so right there he was earning his keep in my book.
The one element that gave this ep some needed depth was those Albanian mafiosos, a none-too-friendly bunch prone to sudden outbursts of brutal violence. In the final moments, they managed to scare the usually unflappable Logan - no easy feat - and I have a feeling we may be seeing this crew again, now that
The Noth is "in blood" with them.
Though many of us wouldn't be satisfied with anything but another D'Onofriosode after last week's dramatic exit, at least they threw us one bone this week, with Logan taking a playful dig at his partner's ignorance about Albanian blood feuds: "You're not up on that, Wheeler? Goren would've known." Nice.
Next Week: Another (suspiciously) Goren-less episode, another ripped-from-the-headlines-ish story, this one loosely based on the whole Lonelygirl15 vlog - yeah, that's right, I said vlog, and don't think I'm not a little ashamed - fiasco that happened a few months back. Should be an entertaining one, even if what we really want is to find out what's happening with the big G. Maybe next month.
After the seasons best episode so far, last weeks subtly moving The War at Home, this one about fallen child TV stars and the Albanian mafia was bound to be a bit of a letdown and big surprise it was.I know Im not the only one whos becoming uncomfortable with the Law & Order franchises growing dependence on current events (read: E!News fodder) for plotlines. This episodes basis in the lives of ex-Saved by the Bell cast members was so thinly veiled, if Dustin Diamond werent so desperate for publicity that hed peddle his own sex tape, Im sure Screech would be making a slander case.Instead, it might be Dancing with the Stars loser Mario Lopez (aka A.C. Slater) calling up his lawyer — and maybe even winning the suit. Cant you just hear the Criminal Intent writers defense: You see, their character was named Slater, but our character was named Skater. Come on, Skat...