NBC’s “Law and Order” is ending its prime-time run after 20 years of procedural drama. The writers, oh so very tired, must see the end as sweet release. Bereft of ideas, no longer will they be forced to return to the same exhausted theme, the evils of corporate America.
Last night’s penultimate episode, “Immortal,” dealt with a bio-pharmaceutical company, Hema Labs, implicated in a murder connected with the “harvesting” of genes of a black man. In case you missed the point, the assistant DA evokes the memory of the “Tuskegee Experiments.” We also learned that the same company had produced drugs that sickened Indonesian villagers.
One loses track of how many times “Law and Order” has depicted the pharmaceutical industry as a maleovelent force, an active agent in murder, cover-up and corruption (e.g. “Pledge.”) Then there were the bankers, titans of real estate, music moguls, old wealth, nouveau riche, businessmen, businesswomen, businessmen.
Like the writers, we’re exhausted by it all. Last night, the anti-corporate theme was so beaten to death that we had to switch to Fox and “24.” Ah, there he is, the nefarious former President Logan, the embodiment of murderous conniving. And, as it turns out, before his political career, Logan used to be a coal company executive.
Well, of course he was.
UPDATE (10:25 a.m. Wednesday): Social conservatives don’t much like “Law & Order” either. Kathy Shaidle anticipates next week’s finale: “So: what do you think will happen on the last ever episode of Law & Order? The writers won’t want to miss the chance to go out with a literal bang, so watch for A Very Special Episode involving a rash of abortion clinic and gay bar and Home Depot parking lot bombings carried out by a recovering alcoholic Mormon talk radio host and a bespeckled brunette politico, who later turn their weapons on the D.A. and the rest of the cast. The resulting Hamlet-like diorama of destruction will fade to black. Cue “DUNH-DUNH” music signature. The end.”
(Hat tip: Ed Driscoll.)
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