Tonight, Ebenezer Scrooge, you will be visited by three episodes of Law & Order

I’m going to attempt to write this while watching Law & Order as an experiment in form and content. I arrived home two hours ago, ready to eat some pizza after a rough day, put on some sweat pants, and read some Bay Area Playwrights Festival submissions. We found out the specifics of how the poor economy will be affecting our workplace, and it was…saddening. So maybe I’m not at fault that I gave in when I found a Law & Order marathon on. Of course I found a Law & Order marathon on. They’re always on I hear.

Commercial’s over. This one opens with a dog fight club. Bunch of rich assholes don’t see anything wrong with kidnapping pets to use as bait for trained canine monsters. One of the dead dogs has a woman’s finger in his intestine…yada yada yada…the last episode was about a spoiled rich kid who strangled a poor smart kid to death with a cello bow because he refused to help him cheat. Hey look, it’s Angel from Dexter! I love him!

Why is television so much easier than theater? Yes, it is cheaper. Yes, it is at home. Yes, I can eat pizza in my pajamas while watching it. But that simply explains why it’s easier to turn it on. Why is it so much harder to turn off? I saw A Christmas Carol yesterday, which was fun and easy and silly. I wasn’t even bothered by the daughter, mother, and grandmother team in front of me who were making every effort to become a human Newton Cradle:

Daughter to mom to grandma to mom to daughter to mom to grandma to mom to daughter to mom to grandma to mom to daughter…I was a little perturbed when grandma started noshing on a burrito, but that was more because I was pissed off that she wasn’t sharing. If any show was appropriate to eat a little food and make a little noise during, it would be A Christmas Carol. Silly silly show.

Not like these shows I am watching right now are any less silly! Some sultry news reporter was found banging the prime suspect! It may be Lara Flynn Boyle, but her face looks a little fuller (and dare I say stiffer?) than last I saw her in Men in Black II. And I am only half watching. And so many celebrities look alike these days. Doesn’t sound like her. It’s probably her. There’s Angel again! Yay! Uhoh. They found a body. With NO HANDS!

About halfway through Act II of A Christmas Carol, the three generations of burrito-eaters in front of me have settled, but the crinkling of candy-cane wrappers of the little no-neck monsters behind me is starting to get on my nerves. Why the F are we selling candy canes? My seats aren’t great and my neck is starting to get a crick in it. And the show is just so silly! The actors know it! They are acting silly. Plus, they are exhausted. This is something like their eighth performance in 4 days. Something ridiculous. I don’t blame them, but there isn’t a lot of truth at Fezziwigs Ball or at the Nephew’s party, or even at the Cratchett’s. Do people see A Christmas Carol for truth though? Or is it a show about symbols and tradition? I am ready to go when the Ghost of Christmas Future arrives, arguably the sweetest theatrical trick of the evening. Very simple, but very effective: fabric on a eerily-shaped skeleton taking up the whole stage, controlled by (I think) four actors in black. Lovely. Haunting.

Yet the curtain falls and I am ready to bounce. Ready to walk down to the Muni, head to the Mexican restaurant in the Castro, and back home to watch The Dark Knight. But tonight. . .”We don’t have much evidence, and we have holes to fill.” “If I give you what you want, will you help me out on the dog fighting thing? It’s kind of a big deal.” The final commercial break before the final twist! Two minutes to conclude this post. Why is it so easy to sprint from the theater, and so hard to push a little round button on the remote. Does knowing that fictional justice has been served satisfy me more than learning the value of the Christmas spirit? I can’t conclude this post. I’m too wrapped up in wondering what is going to happen after the Volvo commercial and the promo for Leverage segue into the final nail-biting moments. I don’t even know what I’m talking about anymore…all I know is that Timothy Hutton was an Academy Award Winner, and it is totally Lara Flynn Boyle. Isn’t she married to Harrison Ford? Why is she always cast in the slutty roles? Is it her vixen eyes? And who is this new lawyer? How do I know he’s new? I don’t even watch this show. Dammit! Did she have botox? Her lips look fuller. Is botox the lip thing? Or is that the cheek thing…my braaaaaaiiiinnnnnn. How, oh, how can I avoid this fate? Help me, please, ghosts of Christmas past, present and future…

Oh. Thank god. There’s Angel again. He’s arresting the real bad guys, including Ms. Boyle! Hooray! It must be her if she’s guilty!

Hour 4 begins. “What do we got?” “One in the shoulder. One in the back…” Must pull away. Must. Stop. Watching. But by 90 seconds in, I already know the cook’s nephew blames the Puerto Rican drug dealers in the neighborhood. If I turn it off now, I will never know…

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2 thoughts on “Tonight, Ebenezer Scrooge, you will be visited by three episodes of Law & Order

  1. calista flockhart is with harrison ford. botox is for wrinkles, as well as restylane….collagen is for lips. i had to dramaturg some of that…
    merry christmas!

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