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Christopher Meloni's New Show Law and Order: Organized Crime

Marion Charatan

Posted on April 9, 2021 13:12

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Catch Meloni Thursday nights on NBC for tour de force performances in the latest Law and Order spin-off at 10 p.m. ET.

One of the best shows on television, hands down, is Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. It just doesn't get any better than a cast headed by Mariska Hargitay, Kelley Giddish and Ice T, and formerly Christopher Meloni. Mariska Hargitay has played Detective Olivia Benson, a street-wise and compassionate police officer on the spin-off of the original Law and Order show, since 1999. SVU deals with stories about NYC sex crimes and showcases law enforcement officers who try to solve them. The series is the longest-running live-action show in TV history.

Detective Olivia Benson's partner on the street is Detective Elliot Stabler, played by Meloni. He gets the job done, so to speak, but does not always operate exactly by the book. Stabler has issues with his temper and rages at suspects.

I had an eye-opening conversation recently with someone brought up by an NYC cop. She told me that police officers are often wrought with drinking, addiction, and anger problems and some are on the take. It is a high-stress job that attracts a certain personality type. Her father was dedicated to seeking justice using lawful methods, but other officers will do whatever it takes to extract a confession from an alleged perpetrator, even if their tactics step outside the perimeters of legal policing, according to her narrative. 

In addition to anger, other reactions come into play. In a poignant episode from 2003, Stabler let his emotions rule when he swore false testimony that a dead girl was raped - the reason: he was sympathetic to her grieving father. 

Past SVU episodes featured investigations of the use of deadly force by Detective Stabler. At times, Stabler seemed like a loose cannon, ready to explode. This is the type of behavior police departments have to monitor in their officers.

According to a character outline about Stabler in Fandom, the former Marine partnered with Detective Benson for 12 years. He left the job in 2011 after he was traumatized from killing a teenager who had been shooting at her mom's killers. The fictional detective worked security for 6 years. He came out of retirement in 2017 to become the liaison in Italy for NYPD. In 2021, after his fictional wife of 30 years, Kathy, was murdered in a car bombing, he reconnected with Benson and returned to work in New York, taking a position in the Organized Crime Control Bureau and dedicating himself to bringing down organized crime and finding his wife's killers.

I am glad Meloni is back with the franchise. He is 'an actor's actor.' The blue-eyed 60-year-old has endless charisma and is always engaging. Meloni recently got some attention on Twitter about his posterior - embarrassing to him perhaps, but publicity nonetheless.

In a case of life imitating art, Meloni volunteers his time to the Joyful Heart Foundation, a non-profit started by Hargitay, to help victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse. 

Watch Christopher Meloni slay it Thursday nights on NBC.

Marion Charatan

Posted on April 9, 2021 13:12

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