Monday, December 14, 2015

Law & Order SVU “Catfishing Teacher” Episode Information

Here are the details for a new episode of Law & Order SVU, “Catfishing Teacher.”

Law & Order SVU “Catfishing Teacher” Air Date January 6, 2016 (9 PM ET/8C Wednesday NBC)

A high school student plans a clandestine hookup with his female teacher but ends up in a far more sinister situation. Starring Mariska Hargitay, Ice T, Kelli Giddish and Peter Scanavino. Guest starring Andy Karl, Michael Gaston, Robert Sean Leonard, Kelli Barrett, Jordan Gelber and Jeanine Pirro.

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My recap and review of Law & Order SVU “Catfishing Teacher” can be found at this link.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, on All Things Law And Order.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.


Cappi said...

Looks like no Barba, again

Ana Andrade said...

This looks like it'll be an interesting case. But why is there no Barba again? :(

Chris, I was wondering about what you thought about an upcoming episode about Olivia held hostage. I know there was an article talking about it. I am personally looking forward to it. I find the show more interesting when it has personal drama for the characters. I feel like you think that the show should focus more on solving cases though, since it is a procedural, but you can correct me if I'm wrong. While I do think that the cases are a big part of the show, it would be boring if that is all they did. I feel like I enjoy the show more when you get to know more about the characters, and most of the other SVU fans that I've talked to agree with me. I feel like this is why you are being harsh on SVU lately. It may seem like the quality is going down, but the reality is that it is simply different than when it first started. What do you think about the direction the show is going? I know that a common argument is the show has been dumbed down, but I think that younger viewers like myself want to be invested in the characters more, and adding personal drama does that. Also, that helps meet the main goal of the show, which is to entertain the audience. It gives us something to talk about, and speculating is also fun. Another thing I want to point out is that this a television show and it's fictional. You seem to forget that when criticizing certain aspects. The writing nor the characters or their lives is not suppose to realistic. This is why they can have all these things happen to Noah, why Liv can get into another dangerous situation, etc...

I write all of this because I want to give you a perspective from someone else.

Happy Holidays :)

Chris Zimmer said...

@AnaAndrade - I admit when I first heard the stories about the episode where Olivia would be taken hostage, I rolled my eyes. It gets tiresome to me when it's always the females that are in danger from some sort of threat by a man. It's not just when SVU does it, a lot of network TV shows do it. Over time, if a TV show uses this plot device too often, it becomes predictable and boring. Over her career, Benson has been in dangerous situations just a little too much. But as I haven't seen the episode, I won't pass any judgement on it. By the way, one show that put of of its main characters in grave danger did it exceptionally well. It was a two part CSI episode titled - appropriately - "Grave Danger" - where Nick Stokes (George Eads) was buried alive and the team had to try to find him. That show took a male character and put his life in danger, and it may not have had the same effect had it been any of the female lead characters. It was a bold move on the part of the show. But SVU seems to like to put their women in danger, and the guys, well, they just all seem to develop anger issues! I've watched a lot of TV in my lifetime, I've seen a lot of good and a lot of bad. This may be why I may seem more critical to you. When you've watched as much TV as I have and for as long as I have, after a while you'd feel like you're seeing the same stories over and over. Shows on cable channels (HBO, Showtime, etc.) and streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime are getting all the accolades these days. They are breaking the stereotypes and getting very creative with storytelling. Sadly, the SVU writers are confined by the network regulations. I would LOVE to see Law & Order and/or SVU done on HBO or Showtime.

I don't mind personal drama, even in the Law & Order universe. The last two seasons of Law & Order, for example, interjected quite a bit of personal drama and they did it VERY well. The personal story lines were believable and enhanced the depth of the character. It will be interesting to see, if SVU is renewed for another season, what a new show runner would do. If it's Julie Martin who takes over the helm, I don't think we'd see much change.

As far as the show being fictional, of course I know that. But this does not mean that the story lines shouldn't be somewhat credible. This about this: If you were the Chief of Detectives and you had a Detective/Sergeant/Lieutenant that was always getting herself/himself into danger, wouldn't you wonder about her/his abilities and if they belong in that job? Again, I haven't seen the episode so I don't know how she gets into this new mess and how she gets out of it. These ARE things that people can be talking about. It's okay to analyze the characters and their behaviors and the outcomes. The characters can do dumb things and viewers should feel free to criticize their actions. That is the fun of watching the show: discussing the episode. We may not agree but we ARE talking about it, aren't we? That is the one thing I've enjoyed watching Law & Order; the community was great and we all loved to analyze the legal aspects of the show and the characters. I don't think there is the same community with SVU; some people take things way too personally. (Twitter is the main place where I've seen people get verbally abused if they dare say anything negative about the episode.) Usually I'm the one that has to remind people it's just a TV show! (wink)

So all we can do it wait to see how the new episodes pan out! By the way, I don't get how little they are usual Raul. It amazes me that they have him in the top billing but he seems to be in less than half of the episodes. Such a shame, Barba is one character where they could be doing so much.

Have a great holiday and a happy new year!


Ana Andrade said...

Chris, now that I got your perspective, I agree with most of what you said. Using the same plot device can make the show predictable. You make a good point about shows on streaming platform being more innovative. I've noticed recently that those are the shows getting nominated for awards. As for fans, on Twitter, I don't think that they're as loving and defensive of the show as you think. There were plenty of Tweets fans being mad at the writers for supposedly writing Olivia out of character in Community Policing because she stood by the cops. What I don't like it "fans" who watched the show for the first 12 seasons and then stop and all they do now is say very rude things about the writers, the show, and the fans. They can't seem to get over Chris Meloni's departure. You would not believe some of the things that are said, especially about Warren. I assume current fans are just tired of seeing the hate that they are annoyed, which is why it may seem as they attack those who say anything negative about the show.
I was wondering if there is anything in particular that you want to see the show tackle, whether it's in terms of character development or real issues.

Alex Peri said...

@AnaAndrade I've seen every episode of SVU and I personally prefer the first 12 seasons way more than the current ones. It actually has nothing to do with Chris Meloni's departure. He was great for the twelve years he was on the show, but I believe the show could be just as good without him. I enjoyed Amaro's character during his first season, and I still enjoy Rollins and Carisi. My biggest issue with the new seasons are that the cases and plots just feel really unoriginal and uncreative. Honestly, anytime they actually have a case, they show you the entire crime and you can predict the entire episode even before the credits. I miss the mystery and twists that the older seasons put into their cases. My other major issue is the how often they reuse plots. For example, the William Lewis story. They had to introduce him in one episode, then they had Benson get kidnapped. Another episode he was on trial, and finally he broke out of jail and went after Olivia again. They do this with a lot of cases, where they'll find the suspect and then like halfway through the season they have an entire episode based around that trial. (Which seems to be the only time they utilize Barba) And then other cases, they do the trial in the same episode. It's just a little much and they could use more of their season to focus on the other characters or have more interesting cases instead of the same thing. I really don't mind the personal stories when they're done right. But Warren seems to overdo it every time just get a few fractions of a rating point. I am a young viewer (21 years old), and I do feel the show has gotten just a little bit too dumbed down. i think a lot of people just miss the suspense and emotion that seems to be absent in the more recent seasons. They should really use more psychiatry and forensics and all that stuff,, and stop showing us who did the crime at the beginning of the episode! Personally, I really hope the show does get renewed, cause I'm really excited and hopeful for what a new showrunner could do. Warren is really ruining such an amazing show, in my opinion.

@ChrisZimmer I haven't commented on your blog before but I've been following it for years. I love reading your reviews on every episode and the discussions in the comments. Keep up the amazing work!

Chris Zimmer said...

@AlexPeri - Thanks for providing input, it is appreciated! I think you hit on something that has been bugging me with SVU but I have been unable to put my finger on it: the re-use of plots. I know it is difficult to write something new each week, but sometimes I feel like when I watch SVU the last few seasons, I'm seeing stories recycled from Law & Order, Criminal Intent, and SVU itself! In their defense, I watch a lot of crime shows so I guess over time and hundreds of crime stories over the years, everything probably has been done by everybody at least twice! (wink)

@AnaAndrade - as far as what I'd like the show to tackle, I'm not sure if there is any story line or issue in particular. I think what I miss most with the show - and this also has nothing to do specifically with Chris Meloni's exit - is that they've completely lost any chemistry they had between the cast. The earlier seasons, especially seasons 1 and two but it did carry through to season 12 - is the great use of the ensemble. When Chris left, there was this gaping hole in the show that they tried to fill with Danny Pino but it didn't work, in part because some fans were way too upset with Chris's exit to "buy in" to Amaro. But the cast chemistry, and the use of the full cast in every episode, never gelled. A lot of that was due to cost cutting and too much focus on Benson. They also got rid of BD Wong and Tamara Tunie as regulars. After Diane Neal left, they went through a rotating series of DAs. It worked OK up until season 13, where I think the legal aspect of the show seemed to die a slow death. It was like the producers/writers didn't care about that part of the show. It still feels like they don't know what to do with it, seeing that Raul is used so sparingly. Under Leight's tenure, Florek and Belzer left, two strong characters, If I'd suggest anything with this show, it's to get back to building - and using - the ensemble every week (including more legal action) and recreate that chemistry the show once had. It's a tall order that I'm not sure they can fulfill, considering their budget constraints! But I can still hope...

charisma said...

I believe the episode where Benson is held hostage is the episode after this one "Township Incident."

HerbaceousHaven said...

The last episode which I enjoyed the most this year, surprisingly was written by Ed Zuckerman who has been around writing and producing Law and Order episodes for a long time.
I find myself watching some of the re-runs and paying close attention to who wrote the story now.
I always thought that actors when absent from a series, were working on another project or projects. That may be the case with Raul Esparza as there is a 2015 movie underway and statis seems to be "still filming".
I was under the impression that he was using the SVU show as a stepping stone for his acting career.
As far as this new episode I have to say that the promo looks interesting.
Hopefully Andy Karl will be more appealing in this one, as his acting fell flat with me in the 2 he was in previously.

Anne said...

I love the personal drama, and I think it's one of the ways SVU has evolved from the original L&O format, which was very plot and not character-driven. However, I am skeptical of the hostage thing, not because I don't like personal drama, and not because I don't think Benson should be in danger (it's a cop show, danger is part of the deal), but because it seems like totally lazy storytelling. "Oh, we got so much social media attention last time Liv was taken hostage, let's do it again!" The type of personal drama and character development I like is more Liv's development as a leader in the squad room, and balancing her work/home life. I hope that I'm wrong and that the hostage plot is organic to the plot and not some sort of desperate attempt to cater to a very specific group of fans who are very attached to the Liv/Lewis storyline. I feel the show is at its best when it uses every character and tackles stories of power and corruption. It's hard to tell new stories on a show like this -- basically you're finding a new way of telling an old story, or riffing creatively on a "ripped from the headlines story" -- but recycling a #SaveBenson storyline is really uncreative.

HerbaceousHaven said...

@Anne, I don't think Benson gets taken hostage in this one, "Catfishing Teacher". The next episode, "Townhouse Incident" is where it says she is taken hostage.
I don't think the two episodes are related.
I agree with you in that, I am also hoping the "taken hostage" drama is not the whole plot of the episode. That would be really lame.

Anne said...

@herbaceoushaven Yes, I should have posted in the Townhouse Incident thread! Hopefully it will be well done -- they've posted pix showing IAB, so I wonder if a cop is behind the hostage situation? Seems strange that an SVU lt. would be actively involved in a home invasion, but presumably that will be clarified in the ep.