Short Imagined Monologues
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A Screenwriter Wonders How the Hell He’s Going to Come Up With an Original Plot for a New Episode of
Law & Order: SVU.
BY Amanda Waas
This show has been on for twelve goddamned years. I don’t even know where to go anymore.
Maybe something with kids? No, that makes me feel creepy. I mean, how many times can you write a script about pedophiles before everyone thinks you’re actually a pedophile? I write an episode and then it airs and my wife makes me sleep on the couch and my daughter looks at me strangely at breakfast the next morning.
No, honey, I don’t need counseling. Let’s remember that this show is about sex crimes. What the fuck do you want me to write about? You certainly didn’t complain about that episode I wrote about that little girl who was buried alive in a princess costume when it paid for our trip to Florida, did you?
On the bright side, at least this episode doesn’t have a guest star I have to deal with. It’s the same formula every goddamned time. Celebrity guest star is introduced as someone who is seemingly not involved in the crime at all. They’re a grieving widower or the sister of the victim. Then, the last 20 minutes of the show: BAM! They’re the killer/rapist! And then everyone gets an Emmy except for ME, the guy who wrote the stupid thing. Well, except me and Chris Meloni. That guy can’t catch a fucking break.
I’m getting off track. An idea, I need an idea.
I’ll just rip it from the headlines like a genius. Didn’t something recently happen in Brooklyn? Was someone bludgeoned to death or something? Maybe I’ll just do something on bullying—that’s a popular topic nowadays. Tugs at the heartstrings.
I’ve got it! Stabler’s daughter can be a bullying victim! That way he can get all riled up and threaten the suspect and then Captain Cragen will have to take him off of the case but he’ll still investigate on his own and then ADA will find out and she’ll be all like, “Blah, blah, blah, you’re ruining my case and now the jury pool is contaminated and poorly-executed search warrants, etc, etc!”
Wow, I really need a legal consultant here. Why would the jury pool even be contaminated? I have a very shaky knowledge of the law, considering that all I know about the law is what I’ve learned from watching Law & Order. I should probably shadow someone or sit in on a trial or something because the last time I tried to write lines for the ADA as, “Blah, blah, blah, objection, sustained” I almost got fired. Also, someone pointed out that the ADA would never say “sustained” because that would only come from the judge. See, you fucks? I’m learning, so get off of my back.
But wait, if I go with the bullying story, I’ve got to find a way to make it sexual somehow so the Special Victims Unit would get the case. I hate this. I have to take every vague idea I have and turn it into some terrible sex crime. It’s like that episode where I had to write a scene where the doctor found two dice and an egg timer in someone’s rectum. Do you know how weird it was to come up with that idea? Was it weirder that I came up with it after I played a board game with my family?
I’m convinced that this is how you turn into a serial killer. You shouldn’t have to take a shower after you do your job, unless you work in a coal mine or something, right?
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