When Law & Order: SVU season 19 premieres on NBC later this month, nobody should be all that surprised to see Olivia Benson facing some tough situations. She’s a character who has gone through endless struggles, and while we do want to see her emerge from them in one piece, there’s never any guarantee that she will. She’s a hero to many people, but in the process of achieving that heroism she also sacrifices a little bit of herself and that’s only a part of what makes her special to us.
One of the changes this season to SVU is that there is a new boss on board in Michael Chernuchin of Chicago Justice; based on what he said to TVLine, we’re going to see her continue to struggle and battle throughout the season as all sorts of various tribulations are thrown at her:
“What I told Mariska [Hargitay] when I came aboard is, ‘You’re a broken woman, because of your past, and I’m going to drag you through the woods and you’re gonna come out the other side a better person.’ So we’re gonna throw the kitchen sink at her.”
In a way, this is both good and bad news. The bad news is obviously that nobody wants to see Benson struggle, given the number of times she’s been at gunpoint, the whole William Lewis standoff, trying to find a way to get Noah some safety, and the basic rigor that comes with being in the NYPD and constantly having to fight for every single thing that she believes in.
With that said, we don’t think anyone is going to object to seeing Hargitay have challenging material in order to further showcase her skill as a performer. We all know that she’s one of the best actors working on network television, and the fact that she’s been able to do so much and bring so many layers to a single character deserves some additional celebration. She doesn’t always receive enough recognition for her work, as many critics/awards shows tend to hand over praise to the newcomers who turn up and make a big splash right away. For us here at CarterMatt, Mariska Hargitay remains one of the top actresses on television as she still finds ways to bring new elements to her character after almost 20 seasons on the air. Not an easy feat for an actor by any means.
Is there some good news for Benson?
Well, Chernuchin did say that he’s leaving some options on the table when it comes to possible Olivia love interests, so that is something that could be explored so many years removed from the end of things with her and Tucker. If it happens, we don’t expect the show to make a huge deal out of it (unless our secret wishes have been answered and it’s with Chicago PD‘s Voight – we would love to see that romance happen). Law & Order: SVU always manages relationships in a realistic way, and they never overshadow the job and what Benson does as a professional.