Sunday, January 6, 2008

Open Letter to TNT

Dear TNT,

Please stop showing various Law and Order’s nonstop. Please get some different, better programming. It encourages marathon viewing and, as I’m sure you’re aware, fans of Law and Order don’t tend to have better things to do. If you had it on every once in a while, that would of course be fine, giving Law and Order’s vast fan base something to look forward to. As it stands, Law and Order is the shlumpy fall back friend who’s always there and who you call when none of your cooler friends are available. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, TNT, and the nation will thank you. Your New Years Day Law and Oder Marathon, while attempted on your part to be passed off as a “special event”, simply seemed like a weekday on TNT. While my assessment may seem like an exaggeration, a quick check on TV Guide reveals that on January 8th, you will be showing seven hours straight of Law and Order. Come now, really? You guys are aware that there are other forms of programming available, I would assume. Going on this assumption, I must wonder why you would insist on hitting the” Play” button on the Law and Order-ometer and just letting her ride. I mean, is it because there’s no one working the TNT programming stations during the Law and Order hours of the day? Do you get to take longer naps?
Another valid point that must be driven home is that the number of Law and Order episodes is vast and many, eliminating any sort of “Oh I just saw this one”-channel changing from previously mentioned Law and Order fans. While you would think this problem would be remedied by Law and Order’s constant repetition and predictability, the opposite has sadly proven to be the case. Like college students joyously freaking out whenever “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey is played at a bar, Law and Order fans are too drawn to shitty media they’re familiar with. It’s like comfort food that tastes like expired camel dung. While this description of Law and Order may appear harsh, I challenge you to find any show that’s good enough to warrant thirteen uninterrupted hours every broadcast day. Even several consecutive views of classic fare such as Seinfeld become tiresome after two episodes. Let’s face it, Law and Order is a particularly formulaic and repetitive show, a fact that becomes loud and clear when said program is viewed back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back.

Furthermore, while Law and Order proper has been running for eighteen action packed seasons, (not factoring in the other Law and Orders, such as Criminal Intent and SVU that inexplicably have run parallel to their lumbering forbearer) I assure the writers exhausted their arsenal of original premises after the first 1.5. While abuse-related homicide is compelling upon initial exposure, it loses some of its punch by the ninety –eighth time, when the characters are made Latina this time in an attempt to pass of the plot as original. While, again, I do not blame the successful television program for its limitations, I do very much blame you, TNT, for making them glaringly obvious by insisting to air Law and Order in twenty-episode blocks, occasionally only broken up by a showing of Braveheart. And no, sandwiching an episode of Law and Order between episodes of Law and Order: SVU and Law and Order: Criminal Intent does not variety make.

While I have the utmost respect for Sam Waterson and Jerry Orbach, I now find their mugs more familiar than those of my immediate family. Also, what’s the deal with that woman on SVU with the short hair? Why isn’t she acting? Did someone just forget to tell her that when you’re on television, playing a character, you’re supposed to exhibit some evidence of life? Did she just never learn how? Is she trying to be ironic? Also, have the writers of Law and Order ever been in a conversation with a human? If not, I would encourage you, TNT, to encourage them, the writers to take that plunge, if only so that they realize how people actually talk. Additionally, keep in mind that any removal of Law and Order from your daily schedule just may influence members of your fan base to get jobs.

Thank you for your time and consideration, TNT. Trust me, there is other programming out there. Seek it, and don’t program it in twenty-nine episode chunks.

You guys suck,

Michael Hadge

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