We’ve made it very clear in the past that Mariska Hargitay deserves an Emmy for Law & Order: SVU. Is it true that she’s had some awards-show love in the past? Absolutely, but it’s also equally true that it’s been a while. She was last nominated for an Emmy back in 2011, and she has not won for playing Olivia Benson since 2006.
We know that it seems petty to complain about some awards-show snubs for someone who has won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for this role, but it’s hard to deny that there are many seasons of award-worthy performances over the past 19 years. Hargitay should have more than she does.
So, why hasn’t that happened? You can blame a certain degree of it on the fact that Law & Order: SVU is a network show and the Emmys have become increasingly interested in recognizing cable shows over the years. Meanwhile, awards shows often tend to gravitate more towards new blood, and they also may think that Hargitay already has had her due. She has so much to be proud of in her career for playing this character — and for raising awareness for a critical cause — that not getting nominated for more awards is probably somewhere low on the priority list. Yet, each season is just as worthy of consideration as the one that comes before it, and Wednesday night’s “Something Happened” was a Mariska tour de force.
From start to finish, almost every scene in this episode — especially those with Melora Walters (a worthy guest-star Emmy candidates in her own right) — is one that will stick with you. Hargitay threw herself into what was an exhausting chess game between Benson and Laurel, trying to understand her truth while withstanding the questions and accusations concerning her own life. This was as difficult a balancing act as any that we’ve seen this character do since the start of the series and somehow, she found a way to emerge on the other side of it. She was powerful when she needed to be and vulnerable at others. She performed with her words but also with some of the physical scene work. She used the bottle-episode location as a way to turn that setting into a character in its own right. The moments that she had with Kelli Giddish were equally significant.
It’s a little too much of a knee-jerk reaction to say that this is the SVU performance of Mariska’s career since there have been so many, but this has to be high up on the list. If this doesn’t get her some awards-show consideration, there is also something incredibly wrong with the way that the Television Academy and the Hollywood Foreign Press are evaluating talent.
You can get some more news on Law & Order: SVU tonight, including a full review of “Something Happened,” by heading over to the link here.
Also, be sure to like CarterMatt on Facebook in the event you want more news on this show and some others we cover. (Photo: NBC.)