Ever wonder how NBC keeps churning out fresh, new “Law & Order” episodes after 20 years? Well, now you can write one yourself! Just follow these 10 easy steps! STEP 1) Start with the voiceover introduction: “In the Criminal Justice System the people are …yadda yadda yadda”. Then, insert that weird “chung chung” noise. What is it exactly? Who the fuck cares? When you hear it, you know shit is about to go down. STEP 2) Now start with either A) Two people walking and laughing, B) Two people walking and arguing, or C) A cosmopolitan woman with a runaway dog. Have said people or dog discover the body of dead person. Uh oh! A crime has been committed! STEP 3) Have your cops arrive on scene, and make a pun about how the victim died. Be creative! If your victim was Wall Street tycoon who fell to his death, try “Looks like the stock market isn’t the only thing that fell”. More puns = more fun! STEP 4) Reveal your “ripped from the headlines” story. Find a news story, and tweak it just enough so that NBC won’t get sued. Instead of a story about a singer like Britney Spears shaving her head, create a story about an actor like Britney shaving her head
STEP 5) Time to investigate! Write a montage where the cops interview people doing interesting things. Viewers don’t want clues from boring people sitting at desks, they want clues from hot dog vendors, delivery truck drivers, and people dressed like robots. STEP 6) Time to meet and eventually arrest the celebrity guest star who’s totally guilty! Viewers know that Cynthia Nixon wasn’t hired to be boring. She’s there to be bat-shit crazy and win an Emmy. Now it’s time for the LAW part. STEP 7) Have some asshole lawyer get the evidence dismissed. This creates suspense. Now the cops and lawyers have to root around for last minute clues, so that we discover a classic “L& O” twist. “Wait! The fucked up celebrity guest is even MORE fucked up?” STEP 8) The time has come for the most powerful scene! Have your lawyer yell a lot, or use reverse-psychology. When your lawyer says “I’ll bet you were too DUMB to have committed this murder”, make the suspect break down and confess. Works every time. STEP 9) Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) and his lawyers win. Duh. He’s Sam Watertson.
STEP 10) You’re almost done! Write a scene where either A) Sam Waterston drinks some scotch and muses about the morals of justice, OR B) Sam Waterston steps into an elevator, and muses about the morals of justice. THE END. You did it! Give yourself a pat on the back. Now, simply repeat an additional 21 times to fill the season’s full order.
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