An Ode to SVU

Have I written an ode to you, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit?

No, I haven’t? Why, what is wrong with me? Let me shower praises on a show that has deftly written so many crime episodes with crimes so heinous that it warps my brain so much. After SVU, I could be watching a harmless tv show like ‘How I Met Your Mother’ and be convinced that Character A is committing incest with his daughter or raping Character C on a daily basis.

No?

I love Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. I shamelessly adore the show. While my love for some tv shows are fleeting (e.g. House, survived up to Season 3 before wanting to dig my eyeballs every time I see Hugh Laurie on telly), I am a firm lover of SVU. It’s not the best show in the world, it’s not particularly insightful and if you follow true life crime in the newspapers, you can pretty much figure out who the killer is before the end of the episode. But there’s just something about the show, the pacing, the conflicts, okay, let’s face it, the stupid amount of chemistry between Mariska Hargitay’s Olivia Benson and Christopher Meloni’s Eliot Stabler that has made me a fan.

Perhaps the other reason why I love SVU is for its grittiness. When they mean heinous crimes, it usually is heinous. It deals with incest, rape, child murders and the heroes, sometimes they get the bad guys and sometimes they don’t. You cheer when things work out but with some cases, it leaves with you a terrible feeling all the way down at the pit of your stomach.

One of the reasons why I love murder mysteries so much is seeing how the copper deals with facing such depravity over and over. Each writer has their own take – Mankel’s Wallander despairs about the fate of his country and his countrymen with every crime that happens under his watch to a breaking point. Dick Wolf’s Detective Stabler and Detective Benson, on the other hand, deal with it in the best way I believe any good American would. By going out there and punching the hell out of the suspect.

Hit first. Ask questions later.

Sometimes it’s so politically incorrect that it is delicious. In real life, you don’t want your cops to be behaving that way; you don’t want your cops to be punching the lights out of you if they suspect you have been up to no good. But in SVU, it is perfectly fine because you know they are the Good Guys. And in a world where things are getting murkier by the day on what is right and what is wrong, it is nice to see a bit of black and white, and you know that these guys, they’re making the world a better place.

And they waste no time in doing so. CSI irritates me with its over-reliance on forensics – the flashy lights and ridiculous angles as the scientists, who often work in very dark rooms that look like night clubs with much cleavage seen from their white coats. Those are time-wasters; they don’t add anything to the story. In SVU, when they say they need to get to the suspect, its cut to the next scene – the door is smashed down and my heroes are running in, guns ablaze and scaring the bejeebus out of the bad guys.

It’s also a decent stand-alone, you can pick up any episode from Season 5, watch Season 8 after and not be jarred by much, only that some of the characters look older, loss a bit of weight or added on a bit of weight.

But, as with all good things, it must come to an end. Christopher Meloni has decided to leave SVU at the end of season 12. Thank goodness I was surfing the net in bed, or I would have collapsed from weak knees. No more Detective Stabler? Poor Olivia! Heck, poor Adlina! And as much as I love SVU, I think it is the partnership between Stabler and Benson that makes the show and I don’t believe that the show can survive without either partner. Which makes me rather sad.

But thank you, Christopher Meloni! For 12 wonderful crime-fighting years.

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