There are two kinds of people who watch Law & Order: SVU — those who are legitimately captivated by its lurid storylines and hyper-competent characters, and those who enjoy the show as an example of ridiculata at its finest.
Unfortunately, members of the second camp may find themselves disappointed by last night’s episode, “Funny Valentine” — a tale of love and hip-hop that’s all too familiar to anybody who’s ever gaped at an upsetting Instagram photo. Sure, moments of absurdity crept in here and there; for example, here’s the exchange that led to the show’s version of Brown’s infamous pre-Grammys assault:
Fake Rihanna [after catching Fake Chris Brown flirting with a backup singer]: “I can’t leave you alone for five minutes without you getting trashy?” Fake Chris Brown [menacingly]: “Who you steppin’ to?” Fake Rinahha: “You! With this… beef cookie.” [She gestures toward the backup singer]
Also, Dave Navarro guests as a sound engineer named Ferrari.
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But that and beef cookies aside, the episode was a pretty harrowing depiction of the hold abusers can have over their victims. A ludicrous story of rape and bondage inspired by a bestselling erotic novel is one thing — but basing a plot on a real-life instance of domestic violence is quite another, and laughing at “Funny Valentine” would feel wrong even if the episode weren’t fairly straightforward, as SVU goes.