How does Law & Order: SVU season 20 compare to some others that we’ve seen over time? In this Midseason Report Card, we want to do our best to examine that further!
Before even considering anything individually that is going on with this season, it is worth recognizing the history here. Given that this is a season that is tying the original as television’s longest-running drama, expectations are going to be higher. It’s hard to avoid and ignore that.
Luckily, we do think that from a case perspective, most of the ones this season have been strong. There have been dark, personal stories, and then also cases that mimic a number of different things happening in the real world, whether it be the NVIXM cult, celebrity chefs, or Brett Kavanaugh. Has every episode of the season proven itself to be strong? Not necessarily, but SVU is a little bit like SNL in the sense that some episodes are going to be stronger than others. When you are telling isolated stories, not every single one of them is going to land but you hope to nail some of the most-important ones.
SVU did end the first part of its season with a really extraordinary episode anchored by Wallace Shawn and Judd Hirsch, who were every bit as fantastic as we could have hoped that they would be. Guest stars have long been the forte of this series and there have been many great ones over time — from a guest-star perspective, we certainly do think that it would be nice to have a little bit more Sandrine Holt on the show given that we enjoyed seeing her therapist character try to help out some members of the team.
What needs so work?
Given that Olivia Benson is at the center of this show, it would be nice to have some larger arcs featuring her beyond just one where she is worried that she and Noah are growing apart. Or, if that is meant to be the arc, why not show that a little bit more? We do think that the writers have done a pretty solid job presenting a story for Rollins and Peter Stone, but we do think that there is more that could be handed to both Carisi and also Fin, whose episodes always have a tendency to flutter in and out throughout the season.
SVU is still mostly the same show that it’s been — strong cases with great performances and timely subject matter. While we do still want to see some more personal stories and also more about how the media impacts the team’s job, we do think that season 20 to date is living up to some of its potential — though we do also think that there is another gear that could be reached.
What is your feeling on SVU season 20 as a whole? Be sure to share some of your thoughts right now in the attached comments. (Photo: NBC.)