Why Law and Order SVU is so addictive

Okay, so I’m not going to say that the show “saved my life”, like the author of this article:


I have to admit, I have probably wasted countless hours watching endless episodes of Law and Order SVU for the sole purpose of the thrill of it.  Something about rape and child abuse and domestic violence and torture and sex trafficking has a profoundly personal feel about it that draws me in like a bad car accident.  But I can relate to the second to the last paragraph of the article:

“I think there’s an element of fantasy resolution in those episodes that people can escape into,” [Dr. Lawrence Rubin, a Professor of Counselor Education at St. Thomas University in Miami and a frequent blogger for Psychology Today]  says [about Law and Order: Special Victims Unit]. “There’s a neatness and tidiness there that people wish they could have in their own life. There’s high drama and pain that’s resolved. Though people recognize that it’s contrived, it still gives them an opportunity to process how trauma gets resolved.”

Bingo.  There’s something deeply satisfying about watching a morally incorruptable-yet-flawed female detective go after the bad guys and at the same time, sit with the victims and comfort them in their biggest time of need.  It makes you feel like, if there are such people in the world, maybe they will be there for you in your time of need too (And there are, by the way.  I have encountered such angels in my road to healing from old trauma).

So it makes sense then, that I like to write fanfiction stories based on the TV series, where a rescuer comes in to help the main character in her biggest time of need.  I like the idea that someone is out there who cares, someone who will be there to comfort and listen and help a woman process the trauma she has been through.  I can’t justify putting off doing laundry for one more day to watch countless re-runs, but at least I can justify occassionally watching something that motivates me to create an interesting and gratifying story. 

And I’m guessing I must not be the only person out there who enjoys such tales, judging by the number of readers following my stories.


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