In the criminal justice system, sexually-based offenses are considered especially heinous. In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad know as the Special Victims Unit. These are their stories. [DUN DUN]
There’s no other way to start this article without including the spoken opening narrative that precedes every episode, the the famous deep repeating double tone that has made this show and every incarnation of it famous (by the way for you trivia wizards, its a modified tone of a closing of a jail cell).
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit begins its 22nd season Thursday night on NBC. A show that has been on the air much longer than any other current live-action primetime series. Historically, after eclipsing its parent show, Law & Order, it is the fourth longest scripted television series behind The Simpsons, Gunsmoke and Lassie. And with at least two more contracted seasons after this one, its showing no signs of slowing down.
With a faithful cult following, viewers have been glued literally for decades to the goings-on in the Manhattan’s police investigation behind domestic and sex crimes brought to you by Olivia Benson, Odafin Tutuola, Amanda Rollins, Sonny Carisi, Kat Tamin, Elliot Stabler, John Munch, Captain Cragen, Dr. Wong, Nick Amaro, Brian Cassidy and many more. A following that so faithful that marathon rebroadcast on NBC’s sister network USA are constantly in play every weekend and gains a high viewership.
It’s hard to say what drives people to become involved with every new season, plot and development but its working. Creator Dick Wolf recipe for crime-to-investigation-to-trial essential gives viewers a basic need for completion from beginning to end, usually wrapping up in a bow. There’s also the notion that people are bizarrely entertained by the minds of extreme madness of these type crimes displayed in the show.
I’ll be remiss to mention a formula that Law & Order has taken by the horns to lead it to supreme watch-worthy status, the “ripped from the headlines” story angle. The show runners would find real-life stories and cases that have gain notoriety to mock in a way to fit in the Law & Order universe. And unfortunately in America there’s no shortage of material.
Which brings us to this year, of a insane year of 2020 that America and the world has experienced. Law & Order: SVU has a number of storylines to pursue, not in just “ripped from the headlines” cases, but how police work and crimes are being portrayed and handled this year. Sounds hilariously tragic, but could we lose cast members because the New York City Police Department (and their SVU staff) become impacted by some level of defunding?
In any event, I like millions of others, will be tuned in to their season premiere, and every episode after that. And just in case I miss any (and because I can’t get enough of it reruns or not) will be tuning to every marathon weekend on the USA network.