Most of us readily recognize the beginning of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (SVU). “In the criminal justice system, sexually-based offenses are considered especially heinous…” Law and Order : SVU started as a spin off of the television drama, Law and Order. The show showcases the New York detectives of the 16th prescient in Manhattan and the District Attorneys. The viewers get to follow the catching and prosecution of these criminals. The first half of the show generally follows the search and capture of the alleged criminals. The second half of the show zones in on the trial of the criminals.
Special victims include sexually based offenses (including rape, pedophilia, and sex trafficking), child abuse, and crimes against the elderly. For the first 12 seasons, the show featured Detectives Elliott Stabler and Olivia Benson. Christopher Meloni who played Elliott Stabler abruptly left the series after the 12th season. Although many people were worried about Meloni’s departure, Law an Order: SVU continued to thrive. Some may even say that it allowed writers a chance to expand on Detective Benson’s character (played by Mariska Hargitay). Throughout the years, Detective Benson has been promoted to Sergeant and is currently the department’s Lieutenant.
The stars of the show attempt to maintain a balance between work and their personal lives. Victims always find an advocate within the cast. Most of the cases are pulled directly from the current headlines and parallel real-life situations. In addition to the detectives and district attorneys, viewers also often see the series psychiatrist and the county medical examiner.
Although there has been frequent turnover on SVU, the show remains overwhelmingly captivating and relevant. The characters and stories seem to have a way of drawing the viewer in.
As of this writing, the show has been renewed for its 19th season. You can catch up on previous episodes and seasons on Amazon video, Netflix, and NBC On Demand.