Law & Order SVU – My Guilty Pleasure

Lord knows that I am not much of a television person. I haven’t had cable since 2003. I have so much going on that it’s hard for me commit to anything as time-intensive as a television series. But if there is one television show out there that I can just sit down and be pretty certain that it will be an enjoyable expense of my time, it would be Law & Order: SVU.

I never saw the show before 3 and a half years ago. When I was on maternity leave with my oldest son, my ex downloaded some of the episodes off of Pirate’s Bay. Then I believe the series was available on Netflix — and then when we subscribed to Hulu, I loved that they had the current season available. My oldest was such an agreeable baby. I had him laid out on the couch of that matchbox of a living room that we had at the time….binge watching Olivia and Elliott running around; my poor newborn hearing ‘dun-dun’ a hundred times or more in his first week of life.

Eventually I returned to work and weaned myself off of my Law & Order: SVU fix. I had appreciated that with the major change and uncertainty that new motherhood brings, there was this television show that had both a predictable format and a wide variety of interesting subject matters to cover. But as my new normal developed, my desire to sit and watch TV lessened. My boys were growing and needed me, and events going on in my own life needed my full attention.

Fast forward 3 years, and who would have ever been able to predict a global pandemic that would force us to be quarantined in our homes. In these many hours of hunkering down, I re-discovered Law & Order: SVU; and while I don’t think this current season is the best one (the stories are just kinda ‘blah’; and I like Carisi’s character and it’s tough to see him struggle in his new role as a DA) – I again welcome the quality of the show as well as it’s familiar structure and flow.

And I feel this way in spite of the criticism.

Mariska Hargitay has played Oliva Benson on Law & Order: SVU for the past 21 years

In the past, the show never shied away from blatantly robbing from current headlines. When Chris Brown beat Rihanna – that inspired and episode; when the Harvey Weinstein broke, that inspired and episode; etc. However it does not look like they are going to really touch the current crisis of the public outcry against the police with their history of racial profiling and abuse.

While I do appreciate the efforts that the media is making to push these issues to the forefront, I have to admit, I am growing fatigued of it all. I’m so tired of seeing “All Lives Matter” as the knee-jerk reaction to “Black Lives Matter”. I’m so tired of the constant justification and explanations of what is wrong with the police in this country, and our entire justice system in fact. And I’m tired of always having to maintain this heightened sense of safety and well-being for myself and my boys.

So shoot me if I’m guilty of just wanting to sit and hear ‘dun-dun’ and watch Oliva Benson chase after sexual deviants on the screen in front of me. So much has changed both for me and in this world since I first started following her excursions 3 years ago. Sometimes you just need those small constants in your life to help carry you through.