In an upcoming episode of NBC’s “Law & Order: L.A.,” a Congresswoman will be shot in public.
Sound familiar? Of course it does. The grocery store gunning-down of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was only about three months ago.
It was recently reported that Giffords, whose recovery is progressing, will attend the Friday launch of her husband’s next space expedition.
Which, we’re guessing, prompted “L&O” producers to move ahead with a storyline they — let’s face it — guiltily scribbled down two and a half months back. (They just started filming the episode today.)
It looks like Giffords is going to be OK — which makes making the episode OK. Right?
Crime procedurals have long relied on stories ripped from the headlines. But there are so many headlines to choose from, and only a few that are wrapped up in the emotional history of the country. 9/11, obviously, would be one — and the Arizona shooting, while smaller in scale, is another.
Why not skip those sensitive events and eliminate the risk of sullying the victims’ memories or dredging up the survivors’ pain?
“L&O” isn’t doing anything wrong. Every episode they turn out is fiction — period.
But when the day’s reports bring news of two true-to-life “L&O” eps in the works — and the one that isn’t about a shooting rampage is about the “Spider-Man” musical — it’s easy to think the show should narrow its scope.