Keeping the Wolf from the Door

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- "In Loco Parentis" Episode 1915 -- Pictured: Mariska Hargitay as Lieutenant Olivia Benson -- (Photo by: Michael Parmelee/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Law and Order: SVU. I swear that for every one I watch, they have made another six by the time the credits roll. How else would it be possible, every time I turn on my TV, to see yet another SVU marathon and so many episodes that I haven’t seen before?

Last night, I watched the second episode of series 16, which began last week. My DVR hadn’t recorded episode one because Verizon screwed up. I couldn’t watch it On Demand because Verizon screwed up again.

Verizon are ruining my life. I talk to them more often than I talk to my mother. Well, I say “talk”. The only people who appear to be contactable there are the social networking team on Twitter, and they really are very good indeed. The problem is that the people they pass the messages on to are the very people who don’t pick up the phone when you try to reach them by conventional methods. And so, you go back to Twitter to name and shame the company into taking action.

I was perfectly happy with Time Warner Cable but switched when I was assured Verizon were by far the best. Super-duper high-speed internet, the ability to record 12 programs at a time, 200 hours of storage space of HD on the DVR, and 1000 in SD.

To cut a long story short, it’s the slowest internet (and I am on 150/150 for all you techies out there) I have ever had, and my DVR has been swallowing SVU at a faster rate than I can watch it.

It turned out that I had been given the super-duper internet speed (that isn’t), but the bog standard, two programs at a time, DVR recorders. This, I discovered only when the first episode of SVU clashed with another two recordings, and so never appeared. I turned to On Demand, where, in SD and HD, it was scrambled. Finally, a human has addressed this, but it means losing my collection of stored Judge Alex programs forever, as the show is no longer on the air. See what I mean, Verizon? RUINING my life!

But back to SVU. I get very confused, because Danny Pino, who has one of the most beautiful mouths in television, is also on old episodes of Cold Case, which is my other addiction. I know he is called Nick in one or the other, but have no idea which, because every time he comes on screen, I just stare at those gorgeous lips (and he doesn’t look like a Nick, anyway. He looks like a . . . well, a Danny, which is just as well). And eyes. He really is incredibly gorgeous. I quite fancy the overweight one, too (I think he’s Cold Case, but don’t take my word on that), who is sexy in a Tony Soprano kind of way.

My real love, though, is Mariska Hargitay, who plays Detective Olivia Benson in SVU. Now, when I say “love”, I don’t mean it in a “Let’s go on holiday to the island of Lesbos, Mariska” kind of way; I just find her performance utterly compelling and one to which I have become addicted. Hargitay is not only a charismatic, sensitive actor, who knows that less is always more, she possesses a quality that you can’t really pin down, but which I will categorize as the Comfort Blanket Factor.

Every day, when I skip through the “Guide” when I have exhausted the DVR, I will always tune in if SVU is on. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, and much as I say “Right, it’s my last one”, they put on that Law and Order logo and voiceover “In the criminal justice system” up so darn quick, I am hooked again before I get even a finger to the remote to change channels. It’s my comfort blanket and I really, really don’t like it when it’s not on.

Dick Wolf, whose name appears at the end of every Law and Order episode, is the master of addictive television. I had the privilege of meeting him at a forum in London when the UK version was being made, and he appeared on stage with his leg in plaster. Apparently, he had been for a pedicure and his foot had become infected. It wouldn’t have made a whole episode, but there was something mildly amusing in the knowledge that he has all that genius and money and can’t find a pedicurist who doesn’t have delusions of amputeeism.

Anyway, I watched episode two of this season’s SVU, which was, by accident, incredibly topical, as it involved a sports personality being accused of something he may or may not have done (although that is always a hot topic in the US, as far as I can see). Sex, race, loyalty, truth, justice – all the big themes were there, as they invariably are in the Dick Wolf box of magical tricks. 

I just have to find a way to wean myself off SVU, if only for a day, as I am now an SV of the show itself.

In the meantime, Mariska and Danny, I really do love you both. But I still need some broadcasting methadone to get me off the SVU hard stuff. 

My real life is over unless I find a means to keep Dick Wolf out of my living room.

(Photo by: Michael Parmelee/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal)