This year, America’s long-simmering racial tensions were brought to a boil by the Trayvon Martin trial, then dunked in the fryolator that was the Paula Deen racism scandal. But imagine how much more expedient it would have been had only Paula Deen been the one to shoot Trayvon Martin, and then Ice-T showed up to glare at her? Why, then racism might have been solved in just around 42 minutes, with time for a minor romantic subplot—and that’s just what Law & Order: SVU aims to do in an upcoming episode.
The show that’s known for ripping stories from the headlines, then shredding them into bedding fit for hamsters and equally weighty social commentary, will combine the Paula Deen and Trayvon Martin stories into a single plotline, much like the ranting of your average CNN.com commenter. In a potential threat to your ability to take this story seriously, Arrested Development’s Jeffrey Tambor will be called upon to defend a “high-profile celebrity woman chef,” played by the last gasp of Cybill Shepherd’s vanity, who shoots the black teenager she accidentally mistakes for a would-be rapist. And that’s when “the big questions” happen, such as “Is racial profiling justifiable?” and “What the hell, Paula Deen just shot Trayvon Martin?” and “Ice-T is a detective?”
Also, according to producer Warren Leight, “There’s a lot of stop and frisk elements to that as well”—all in an episode that not only aims to address as many facets of our contemporary racial tension as possible, but also dispense with as many of this year’s top news stories at once as it can. Presumably Cybill Shepard’s chef is also momentarily distracted by a sexting exchange with a local politician—an exchange exposed by a daring whistleblower who flees the country, causing the Pope to resign. And then Ice-T glares at the whole damn world.