“Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (SVU)” is a spin-off of producer Dick Wolf’s “Law and Order”. Originally airing in 1999, SVU is currently in its 15th season. SVU is a fictional version of the 16th Precinct of the New York City Police Department that investigates and prosecutes sexually based offenses.
This TV series bases most of its episodes from real crimes that received media coverage. SVU creates a realistic environment, in which the characters are imperfect and suffer from their own problems. In the latest season Amanda Rollins, played by Kelli Giddish, has family problems and battles a gambling addiction. Nick Amaro, played by Danny Pino, is separated from his wife and is publically known as racist for unknowingly paralyzing an unarmed African American.
One of the main characters ,Olivia Benson, played by Mariska Hargitay, has recently became sergeant of the team and is the only person still on the show since season one. Although she is a tough, determined character, she has faced many hardships and suffers post-traumatic stress disorder from appalling assaults. She was raised by a single, alcoholic mother and was born as a product of rape. Benson is able to form a connection with rape victims, but she cannot face the after effects of almost being raped and repeatedly has vivid flashbacks and clouded judgment.
In Season 15 premier, Benson is held hostage for four days by a serial rapist she is trying to prosecute. He deprives her of food and water and forces alcohol down her throat. When Benson is able to break free from her restraints, she handcuffs the rapist and beats him nearly to death. Later on the rapist is trialed and found guilty for minimal charges but found not guilty for the attempted rape of Benson.
The actors portray their roles well and form connections with their audience. Their pains and struggles are felt and bonds are formed. Unfortunately, many of the original cast members have recently left such as Captain Cragen, Sergeant Munch, and my favorite, detective Stabler. It is upsetting when characters who have been on the show for a long time leave because the connections are already formed and we do not want to watch the show without them.
SVU’s episodes feel somewhat repetitive, but on the contrary they are highly addictive. Each episode is intense and filled with many plot twists that will shock and surprise you. Like in the real world, the good guys do not always win and many victims are left without justice served.