What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is the most sensationalized of the Law & Order franchises. Graphic, unusual crimes are the norm, and victims are frequently women and children -- making the show potentially upsetting for younger teens coming into their own sexuality.
What's the story?
LAW & ORDER: SVU centers on "the elite squad of detectives who investigate sexually based crimes" -- known as the Special Victims Unit of the New York Police Department. Detective Elliot Stabler (played with barely restrained anger by Christopher Meloni) is the seasoned cop whose role is the tough-outside, tender-inside hero. His partner is Detective Olivia Benson (played brilliantly and sympathetically by Mariska Hargitay). One or the other always becomes emotionally involved with the hideous crime at hand. Captain Donald Cragen (Dann Florek, reprising the role he played on the first three seasons of Law & Order 1990-93), is the department chief overseeing the sardonic Detective John Munch (Richard Belzer). Munch's partner, Detective Odafin "Fin" Tutuola (played by rapper Ice-T), adds a percentage of "street cred" to the show. Assistant district attorney Casey Novak (Diane Neal), forensic psychiatrist George Huang (B.D. Wong), and medical examiner Melinda Warner (Tamara Tunie) round out the SVU crew.
Is it any good?
Law & Order: SVU is the most disturbing of the NBC Law & Order franchises. Now entering its seventh season, this show is often more popular with younger kids because of the sensationalistic nature of the crimes involved. This show ramps up the natures of the crimes -- rapes, incest, dead infants -- and therefore is not for the faint at heart or the young.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the natures of the crimes. Parents can reassure their children that these crimes, while very real, probably won't happen to them. But families can also discuss the psychological consequences of some of the show's frequent themes.