So I don’t really watch much network television, but I have to admit I’m a Law and Order junkie. All the spinoffs too. Between various cable channels, it’s a 50/50 chance that at any given hour, there’s a L&O episode on. Nowadays, you can pretty much run from 9pm til midnight just hopping from one show to another.
Last night there was a new L&O: SVU episode on NBC. Rosa and I decided to sit down and watch it – a new episode? Sure, why not! We were feeling pretty low key and it seemed like a nice thing to do.
The episode was quite good, really leaving us guessing right up until the last 5 minutes. No clear bad guy, no deliberate bias, some very interesting interplay in the characters – a good episode.
L&O is somewhat formulaic. At the end of the trial, the verdict is read, and there’s usually some pithy commentary afterwards by the trial lawyers, or something dramatic happens (fellow commits suicide, gets shot in the courthouse by an angry family member, whatever) – there’s about a 3 minute window there.
Last night, NBC -CUT OFF- the end of the show. “We the jury find the defendendent…” and stopped it! They flashed up a message “Do you think the professor is guilty or innocent? Go to NBC.com to find out!”
We were aghast! It totally destroyed the mood / interest of the show, and we were outraged that a story we were immersed in was now held hostage by a marketing ploy.
There was no completion, no ending to the story, they went on to the next show. Now, leave aside the fact that despite our digerati lifestyle, a huge percentage of the populatioin does NOT have net access, let alone ubiquitous net access. They have to dialup, or turn on their computer, or whatever.
Beyond this, the NBC.com website was totally swamped and unavailable. I gave up after a few tries, and wandered off grumbling. Today I hit the site, and had to dig a while to even get a REFERENCE to last nights show, and saw only a poll. “Do you think the professor was innocent or guilty?” – “Innocent” “Guilty” “Need more evidence.” – I basically picked one at random, it showed me the current results (most folks appear to think innocent, but who the hell knows), and that’s it. No explanation, no detail one way or the other. End of story.
What the hell is that all about? Is this like schroedingers courtroom? He may be guilty, he may not be, it depends?
How will this possibly play in syndication, which is where the show actually makes its money… will they fill in the missing dialog and show then?
I know that Rosa is planning on writing a letter to NBC about it, she was as incensed as I was.