Mariska Hargitay was widely expected to be leaving LAW & ORDER:SVU at the end of this season by many TV observers. But, she pulled off a big surprise of sorts. She announced that she’ll not only complete season 13, but be back for season 14 as well. She claims that she’s just having too much “fun” to quit now. Fans of the show have to be breathing a huge collective sigh of relief right about now. Her TV character, Det. Olivia Benson, is one of the best acted characters on the small screen. Mariska Hargitay has also grown immensely as an actress since her days playing a small role on ER, and other small roles. In ER, her minor role was as a staffer love interest of one of the lead doctors. It wasn’t too much of a role at all. But, Det. Olivia Benson has allowed Haritay to prove that she’s one of TV’s finest actresses, bar none.
When her longtime SVU co-star, Christopher Meloni suddenly announced his intent to leave after season 12 wrapped up, speculation began that Hargitay was also preparing to exit. She only fueled that speculation with statements such as she wanted to keep her future acting “options open”. But, in the end, Hargitay looks ready to stay at SVU for the future.
SVU also gets some new star power this January when singer Harry Connick Jr. also joins the cast for some episodes as the new love interest of Det. Olivia Benson. Connick has not only proven himself in the world of music, but his stints at acting have always been well received by audiences as well. He seems equally at home playing roles in period piece dramas such as MEMPHIS BELLE, his first acting role in 1990, as well as in modern roles in INDEPENDENCE DAY and other top box office films. He should be a fine fit in SVU, giving the show additional star power.
It’s so good to see that SVU still has plenty of life in the series. It remains as one of TV’s best police dramas ever, with gritty story lines, fine writing and acting. One real gem of a drama show that NBC still has left.