Jacob (yak_boy) wrote,
Jacob
yak_boy

Law & Order: Criminally stealing from its viewers

Tonight, you may have seen advertised a very special episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
You the viewer were given the chance, via the usual premium SMS voting line, to decide the ending.
Recurring character Nicole Wallace, is either going to live or die.
They showed both endings, and by SMSing your vote, and paying for the privilege, you decide which one is official.
You decide if Nicole lives to appear in future episodes or dies once and for all.

There's just one problem.

As you may have guessed, the episode aired in America some time ago.
Interestingly, there the vote was conducted online, aided no doubt by the higher level of broadband access.
Well before we even saw the episode, America voted that Nicole lives.
So, if Australia really makes their choice, and votes that Nicole dies, the network is going to have a pretty hard time explaining why she is appearing in a future episode.
Or are they just going to not show that one here?

Either way, the Australian public is being ripped off.

The episode was made this way basically because the Nicole Wallace character is one of those "controversial" characters.
Not that she stirs up controversial issues, just that a lot of viewers love her and a lot hate her.
That's why they wanted the viewers to decide if they wanted her to ever appear again.

The stupid thing is, the "live" option was actually a much better, open-ended ending than the "die" option.
The way the "live" option ended she may or may not be dead, as opposed to the "dead" option which ended with her in the morgue.
So, really, the makers of the show are under no obligation to ever have her appear again, regardless of the voting outcome.

But, the more imortant aspect of this difference is that it really set it up for the viewers to vote a certain way, anyway.
The "live" ending was a much better ending, dramatically.
The "die" ending seemed rushed and contrived.
So, it really seemed that they had deliberately set the viewer up to vote a certain way anyway.
Or, if I look at it less cynically, and compare it to the story that I just read about how this episode came to be, they wrote the "live" ending first, and quickly tacked the "die" ending on after they came up with the idea of the viewer vote.
Either way, the vote was very one sided.

In the end, anyone who tonight picked up their mobile phone, and paid for the privilege of voting on a foregone conclusion, is being ripped off.
I wonder whether Emily was right in saying that the Ten network may have been planning all along to report the result as a win for the "live" ending, regardless of the actual outcome of the vote.
If this is the case, a real investigation may need to be launched.

EDIT: This is insane.
Australia voted for Nicole to die. What the fuck are they going to do when she inevitably reappears?
Expect to be ripped off an episode of L&O:CI sometime in the future.
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