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Oh Man, That Law & Order:SVU Dialogue Slays Me!
I have really grown quite fond of watching poor exposition via dialogue in cop shows, especially Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. It is truly simultaneously hilariously bad and superbly choreographed at the same time. I often try to picture the script during these scenes. I imagine it looks like football play diagrams, with X's and O's plotting out the physical and vocal interplay between Ice T, Richard Belzer et al as they offer up new clues in a perfect dance.

You know the scenes I'm talking about. The ones where they try to pack a week's worth of detective work into a one minute scene in order to keep the plot moving. Instead of a narrator saying, "This was found out, and that happened, so it was deduced that this is the case, instead of that", they stage this ridiculous ballet of characters sweeping into and out of the scene with pertinent information to the conversation at that very instant (a conversation that has been going on for a minute before said actor enters the screen). You know, like this:

Capt: So we've got to get DNA results from the perp.

Ice T (enters stage left covered in snow): Got it. The perp's our man. But I can't locate the sucka at the moment.

Belzer (hanging up his cell phone while coming down a ladder where he has just changed a light bulb): Marriott midtown! He just checked in five minutes ago and he's got a woman with him. Not sure who she could be.

Hargitay (walking out of kitchen area with X-Rays in her hand): Samantha Jones. Harvard Law, class of 92. Broke her arm in a skiing accident during a ski trip, winter 2001 at our perp's cabin.

...blah blah blah.

Awesome stuff. Anyway, next time you watch one of these shows notice how ridiculous the exposition is, and how nobody ever talks out of turn or says something that isn't completely 100% relevant to the last statement that was made, whether they were in the room or not. I want to know how many takes they have to do to pull off these beautifully orchestrated scenes. I mean, if Ice T is one second late walking out of the supply closet, the whole thing is ruined.

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post #10
bio: erics
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11/6/2002
15:40

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