I have had a very long obsession with the original "Law and Order" since it starred Chris Noth .....long before he was on "Sex and the City." It was an instant hit back in 1990. With the exception of the very talented Jerry Orbach who played Lenny Brisco for 11 years, The main character actors were replaced so often that I lost interest until Detectives Benson and Stabler from SVU came along.
Det. Stabler played by brooding, very muscular Christopher Meloni and Det. Olivia Benson, played by Mariska Hargitay. They portray partners that have an extremely difficult job that seriously effects their private lives. They care about each other deeply because they are in a world that not many people can handle dealing with. They deal with the "most heinous" crimes ,as the introduction says, imaginable......like rapists,child molesters and serial killers. They do not always get the bad guy which is very real. The story lines have many twists and turns and are loosely based on real life stories.
The show has won many awards including the very famous guest stars that have played perpetrators and have won Emmys for their performances. The show is always pushing the envelope. They are always tackling extremely tough topics.Not only are the topics hard to just talk about in real life, they are,at times, hard to watch. The show has gotten more graphic over the years and it works to show the extremely heinous nature of the crimes. It has not lost many viewers. It is a real part of the drama factor that makes the show more exciting and shocking, as shocking as the real life news can be at times.
There are many cop shows on TV but none of them can hold a candle to Law and Order SVU.