A recent episode of Law & Order: SVU typified the “ripped from the headlines” niche that show creator Dick Wolf famously embraced so long ago. The problem is the episode, titled American Tragedy, seemed to be informed merely by celebrity tweets and threw story to the wind to make weird political points.
The episode in question capitalized on the Trayvon Martin tragedy and the whole Paul Deen debacle to create a story that had little more to say than that America is full of a bunch of racists and the Law & Order crew pities us.
The episode was about a middle aged woman who is walking home one night when a young man begins following her. He keeps following her and refuses to stop. When the police arrive and find the young man dead, she claims he tried to follow her into her home and she shot him. She also happens to be a celebrity chef … ya, it’s all pretty low hanging fruit for the writers.
The case in question had nothing to do with the Martin case unless you only get your information from the latest tweets of Spike Lee and other ill informed “artists.” On top of that, making the woman a celebrity chef to take pot shots at Deen was another way for the writers to ignore facts and spin history any way they want.
Whereas in reality, the Martin case included a reported scuffle, the show makes no such mention of a similar altercation. It’s a straight-up stalking and shooting scenario, which seemed to be how most liberals interpreted Martin’s final moments. Then there’s the fact that the Law & Order shooter is a rich, white celebrity chef and George Zimmerman was a middle class Hispanic man. Let’s not even get into those details …
Law & Order has the right to make episodes about whatever it wants. In fact, many are incredibly well written. Case in point being this year’s season opener. However, the problem with episodes like American Tragedy is that they barely qualify as writing. They’re more hit pieces meant to just make political points that never make much sense. That’s not exactly art.
It’s nothing new. Wolf and company have tried to rewrite and capitalize on history before. What’s most surprising is that the Law & Order team decides to throwout episodes like this when their viewership is shrinking.You would think the goal would be to present compelling drama andcharacter and cases. Instead the focus, at least for this episode, seemsto be to justify the people from the left that jumped on the “hate” bandwagonin the Martin and Deen controversies. They attempt tocapitalize on a petty controversy and a senseless murder. That’s notvery compelling.
It’s unfortunate when we see talented people that are supposed to be artists doing the same