It’s probably safe to say that the “Law & Order” writers room is not on Team Jon.
The long-running crime drama does a ripped-from-the-headlines episode on Friday (Oct. 16), focusing on the adoptive father of 10 special-needs kids (guest star Jim Gaffigan) who’s accused of killing his wife, with a “Jon & Kate Plus 8”-style reality show factoring into the case.
There’s also an Octomom-like character who’s angling for a show of her own and a TV producer working the case from all angles to boost ratings for his show and more than a few potshots at reality TV (some of which are pretty clever, like when the producer asks Rubirosa (Alana de la Garza) to drive around the block so he can get a better shot of her arriving at court).
The case is far enough removed from the real-life saga to make it clear that “L&O” isn’t suggesting an ending to the real-life saga of the Gosselins (who are name-checked in the episode). But “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” and the ugly split Jon and Kate have played out in the media in the past few months, are clearly the inspiration for the episode.
And while Gaffigan looks nothing like Jon Gosselin, he delivers many of his lines in a flat, affectless way that sounds a lot like America’s most famous father of eight. The stand-in for TLC doesn’t come off so good either, as the show depicts the producer as way more interested in what makes good TV than the well-being of his subjects.
The ending is a groaner, but aside from that the episode (called “Reality Bites”) is pretty standard “Law & Order” fare — which is to say, it’s a well-acted, entertaining hour of TV. If anything, the fictional murder case is almost less sordid than the real-life tale that inspired it.
(NBC has taken down the video clip that previously occupied this space.)
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