I don’t really remember when I started watching Law and Order: SVU all the time. I’d always SEEN it. And I was acutely aware that my grandfather watched every episode of Law and Order available on TV on a given day. I think around junior year of college I started really committing to watching it (and dragging my roommate with me). But that’s where the problems began.
There are so many ways that I’m obsessed with this show and I literally have so many feelings about it that I don’t even know if five reasons is enough. I think Mariska Hargitay is the prettiest woman in the world and I’m so jealous of her ability to pull off short hair. I assume all detectives are super smart and committed to their jobs and am intensely obsessed with Ice-T and his relationship with Coco (who also appears in an episode) and love on Ice Loves Coco when they visit the set. I think they have used guest stars in some of the BEST ways on TV and I love that Dean Winters was a detective in the early episodes and then later went on to be Dennis Duffy. I also geeked out over seeing Stephanie March at JFK once and don’t even get me started on Alex vs Casey debate. I can’t decide which ADA I prefer and I refuse to recognize any others.
So, here are the five (major) ways SVU has ruined my life. (Honestly, they could all be titled Christopher Meloni or Elliot Stabler but we’ll get to that.)
1. I Can’t Look At My Fire Escape in the Same Light
I couldn’t watch SVU alone at first.
Like, at all. Maybe it was that I’m just generally a scaredy cat. Or maybe it’s because I was a young co-ed in New York City so basically every episode was about someone like me getting murdered. Either way, someone always had to be with me when I was watching it. Now I can watch it alone (like a boss), but back then it was way too scary to handle alone (it also doesn’t hurt that now I’ve seen every episode – several times – so I know when I have to look away).
During a memorable SVU marathon (I think self-curated from DVR), I suddenly found myself alone in my apartment, at night, with the window open.
Except my living room window opens onto the fire escape and we all know SVU loves to use fire escapes. I spent the remainder of the night convinced either a murderer was going to be fleeing down my fire escape or someone was going to be running away from someone and jumping in my window or just the typical “Oh, we can see he got into the apartment through her open window on the fire escape” trick.
Well, I wasn’t having any of that. I quickly closed the window and pulled down the blinds . . . and continued watching SVU.
2. It’s Made Me Look at Every Situation as a Potential SVU Opening
It’s hard to say if it’s just the whole problem of living in NYC and watching a show where it feels like around every corner someone is going to rape and/or murder me.
But is also makes me be on high alert FOR those dead bodies. You know how every episode always starts with the fake-out where you think one person is going to die but they’re actually just there to discover the body? Or like, the couple is just sitting down to dinner but then someone runs by them on fire? Well, I’m now convinced that I’m going to find a hand every time I look over a railing into the water or a corpse in an alley or something.
Grim, I know. But these are the images SVU has put into my head. This summer, on a beach outing, we ended up just making up our own SVU openings (the spoiled girl on her cell with her dad who encounters a dead person was my favorite).
I’ll keep looking over those railings, into the water, and hoping I only find garbage.
3. Consistently Ruins Otherwise Productive Sunday Afternoons
So now that I’ve already spent years of my life being obsessed with SVU (as well as a VERY productive Winter-Hiatus-From-Working watching the entire series on Netflix Instant) you’d think I’d be done watching it.
But I’m not.
One of my favorite games to play is Yell Out Which SVU Episode It Is Before Whoever I’m Watching It With Can. (Yes. I’m awesome to watch TV with, this is true.)
The best part of the episode titles is that they’re all one-word titles. So you just have to remember that the Jawbreaker-esque episode where the teenage girls murder their friend is called “Mean”. Or that the one where Bob Saget implants his wife with a GPS chip because she’s having an affair with Chris Sarandon is called “Choreographed” because Chris Sarandon plays a dance choreographer.
The issue is that this show is on ALL the time. I mean, every weekend there is a marathon and I already DVR every episode, so it just becomes this overwhelming game of How Much SVU Can One Person Possibly Consume In a Day.
Also, I’m not kidding in my bio. I DO think I’d do a better job curating Law and Order: SVU marathons than the USA network (usually).
4. Two words: Elliot. Stabler.
I don’t even know how to start this.
We all just agree that Chris Meloni is the best, right? Like, I totally have a thing for guys with brown hair and blue eyes (having that hair/eye combo myself and also being very, very conceited) but like, he’s just THE BEST.
Elliot Stabler is also the best. He has like, 100 kids (okay, 4 or 5), he’s super hot and he is UN-stable at times – but only about saving kids. (See what they did there with his name? Brill.)
Elliot Stabler hates rapists. He also hates child molesters. This is a good thing. He’s also a really talented cop. I’m pretty convinced if I had to go to the police station to give a report and he was there, I’d just ask him on a date rather than actually talk about the crime. It’s just too much.
But I’ve recently realized that everyone loves Elliot Stabler.
Yes, I really re-tweeted two separate tweets about Detective Stabler, then realized it and commented on it. THEN realized they were both from fellow HelloGiggles people! Co-founder Molly AND Marissa Ross both tweeted about him and I just saw the words Stabler and didn’t even give it a second thought.
Now that Christopher Meloni has left his gig on SVU, maybe he should get involved on here. Just saying.
5. “Wildlife”, Season 10, episode 7
In 2008, an insane thing happened. The most epic episode of Law and Order: SVU aired and it was amazing.
The episode is called “Wildlife” and starts with Stabler being shot! And in the hospital! And Olivia comes in and is almost in tears and gasps, “I’m his partner” when they try to keep her out.
Then we go back a week and see where the episode started: a dead blonde girl. Well, this turns into a whole episode about smuggling animals. The details aren’t what’s important. What’s important is we see everyone doing “their thing”.
Stabler has to question someone at a nightclub and brings along Finn because “he knows the after hours club scene” (I’m not joking). I love whenever they use Ice-T in this way. My favorite is when it’s about the football player “on the down low” and Finn explains to everyone what it means to be on the down low and then says, “I just know stuff” as an explanation. Genius.
Next, Stabler decides to go undercover on a whim. I LOVE when they go undercover. Nobody in a million years would ever think that Benson and Stabler are anything other than cops, so there’s pretty much nothing more hilarious than watching them try to pretend to be anyone besides themselves.
Of course, he doesn’t tell his poor wife, Kathy, he’s going undercover so Olivia has to come to his rescue and calm Kathy down. Then she has to tell Stabler about this which leads to the best thing ever, which is Olivia having to pretend to be a hooker while Stabler’s undercover with the Russian animal smugglers.
This is so that OMG KISS EACH OTHER NOW feeling that TV fans (such as myself) love.
But the best part of this episode happens at the very end and involves Captain Cragen. Cragan is easily one of the most underrated characters on TV. He’s a recovering alcoholic, he has to play the dad to everyone and he’s just generally badass, especially when he has to yell at the crew for getting out of line.
The end of the episode involves a show down at the Animal Smuggling Headquarters where a lot of fighting happens (with Stabler’s arm in a sling) and Cragen steals the show by picking up a basketball WITH A MONKEY INSIDE. AND THEN THE MONKEY HUGS HIM. I like to think the monkey is saying, “Papa!” as he hugs Cragen but that’s just me.
Here they are hanging out between takes, I assume
Video of the amazing moment on Best Week Ever.
The only thing missing here is a good Munch conspiracy theory, but with an episode this epic I’m not about to complain.
Also, my dream is to own two dogs (a dachshund and a bull dog) and name them Belzer and Ice-T. So, there’s that as well.