Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Early Days of SVU

March 2014 A.V. Club
AVC: Was there ever any point where you felt like he was flying off the handle a bit too much, maybe for a reason that didn’t ring true?
Yeah, but you can chalk that up to acting. [Laughs.] I don’t know if it was because I personally felt this way and, without knowing it, I foisted it upon the character, but when I got the job, it was written that I had three kids, and that was about it. And I said to Dick, “You know, I think he should be an ex-Marine, and I think he should have a tattoo on his forearm.” Because I felt that he was a straight arrow, but I felt that the tattoo was a hint that he used to be a little wilder, that there was a wildness that was suppressed within him because he had to tow a certain line, because he had a lot of responsibility, and I think he took “to protect and serve” very seriously.
I also said, “I think he should have four kids. The first one, I think my wife just got pregnant, and we were basically just teenagers, maybe 19 or 20 years old, and it forced us to get married.” That’s not an auspicious way to start, and I think that brings pressure. All of a sudden, you’re starting a family, and it’s under duress. And I said, “I think the last two kids should be twins.” So the only one that was really planned was the middle child, and then it’s, like, “Okay, well, we can deal with three kids,” but then to have four kids on a detective’s salary…? That’s a lot of pressure! I always felt that. I always felt like the guy should be under pressure, and when I toured and interviewed the SVU detectives that I did, the things that they saw and what they had to deal with was rough. Rough stuff. And I think it made me feel such pressure. So I guess that’s what it is: a sense of pressure. A man constantly under pressure. Now whether I did it too much or not? I have no fucking idea.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Major Problem With 'Law & Order: SVU' This Season

Some parts taken from this Huffington Post article from May of 2014 (click on link to read entire article)
"SVU" has always been about the detectives’ stories -- you hear those words in the intro to every episode -- but one of the best aspects of the show was that the characters' personal baggage was always left at home. Of course, in the past the show divulged backstories and revealed the job’s troubling effect on the squad’s home lives. Out of everyone, we’ve spent the most time with Elliot's marital and family conflicts, but those storylines never overshadowed the cases at hand. Elliot's personal life only seeped in to further reflect his increasingly wavering stability and ever-growing aggressive behavior. It was always in small doses and always relevant to his character development.

The same goes for Olivia, when the writers included her childhood trauma only when it related to a case, or when a victim reminded her of her own upsetting birth story. We only learned about Munch’s mentally unstable ex-wife Gwen when he needed to get her help on a case, and Fin’s son was only a major part of an episode when he ended up being involved in an investigation, or when his sexuality reflected Fin's struggle with acceptance. The writers managed to give us stories about a squad of relatable characters who evaded their own issues by attempting to assuage the pain of others. But when the lines become blurred between personal and professional, and when the detectives’ struggles take precedence over the victims' "SVU" turns into an entirely different show. Nothing describes Season 15 better than that.

In the second half of the season alone, all three major characters experience their largest downfalls yet and each are brought to their absolute lowest. Benson, Amaro, and Rollins were all on the brink of losing their badges this season, with two of them getting investigated by Internal Affairs (IAB) within the span of four episodes. In the past, IAB's investigations of the squad have been rare but serious occurrences. This season both Benson and Amaro's cases were amplified and then immediately swept away and forgotten by episodes' end. Beyond this, many of this season's storylines felt tenuous and hollow. Amaro was nothing more than a carbon copy of Elliot, with his similar anger management and marriage troubles. As if that drama weren't enough to incite viewers, this season added an even more unexplained and impractical side story of Amaro and Rollins' affair, which was never alluded to before nor resolved after. Season 15 overall was filled with dramatized, haphazard vignettes revolving solely around the detectives' personal lives. In retrospect, those episodes stand out far more than any of the criminal cases, many of which are hardly memorable.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Why Kathy Should Return (My Opinion)

Ever since the news that Christopher Meloni wasn't going to return to SVU, there was a question about Isabel Gillies's status on the show. For the longest time, even now, I always thought that when Chris goes, Isabel goes too, like a package deal. It makes perfect sense as their characters were/are married. However, as Chris abruptly departed without a goodbye episode and was written off without an appearance, I always thought that maybe Kathy should make an appearance. In 2011's appearance on The Gayle King Show Isabel said that she was never officially told that she was done with the show and on her twitter page, she has been actively open to the return. But, as it comes down to it, the final decision for Isabel to come back is up to Executive Producer Warren Leight. And believe me, I have spent a few years convincing him to let her come back- at least for one episode. That's all I want!

Here's some of my ideas of how Kathy can return without Elliot:
-In Season 13's Personal Fouls, Olivia packed up Elliot's desk (on Cragen's orders); it's unknown if Elliot ever came by to pick up his belongings although I'm more leaning towards no. Kathy could pick it up and make small talk with Olivia, congratulating her on becoming a Sgt.

-In Season 9's Paternity, Olivia was there for Kathy after their car accident while she was in labor and gave birth to Eli. Kathy kinda owes Olivia a favor...Kathy could be brought in to help counsel in a case as a mother (let's face facts: both Olivia and Amanda are not mothers; both are single and unmarried women); Kathy was even a teen mother! Olivia brought in Kathleen in season 10's Crush to get through a teenage girl who was getting abused by her boyfriend and wouldn't fess up.

-Kathy knows someone who was raped and needed help. Knowing that Elliot wants nothing to do with SVU anymore, Kathy turned to Olivia for help to aide her friend. Kathy doesn't have to have a huge role in the episode, more as a lead-in to help connect SVU to the victim and as a supporter at the trial. Two to three scenes.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Mariska to Isabel: I Saved Your Baby

On Isabel's birthday on February 7, 2014, Mariska wished her a Happy Birthday on her Instagram while watching the SVU marathon.

A Cute Little Fan Story

A fan saw Christopher and Isabel talking on the street and waited a few minutes (Chris was making Isabel laugh hysterically) before approaching them for a picture; from 2012

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The End...Kinda

I have reached the end of posting for this blog. Everything that I had of the Stablers is all up.
-I will update any entries (such as Bonus Families for John MunchFin TutuolaOlivia Benson and Don Cragen) as the series continue. I do not plan on doing those kinds of entries for Nick Amaro and Amanda Rollins only because they came on to the series after Elliot Stabler/Christopher Meloni left.

Other exceptions:
-any past photos, articles or interviews that I missed; it's never too late to include! If you have any, please let me know!
-any recent photos, articles or interviews that reference SVU
-any returns to SVU while still on the air
-an occasional "Where Are They Now?"

The very first post has the explanation for this blog of why I made it and to start my readers off, ironically it's the very last post of the blog (although technically this is the last post- hopefully that made sense): For Starters

Credits for screencapping and images for the blog are provided on Links section

Updates as of February 22, 2014:
Bonus Family: Olivia Benson
Bonus Family: The Cragens

Friday, November 8, 2013

Mariska's Walk of Fame

Isabel with her husband, Peter Lattman
Screen-capture Source: Walk of Fame
Isabel attended Mariska's Hollywood Star Walk of Fame on November 8, 2013 in Los Angeles, California as well as the after-party thrown by Dick Wolf and Warren Leight. Isabel's husband, Peter Lattman (and their children), came along.
Christopher was invited but did not attend (according to eye-witnesses)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Surrender Benson (season 15)

Olivia was abducted at gunpoint, assaulted by William Lewis, a rapist who Olivia arrested earlier and was acquitted, for a couple of days.
William Lewis: What's that look? Are you feeling sad? Thinking about someone? Mom...Dad...Boyfriend? No, huh? Someone else...someone who you could give anything to see just 1 more time. You're gonna cry his name out at some point. They always do. Well, just try to put him out of your mind, okay?
Olivia managed to free herself and beat William with the iron bed post and handcuffed him to the bed. She was wondering if she should kill him?
Olivia: ...My old partner, he'd know what to do. He wouldn't questioned himself after what you've done. He would kick your teeth in, break your legs, break your arms, break your back, break your face. Maybe I should call him. Maybe I should get him to use that metal bar on you...huh? And maybe you beg for for your life
William suddenly "wakes up" growling at her. She yelps and held her gun to him
William Lewis: Then do it. Do something. Please God, that speech, that's the saddest thing I ever heard in my life...
Olivia: Shut up
William Lewis: Your partner would know what to do. I would know what to do, and you just stand there wondering what to do. That old partner of yours-- well he sounds very macho, doesn't he
Olivia: No
William Lewis: It must've been tough for you- all those long nights in the car.
Olivia: You don't get to talk about him
William Lewis: Did he ever do you? He did, didn't he? You still want him. I can hear it in your voice. You're all bottled up
Eventually Olivia started to beat William until he got unconscious before the SVU squad discovered her whereabouts.

Stabler on Benson's Mind

September 2013
Christopher Meloni played Benson’s partner Elliott Stabler for the first twelve years of the show, but since exiting three years ago over a contract dispute, his absence has been glaring; ratings flagged (compare the 8.98 million viewers who tuned in for the Season 12 finale to the 6.66 of Season 14) and the show has struggled to find its narrative footing. The smartest thing that happens in the Season 15 premiere is a sequence too good to spoil- a monologue Benson delivers about her relationship with Stabler that acknowledges his departure, rather than filling up the hole with guest stars and hysterical cases. It feels like a real drama, not a camp pleasure.

Benson looks pretty bruised and battered in the SVU promo. How will she handle her ordeal emotionally?
Adam: Strangely enough, she won’t draw strength from thinking about her current beau Cassidy. Rather, it’s her ex-partner Stabler who’s on Benson’s mind during her face-off with Pablo Schreiber’s Lewis. Then again, those memories may do more harm than good

Saturday, October 12, 2013

It's Benson as You've Never Seen Her (2007)

February 2007; TV Guide
Over the past eight years, we've gotten to know a lot about the show's two main detectives: Christopher Melonii's hunky but hotheaded Elliot Stabler, and Emmy-winner Mariska Hargitays empathetic Olivia Benson. Although the cases they work are still the series' hook, their soap-opera-like personal sagas — Stabler's unstable home life, Benson's background as the child of rape, their undeniable sexual attraction — have been stealing the focus of late. And why not? Most viewers admit that Stabler and Benson and their tumultuous partnership are the reason they tune in (and why fans breathed a collective sigh of relief when the stars recently renewed their contracts through 2009), and SVU consistently earns the highest ratings out of all the L&Os.

As for whether this shift will lead to romance, Hargitay laughs. "I get asked that a lot," she says. "[Benson and Stabler's] relationship is very complex. Sometimes it's like brother-sister, and sometimes there's a lot of sexual chemistry. I think their passion for the same job is what makes them so close. The average lifespan of an SVU detective is four years, and here are two cops who have been in it so long that they're basically isolated from the rest of the world. It's just so loaded and layered. I know a lot of people want to see them together." So, back to the original question: "I think sometimes even Olivia wants that," says her portrayer. "But I don't think that will ever happen."
Of course, the fate of "Ellivia" is really in the hands of the writers. Although Baer says that "right now their relationship is still evolving," he allows, "You never can say never." There certainly are no plans for them to get together anytime soon, particularly since Stabler is trying to reconcile with Kathy, his estranged wife. One other impediment to romance is gone, however — Stabler's temporary partner/love interest, Dani Beck (played by Connie Nielsen in a six-episode arc earlier this season). "Beck won't be back," Baer says. "The whole intent [with her character] was to bring on someone who had never done Special Victims and to show that it's not a job for everyone."