Disclaimer: This is all about a TV show.
There was a time before Scandal. Before the glorification of a bumbling, man-child. Before brain trauma that conveniently resolved over the course of an episode. A time when Tony Goldwyn was still Tony Goldwyn, the actor. The talent. A time before my view of him was stained. And during that time, he was a part of Law and Order: Criminal Intent.
Back story: in college, as I was studying such charming topics as “Deviance in the Family” and “Social Inequality”, I fell hard for a little ditty called Special Victims Unit. I mean, come on. It was pretty awesome. That and they insisted on working in story-lines reminiscent of some pretty famous cases. I remember reading a book by Paul Britton (a famed forensic psychologist) and then seeing the episode about the couple who had a bunch of kids, whose nannies might disappear and who buried their victims in and around the house. So basically the show was quite parallel to what I was doing in my own life. I could even overlook Detective Olivia Obvious, I mean Benson’s constant stating of the – you guessed it – obvious. But then I started to get weary. I was a bit tired of the hamfisted handling of religious figures (ie, if there’s a Christian – and don’t let it be a pastor – we know from the get that this is the perp), the beating us over the head with preachiness – where at one time they used having an ensemble cast to have heated exchanges wherein everyone had and was unapologetic in their own beliefs and opinions, it seemed increasingly, we were just being told what to believe in a really trite back-and-forth in which Benson and Stabler totally agreed and actually wondered aloud how anyone could not believe. So that got old, fast. Aside from which, it’s just corny and lazy writing.
So I stopped watching. (GASP.) I’d watched an episode of Criminal Intent and just did not get Vincent D’Onofrio’s Robert Goren. (I am shaking my head at myself right now, wondering how that’s possible.) But I decided to go back to it and…well, the rest is history. This character. He was a tortured Sherlock with obvious quirks that eventually became much more than that, but the way his world was weaved into it…so good. And then there was the end of season 6. When everything started falling down. In a good way…for the viewer. In a heartbreaking way for Goren. Let me just say, his family members are played by Tony Goldwyn and Rita Moreno. I mean.
And then season 7?? And MORE family stuff. And the undercover stuff. And the season finale that broke.me.forreal. ::falls across chaise:: All the best Goren storylines falling one on top of the other, creating the most amazing performances – not that one need rank D’Onofrio’s genius against D’Onofrio’s genius. It’s just, how much could this man take! GAH. So good.
So why am I blogging about this?! Because, like five years later, I’ve still thought about the satisfaction of that episode and some from the previous season so much that I’ve taken to reading episode guides and finally, last night, watching two from season six…in preparation to rewatch the season 7 finale. Again. Because I must. Because it was just so good. I can’t think of another series where a consistent viewer was so rewarded. I mean, I assume it wasn’t as powerful for people who hadn’t seen the years long build-up (AND YES I’M INCLUDING THE CRIMINAL INTENT PC GAME!).
Tony. You…you should know better. You were once a Goren. Why have your forsaken your rich heritage?! You were the bad guy I desperately wanted Demi Moore to learn to love in Ghost! (She didn’t even try!) What has Shonda Rhimes *done* to you? ::weeping, gnashing of teeth::
Siiigh. So anyway.
Write like that. So that five years later, I can’t.stop.feeling it.