LAW & ORDER: SVU and ORGANIZED CRIME at TCA: Live-Blog - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote


September 13, 2021 by  


LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME — “Forget It, Jake; It’s Chinatown” Episode 108 — Pictured: (l-r) Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler, Mariska Hargitay as Captain Olivia Benson — (Photo by: Eric Liebowitz/NBC)

With LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS about to start its incredible 23rd season and its spinoff LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME about to launch its sophomore season, NBC is hosting a panel dubbed “LAW & ORDER: Benson and Stabler” during its virtual Television Critics Association session.

Follow along for a live-blog of the session (starting at approximately 1:45 PM PT), as LAW & ORDER stars Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni tease what’s to come on this season…

1:45 PM: Starting off with some bad news: SVU production changed, and Hargitay can’t make the panel.

1:47 PM: “Hope springs eternal,” Meloni says on if there is a chance for Elliot and Olivia to become more than partners. “I think it’s going to be a collaborative effort with both showrunners and Mariska and I to figure it all out.”

1:48 PM: “From what I’ve heard from the undercover [officers] I’ve spoken with, you really kind of do lose yourself in the job,” Meloni says of Stabler going undercover. “And I think we find Elliot in that place, whether it’s intentional or unconsciously intentional, because I think he was introduced back into the franchise under very stressful circumstances, obviously, both [with] his wife[‘s murder] and trying to come to terms with what, exactly, Benson is to him in his new life, both personally and professionally. So we have Elliot undercover. And I think Benson recognizes certain telltale signs that he might need to talk to people or maybe it’s not the most healthy place for him to be in the moment.

“But it does put a strain on how Benson and Stabler engage each other,” he continues of how the duo interact while he’s undercover. “But also the writers from both shows have written it in such a way that our lives do overlap and intersect. We engage each other from a more professional angle there for a few shows, and then a little bit from the personal side.”

1:53 PM: EP Dick Wolf decided on the organized crime angle. “He thought that area was kind of rich in storytelling ability,” Meloni says. “It would be a good counterweight to tell an eight-episode series. You can dive deeper into the foe [they’re facing].”

1:55 PM: What has been the most difficult thing for Meloni to play? “Any time I’ve had to deal with children and traumas inflicted on children, those always strike a very deep cord. I’ve always found those very difficult. But oddly enough, kind of the easiest to play, because there’s no searching for the emotional content within myself. I know what I feel. There’s so much clarity in my world when there are children involved.”

1:57 PM: “I never once thought about it or looked backward,” Meloni says of his original tenure on SVU. He says he loved his “ten year hiatus” from the LAW & ORDER world. Meloni notes Wolf knew Meloni wanted a different way of telling stories, and says he was “pleasantly pleased and surprised” about OC’s format and serialization.

2:00 PM: Has Meloni binge-watched SVU? “No,” he says with a laugh.

2:01 PM: “Partially some of our task force and partially some of our foils,” Meloni teases of the new people.

“We’re dealing with an Albanian crime family,” Meloni says. “You get to see a little bit of the hierarchy…there’s a bit of a Shakespearean intrigue that surrounds it.”

2:03 PM: “I think most of the challenges were from the beginning with the two strong personalities finding each other’s dance steps,” Meloni says of learning to work with Hargitay. He says they aligned about 80% of the time at first. “At the end of the day, we see each other and know each other at our cores….We have forgiven each other’s trespasses. We’ve quite literally grown up together…I think we’ve always had each other’s best interests at heart. I think now, to focus on her…she is what she puts out there. She is open and honest and trustworthy and a ball of light. She radiates a goodness and an a warmth and inclusiveness. She’s just a wonderful energy.” He praises her for walking the walk: “She’s a good egg.”

“I think we honestly look forward to working with each other and like working with each other,” he finishes.

2:07 PM: “I don’t think there’s been a cross-pollination,” Meloni says of the difference between himself and Elliot, noting Elliot is more flawed and heroic than he is. “I think we both strive for the same sense of justice.”

2:08 PM: “I heard second, third, fourth hand” of how Stabler might fit into LAW & ORDER: FOR THE DEFENSE, but he declines to elaborate further, because it’s not his place to spill on that.

2:10 PM: “It’s business,” Meloni says of the glut of spinoffs and revivals happening now. “Everybody loves variety until no one comes to the variety.”

2:11 PM: Why do fans love Benson/Stabler? “I think there was a very unsatisfying ending to the Benson/Stabler saga, journey…it was abrupt,” Meloni says. “There was always the underpining of feelings. They stuck around for ten years to watch the story continue.”

Working with Hargitay then, “it was dynamic. And exciting. And this time [with the reunion], it felt important. I haven’t examined it beyond that. It felt comfortable. And I don’t have that relationship with any other actor walking the earth, because I’ve never worked with anyone as long as I have with Mariska. And it was revisiting a thing that was left unfinished…and of that and within a package of grief, because of the circumstances under which I was introduced.” He cites their playfulness, humor, and loving camaraderie as being a constant.

2:15 PM: “I find it a very interesting dynamic. I was surprised by it all, I love it,” Meloni says of Elliot’s relationship with Ayanna Bell. He says Elliot is on “the outside for the first unit of eight [episodes].” The task force is HQ and he reports back.

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT, Season Premiere, Thursday, September 23, 8/7c, NBC

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME, Season Premiere, Thursday, September 23, 10/9c, NBC


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