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I am now 8 episodes into season 16 of SVU, and it is so disappointing.

Like, when I posted about season 15 after watching basically the whole thing in 3-4 nights, I was invigorated. I was all jazzed up, thinking, "YEAH, this show is a good show! It's way more exciting than marathoning NCIS!" It was like a whole new series. It had some driving energy. I liked all the characters, with the possible exception of Olivia's boyfriend, and I actually could not wait to get to the next new episode. And now? Can't believe how much less I am enthused. I'm deciding whether I should just quit while I'm bored, since I only have 8 more before I catch up to current time and have to wait anyway, or if I should just get as far as I can now so I have less waiting for me once The Busy Work Season starts.

General Thoughts
-My reaction to learning that New Detective Sonny is actually a permanent character in the main credits and everything is basically Michael Scott's reaction to Toby's Return: "NO! NO, GOD, PLEASE, NO, NO! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Or, well, slightly toned down, but still with so much anger. He was so ostentatiously terrible in the premiere I thought for sure he was a joke, like that replacement detective on Castle who disppeared shortly thereafter with no follow-up. I cannot believe we're meant to take his sleazy used car salesman at best/peddler of child porn at worst jackass as a valuable addition to this show. WHY.

-tl;dr having Olivia in charge isn't as fun as it's supposed to be, and I'm mad.

-Olivia's scenes with Baby Noah, on the other hand, are pretty adorably wonderful, and I never say that about single moms.  I'm also intrigued by the part where he ended up in the ER and we learned he may develop health problems due to his crappy early life. I hope we don't see too many more rounds of "job vs. foster parent," though. Just once, I'd like proof that Child Services does more good than harm.

-Peter Gallagher's Eyebrows as Olivia's new and permanently displeased boss are really getting on my nerves. What is WRONG with this season? How did we go from a season with a perfect cast to this? The only addition I like is that pretty female defense attorney, the really reasonable one with long, straight hair, who makes me forget which side she's on half the time because she always seems so willing to cut deals and generally work with the prosecution.

-The majority of this season has been ~ripped from the headlines~ and it's been terrible. I hate all of the cases. The only one that hasnt sucked so far was the interesting twist of "Glasgow Man" being based on a real homeless person on whom to pin the blame. I also really loved the unsettling pinky-promise ending that no one but Sonny saw. If only this show had 6 more years in it so we could revisit them when the arguably crazier one gets out of jail.

-I am especially mad at myself for watching "Pornstar's Requiem" when I was sure that I was going to hate it going in. It was as illogical and rage-inducing as feared, if not more so. I can't believe I thought I would regret missing potential Baby Noah scenes if I skipped it.

-Why will no one clearly explain what the hell is going on with Amaro and Rollins. I don't know who is in charge of this show, but it is so bizarre how they're like, "They're a thing! Maybe. Or at least they're hooking up. We don't know how often. They may or may not be serious. He may or may not still be trying to get back together with his ex-wife. Amanda may or may not be aware of this. They're not really physically demonstrative or doing anything to raise suspicions, but people will randomly speculate about them sleeping together anyway. ISN'T THIS A FUN GAME."

Like...I don't even have an opinion on whether they're an item or not at this point, I'm just so annoyed by how pointless these mentions are. WHY ARE YOU WRITING THEM INTO SCRIPTS. WHAT IS YOUR OBJECTIVE. PLEASE TELL IT TO ME. Because I have now watched the entire season that introduced it and one-third of a new one waiting for explanation on why Amaro was in a towel on her couch and I still don't know. The last time I was this baffled by a plotline was when Without a Trace ignored the fact that Danny and Elena were a couple for a year and a half.
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And then there was the "Three-Show Crossover Event," linking a case that starts at the end of Chicago Fire over to be the main plot on SVU, then kicking it back to Chicago P.D. for the ultimate pedophile crime boss take-down. I thought that was really well done (and definitely SVU's most exciting episode of the season thus far). I still can't stand the boss on P.D., but damn, the Chicago Fire cast has got it goin' on.

I am fighting very hard not to go mainline that show next, actually. I love that the format is so unique -- I thought it was a crime show esque procedural, but it seems more like Grey's Anatomy, with work woven around the personal storylines, and the mini scenes of rescue action are SO EXCITING and unlike anything else I've seen on television. Equally if not more important, I just like everyone's face! Mostly Jesse Spencer's (he is rocking a very nice American accent and seems pretty swoon-worthy between the sweet kissing with Gabriela(?) and the supportive friendship with a bro in this episode) -- but honestly, I either know every actor in that firehouse, or I've taken an immediate shine to their personality.

The weakest link so far is the skinny blond EMT chick, and her only crime is being bland, as opposed to aggravating. And since she's new and young, I can identify with her! Otherwise, I still don't know naems, but I also enjoy the hilarious bad cook/Secret Zumba Instructor, Steve from Sex and the City, the cool boss, the dry middle aged guy in charge of Taylor Kinney/Vegas Wedding Dude's paperwork, Single(?) Dad Firefighter/Bounty Hunter, and Vegas Wedding Dude guy himself. What is about that guy? He's not classically attractive to me, but he's handsome in a Man's Man way, where I look at his muscles and his easygoing manner and I'm like, "Yeah. That dude could make a very nice family man." Intellectually stimulating best friend/Halpert Level Romance Ninja? I want to say no (although he strikes me as the kind who would certainly try to do nice things on Valentine's, like the standard flower/chocolates or a nice dinner out). But a good solid dude, and a pretty nice guy, kinda like Booth.

I'm also torn between "I WANT TO KNOW WHO SHAY IS" and "OH GOD PLEASE LET ME NEVER FIND OUT WHO SHAY IS." I am basically Brittany in this episode. I don't need to know what came before, do I?

I think we should all welcome Brittany with open arms, because she seems like a delightful human being and I would fully support these two strangers somehow having true love at first sight*. You can tell she's quality people because her first reaction to having a dog come up to her was to drop down to its eye level, greet it with excitement, and let it kiss her face. Which reminds me, WHAT DO YOU MEAN THERE IS AN ADORABLE FIREHOUSE DOG. ARE YOU KIDDING ME, TUNA? HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO RESIIST THIS SHOW NOW.
[*update: what the damn hell. They didn't even make it a month?]

[update #2: I have looked up Shay and I don't love the actress's face, but more importantly she was neither a love interest for Brittany's shiny new husband, nor a possible love interest due to her sexuality, so I feel much better. Or I did, until I stumbled across current spoilers and was like oh no what are you doing to the other characters' love lives stop it right now. I can't actually tell if they're for P.D. or Fire, but both options seem bad. Also, after looking up Gabriela's history on the ol' Wiki, I'm worried maybe she and I won't get along so well if she's got such a messy relationship background.]

Seriously, the show looks so good. The immediate sense of family produced in the firehouse is like no workplace family I have ever met. But having just learned that there is now another Chicago spin-off coming up in the form of "Chciago Med," I'm basically overwhelmed by potential riches set in the midwest and I dunno, I don't think I can handle any of it. I'm also worried it's going to resemble Grey's Anatomy more than is permissible with respect to the messy relationships despite there apparently only being two women as main characters.

Arrrrgh, I sort of wish I had just been able to continue on in ignorant bliss...except I really did like how neatly they tied the ending of this episode into SVU. That required a pretty awkward connection to have to fit SVU into the timeline the way they did just to accommodate airing schedules, and I'm impressed it was pulled off so well.


The main plot: SVU/Chicago P.D.
OH NO, I have taken a shine to Teddy. What is wrong with this picture? I vaguely want to help him despite his vulgarity and decision to give up on being a produtive human due to teenage trauma. (look, if his pal Lily got it together, I still get to judge him) I also really appreciated how much of Erin we got in New York, before her unfortunate run-in with a bicycle and concussion-inducing concrete that forced us to accept her awful boss as a replacement. The rest of the plot kind of blurs together for me -- I can't remember which parts were on which show, which I think is a good sign -- but I really enjoyed Benson undercover as the worried parent of the missing boy. Lady is good. It was a disturbing and unsettling plot, to be sure, but not as nauseatingly gross or explicit as a lot of what SVU writes. Definitely their best of the season. I appreciate when this show is disturbing more on a theoretical level, without putting gross pictures in my head.

It was also a surprise to me to realize that almost a whole season has passed in P.D. since I last saw it a few nights ago. It's kind of fun to objectively judge charater growth. Eager Beaver Junior Detective looks like she's grown nicely into her shoes -- a lot more confident and treated a lot less like wallpaper by her colleagues. I don't know if the Mean Seargant Lady has actually calmed down or she's just in shock from grief, but her subdued nature was much appreciated. Erin is still my midwestern sweetheart/person I think should be my best friend. I also really enjoyed having Benson tell her corrupt boss to simmer down before his punk ass police brutality ruins her convictions in New York, ARE WE CLEAR. Also, I love that the whole NY gang has now earned frequent flyer miles to visit with the P.D. squad.

Still no interest in the show, as all of non-Erin people are pretty boring, so I'll just look forward to her crossing over a lot. (is that really Sophia Bush? No way! My lifelong impression of One Tree Hill's Sophia Bush is someone much more processed and boring-looking. Based on a quick Google image search, it woul appear that the minimal/lack of makeup and hair that is neither too dark nor too light to look natural really does wonders for her beauty.

I've seen several CSI crossovers over the years, but this is the first time I've gotten a taste of what it's like to follow a story when you only know/like one of the shows. It's...I don't know how to describe. It's kinda fun, like taking a trip to another country, but I think it's a lot easier when you just watch all the shows anyway.

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