“In a criminal justice system…”

You know how there are those days when all you want to do is sit on your couch and watch television for hours on end? Typically, this occurs after a hard day’s work at work/school or a chaotic week in which you barely had time to eat and sleep. There are times when sitting in front of the television and not having to worry about deadlines, projects, or exams sounds like paradise. Thankfully, the USA channel understands this and puts on Law and Order: SVU marathons at least twice a month.

As someone who finds more than enough time to sit on the couch and enjoy the thrilling adventures of Benson, Stabler, and company, I’ve managed to come up with a few things that any passive viewer should expect when tuning into Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (CHING-CHING!)

5. The first five minutes usually have absolutely nothing to do with the overall plot. Oh, what’s that – a hot couple about to go skinny-dipping at night in some nice fountain? BAM – there’s a dead woman floating in the water and we never hear from that nice couple again. Aww, how sweet! A girl teaching her dad how to rollerblade in the park! Oh, there he goes, tumbling into a nearby bush and into a dead body! Or how about how the children crossing the street find a suitcase containing a dead body and the crossing guard has to keep those curious kiddies away from the body? It’s just funny watching the writers come up with the most random people who just happen to stumble upon the victim. I’m sure this is how it happens in real life, but on the screen it seems so hastily put together. Sometimes it seems as if the writers always think about the first scene last and tack on the most random situations to transition into the main story. Oh well, it’s somebody’s five minutes of fame! If you’re not into finding the hilarity in sweet family scenes or hot couple scenes that quickly turn dramatic, then use the first few minutes to get some snacks or use the bathroom, because once you start a SVU episode, you will probably not want to get off that couch.

4. Watch for the witty side comments from Munch and Stabler. With all that suspense and drama, Law and Order: SVU has to lighten the mood somehow! Luckily, Christopher Meloni and Richard Belzer are always up for the task and drop snarky and hilarious one-liners when arresting or ambushing perps (pervs). Unfortunately I cannot embed the video, but here’s a video compilation of some great Munch lines: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Bmhp-i6OjE

Robin Williams on Law and Order: SVU

3. Celebrities flock to Law and Order: SVU when they want that juicier and darker role. Much like film actors who know that an Oscar nomination is guaranteed after taking a part that requires radical change, those on Just off the top of my head, I can list Hilary Duff, Martin Short, Robin Williams, and even Jesse McCartney (yes, he’s still out there) as some of the more recent guest stars on SVU. The best thing about having celebrity guest stars is that it makes the job of figuring out the culprit much easier. What would be the point of hyping up an upcoming appearance if Jesse McCartney was only playing the emotional boyfriend of a dead pregnant teenage girl? Exactly! That would be a waste of advertising money and I’m sure NBC would not want to be the victim of fangirl rage (that’s assuming that there are still enough McCartney fans out there; to be honest, I’m not sure as I stopped paying attention to him after 2003). Well, SPOILER ALERT – the girl was actually part of a pregnancy pact and was killed by our favorite “Beautiful Soul” singer in a jealous rage when he learns that she had slept with another guy from school in order to get pregnant. In short, if there’s a celebrity guest on an episode of Law and Order: SVU, you should probably suspect him or her first, unless they are the victim. Although, some of the best episodes have been the ones where the victims are, in some crazy twist, the ones whom we’ve should have been suspecting (more on that in a little bit).

2. Benson and Stabler have an enormous amount of sexual chemistry between them. Personally, my favorite pairing would have to be Finn (played by rapper Ice-T) and Munch. I suppose it’s the hilarity the results from pairing two people who seem to be polar opposites – a curmudgeonly Jewish man and a guy who used rap about killing the cops. Plus, the best lines usually come out of Munch’s mouth! But, back to our leading lady and her partner/should-be-boyfriend/soul mate and their frustrating “romance.” Recently, Christopher Meloni announced his departure from the show, leaving fans to wonder how the show will go on without their favorite angsty detective, but more importantly how Olivia will deal without Elliot as her partner will go on living without ever getting together with Elliot. Judging from the amount of Olivia and Elliot fan videos on YouTube, there must be a lot of disappointed Olivia/Elliot shippers out there. Law and Order: SVU has teased viewers with numerous occasions in which the two have been extremely close to getting it on (for example, Olivia pretending to be Elliot’s prostitute to save him from being outed as an undercover cop, or Olivia kissing nerdy technician Dale to “make him jealous”). Unfortunately, viewers will never get to see our favorite detectives kiss or do anything more together, and we’ll just have to make do with a well-edited fan video on YouTube. Here’s a good one:

1. It is always the person you least suspect. Whenever I watch an episode of SVU, I immediately begin guessing the perpetrator; usually it’s someone the detectives interview in the beginning or someone in the family of the victim. IT IS ALWAYS SOMEONE YOU LEAST SUSPECT. They may arrest a suspect early on in the episode, but chances are that person is some idiot who didn’t know what they were doing or they have more information leading to the actual perp. The show is an hour long, which means the writers need to fill that time with engaging twists and turns. Law and Order: SVU does a great job of taking the viewer through what can be a very complicated story. One of the best episodes I watched recently (when I really should have been studying for finals…) had a member of the forensics team as the killer! It was a great twist and proved that the show was capable of switching things up every now and again. Although there are times in which it’s much easier to guess the rapist/murderer/pedophile, it’s just fun and exciting to watch the SVU team tread through those complicated, and sometimes hilariously outrageous, stories.


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