SVU on form, The Good Wife, Body of Proof Premiere.

I was a late-comer to Law and Order: Special Victims Unit; one boring summer Hallmark was showing episodes in seemingly random order so I was puzzled by the rotating ADAs and Olivia Benson’s hair!

In recent years the show has been very inconsistent with the cases being more gimmicky and less interestingly plotted in my opinion. Another SVU staple is the big name guest stars and this week’s episode boasted Jeremy Irons and Elizabeth Mitchell, and for once Benson and Stabler stepped back a bit and these two excellent actors really got their teeth into what was a highly melodramatic and unbelievably convoluted story.

I’m a long standing Elizabeth Mitchell fan and with the recent end of V – possibly for good – I guess she was in the market for a nice juicy guest turn. SVU has a habit of nabbing Emmy nominations for its guest stars and I must say, Mitchell really was excellent as a mousy neurotic piano teacher suspected of raping and murdering a little girl. OK, so as soon as you saw her on the suspect list you know you could discount the others, but the questioning scenes between her and psychiatrist Jeremy Irons, returning after a guest star role a few months back, was pretty special thanks to the  convincing performances. In many ways, I regretted the twist that exonerated Mitchell, not every perp has to be totally evil, a victim of abuse – as sympathetic as she was – can be an abuser. Anyway, kudos to Irons (still got that gorgeous voice) and especially the always fab Elizabeth Mitchell.

On The Good Wife, last week’s dramatic and shocking revelations about Kalinda’s past dailliance with Peter continued to reverberate this week. Have we ever seen a more shaken up Kalinda? Interestingly, after the confrontation with Blake, it is Alicia she rings. It’s not clear why, but in a later scene when she meets with Peter and he says he loved Alicia, I was waiting for Kalinda to say “so do I”. Their friendship is one of the joys of the show, and seeing Kalinda’s anxiety while an oblivious Alicia carried on with business was fascinating.

America Ferrera returned as Eli Gold (Alan Cumming) tried to help her fight her immigration legal battle. However, another legal difficulty arose after her father was arrested. Don’t know about you, but it was just WRONG to see Betty hugging a DIFFERENT Papi!! I’m not sure how I feel about Eli and Natalie (Ferrera) but we got to know Eli’s sassy daughter a bit more – yet another bit part character who was fun and seemed real and well rounded even though she was only in 2 or so scenes.

Less action, but another great episode, especially for dedicated fans who will have caught all the subtle looks from Kalinda, Peter, Carey and Alicia missing it all!

Body of Proof premiered this week and on the whole I liked it enough to keep watching, largely thanks to Dana Delaney, a charismatic and always watchable actress. However, the cliches were rather heavy handed in this episode with some really clunking dialogue! A former top neuro-surgeon, Megan Hunt is now the Medical Examiner in Philly and is a cross between House and Kay Scarpetta (still think Delaney would have made a great Kay!)

The supporting characters were expecially dull, although I loved seeing Jeri Ryan as Megan’s boss (Ah, Seven of Nine!!) For that matter, to see them share the screen – two actresses in their 40s – was refreshing. I did find Megan pretty unbearable at times. Oh she is sooooo brilliant! Oops, time for another sob story, super cool subdued lighting IN THE MORGUE??!! But there was enough for me to like, chiefly Delaney. However, lets hope they cut back on the cliches in the future.