Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Mariska Hargitay ‘Humbled’ By 20 Seasons Of ‘SVU’


Mariska Hargitay didn’t get to direct her first episode of Law & Order: SVU until the show was in its 15th season. Now that the show is in its 20th season, she’s been able to direct for a sixth time, shooting the episode that airs this week. Getting the chance to direct six episode of the series has been a real treat for her, but she’s more impressed by the fact the show has stuck around long enough to give her that opportunity. After all, not many shows in television history have run as long, and she’s been there since the very beginning. 
Click on the link above to be brought to the website and hear audio from Mariska

Mariska Hargitay And Allison Janney Attend Human Rights Watch Gala


Emmy winners Mariska Hargitay and Allison Janney were both present at the Voices for Justice Dinner hosted by Human Rights Watch on Tuesday night. Read on for all the details.

The event, which honors human rights defenders from around the world, took place at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.

The Law & Order: SVU star kept it simple yet chic in a stunning LBD that was cinched with a belt and a cute handbag as a fun accessory.

SVU creator Dick Wolf was also on hand for the important evening.

Why Law & Order: SVU remains one of the most important shows on TV after 20 years

There are eight million stories in the naked city, so it was claimed back in the 1960s, and the producers of NBC's Law & Order: SVU seem intent on recounting every single one that relates to their particular speciality – Special Victims. The show is now in its twentieth season, making it the longest-running non-animated series currently in production.
As SVU's opening narration explains: "In the criminal justice system, sexually based offences are considered especially heinous. In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Special Victims Unit. These are their stories."
Originally subtitled Sex Crimes, SVU hit the airwaves in 1999, named after the genuine New York Police Department unit who investigate sexually based offences. It's the first spin-off of Dick Wolf's equally long-running series Law & Order, which focused on the police investigation and then prosecution by the district attorney's office of crimes, and was specifically inspired by the "Preppie Killer", Robert Chambers, who murdered a jogger in New York's Central Park in 1986.
Wolf had used Chambers' crime as the basis of an early Law & Order episode, but found that elements of it, particularly the way in which Chambers tried to sexualise his victim during his trial, haunted him. He felt that a series that focused on such crimes could help to explain what leads to such abhorrent acts.
This fascination was passed on to the show's producers and writers, and created an atmosphere where accuracy was paramount. Writer Jonathan Greene explained that the season 2 -11 showrunner Neil Baer "instilled in all of us this fascination with how the mind works, and the nexus of where the mind and the law cross".

Star Mariska Hargitay is a trained rape counsellor, and made Baer take a tour of a rape treatment centre to ensure that their depiction of the places and the way in which victims experience them were portrayed accurately. "I'm sure a couple of the writers are on the feds' most wanted Internet predators list too, because they're doing all this research on paedophilia," her colleague Diane Neal noted.
The show hasn't shied away from controversial topics: the equating by some paedophiles of their urges with those of gay men and women was tackled in a season eleven episode, with Baer commenting: "We obviously don't take the side of the paedophiles, but we do take the side that it's hard-wired, and what do you do about it?"
Drawing from real-life cases is a hallmark of the Law & Order franchise – indeed, on at least one occasion, they seem to have predicted a case. The central tenets of an investigation are discussed by the writers, and, as producer Rene Balcer explained back in 2009: "We look… beyond the headline, we try and find something that's interesting about the case. Does it bring to life certain issues, social issues, political issues, even issues concerning human nature, human psychology?"
The producers have to walk the fine line between a realistic portrayal of rapists, paedophiles and the like, and the restrictions of broadcast on network television (which themselves have loosened over the two decades the show has been on air). It's a show that can take its toll on those involved – original showrunner Robert Palm left after the first season because of its upsetting subject matter, and the show's regular cast changes often hinge on the characters' reactions to what they're dealing with, day in, day out.

"The world keeps evolving, and there are a lot of dark areas that we need to look at," seasons fifteen-seventeen showrunner Warren Leight pointed out. "Part of my challenge and everybody's challenge here is to keep it fresh and to not let a groove turn into a rut, and that can happen for any show at any time."
Recent seasons have seen fictionalised versions of Steven Avery (as featured in Netflix's Making a Murderer) and and "moment of madness" college student Brock Turner appear. The legal battle over treatment for baby Charlie Gard inspired an episode earlier this year.
Similar cases turn up in other procedural shows, but, with only 42 minutes to introduce the case and solve it (and usually feature some aspect of their core characters' personal lives), there's rarely time to delve too deeply into the psychology of the individuals involved – both perpetrators and investigators.
Law & Order: SVU doesn't try to present black-and-white answers, and it's a must-see for anyone with an interest in how law enforcement tackles such divisive topics.

Monday, November 12, 2018

And The Peoples Choice Award Goes To...

Congratulations to Mariska Hargitay for winning
At the Peoples Choice Awards

Monday, November 5, 2018

Mariska to Host Benefit


The Angel Band Project presents, “An Evening with Norbert Leo Butz & Friends – A Benefit to Support Survivors of Sexual Violence”, Monday, November 12, 2018 at 54 Below, 254 West 54th Street, New York City, NY, two-sets, 7:00pm and 10pm. This one-night only event will be hosted by Mariska Hargitay and features: Norbert Leo Butz, Aaron Tveit, Jessie Mueller, Sherie Renee Scott, Lindsay Mendez, Rosanne Cash and John Leventhal with Musical Direction by Michael Moritz, Jr.

Tickets at or by calling 54 at (646) 476-3551. A three course meal with a premium open-bar is included in the ticket price and all proceeds from this evening go to benefit The Angel Band Project.

The inspiration for The Angel Band Project came from an unthinkable tragedy. In July of 2009 in Seattle, WA, a man crept through an open window in the middle of the night at the home of Teresa Butz and her partner, Jennifer Hopper. After repeatedly raping and stabbing the women, Teresa fought back. According to police, her action saved Jennifer’s life but cost her her own. This tragic event and subsequent trial that followed were chronicled in the Pulitzer Prize-winning story, “The Bravest Woman in Seattle” by Eli Sanders.

“Music is able to contain and express the complex legacy of emotions left by such experiences for which words are not adequate. And equally importantly, the act of creating music with other people is a life-embracing activity that helps survivors to reclaim their sense of self as whole and valuable human beings, something that can be suppressed, but not eliminated, by the experience of violence or abuse of any type.” said Ken Aigen, Associate Professor of Music Therapy, New York University, Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Center.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Mariska Hargitay Not Exiting 'Law & Order: SVU' Despite Tabloid Claim

By Jose Bastidas

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit will not be saying goodbye to Mariska Hargitay, despite tabloid reports claiming the actress might be planning her gradual exit from the NBC drama.

The actress was the subject of a tabloid rumor after reports surfaced that Hargitay and the long-running NBC crime procedural were plotting her exit from the series so she could relocate to Los Angeles to explore opportunities in films.

The story was first reported by The National Enquirer, with an insider claiming that Hargitay felt like she has "done all she can [on the series] and it's time to embark on the next chapter of her life."

The source also claimed that the network was planning a "gradual" exit for Hargitay's Olivia Benson to minimize fan backlash, but failed to provide details on how the series would possibly move on without its lead character for the past 20 seasons.

Gossip Cop debunked the rumors started by the publication, mentioning that Hargitay has said in the past she will stay at the drama series until its final season.

Hargitay told press at a Paley Center panel honoring SVU that she was in the show for the duration.

"The joke with [then-showrunner] Warren Leight and I was season 16 was good, and we said season 17, we're going to phone it in," Hargitay said back in June. "That was our schtick on set, because we were so exhausted. And then season 17, we killed it. And then season 18 ... we had a wobbly year.

But season 19, I was like, 'I'm sorry, did anyone see the show?' [New showrunner Michael] Chernuchin, every single episode, he outdoes himself."

The resurgence in the series' creative direction under Chernuchin left Hargitay with the desire to stay with Benson for more time.

"I said, 'You keep writing like this, I'll stay for 25 years.' Why would I leave? I'm so grateful," she said. The feeling seems to be mutual, as NBC said at the time they're looking to keep the show moving as long as Hargitay stays on.

Hargitay recently doubled down on her sentiments about staying on the show in an interview with E! News, saying that despite fearing the show's future after Raul Esparza's season 19 exit, she still felt invested on the show.

"With [Esparza] leaving I was so scared, as I always am with any big change, but it always pushes me, just like in life when we get out of our comfort zone. And that has been so thrilling, all good things come when we're out of our comfort zone. That's what keeps me so incredibly invested. I'm just trying to go a little bit deeper every day and I'm not done yet, because there's still so much to mine," Hargitay told the outlet.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.

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