'Law & Order: SVU' season premiere: What did you think of the new detective?


Image Credit: Will Hart/NBC

Phase One of the great post-Chris Meloni SVU experiment began last night with the premiere of Law & Order: SVU‘s 13th season. Kelli Giddish — last season modeling a short-lived leather jacket on last season’s gone-and-forgotten Chase — strolled into the SVU offices as Amanda Rollins, a detective from Atlanta. Her debut was remarkably choreographed: She made sure to pay fealty to reigning Cop Queen Olivia Benson, noting, “I’ve studied a lot of your cases.” (Which, metaphorically speaking, can be translated as “I’ve got a major in ‘caring too much about a case’ with a minor in ‘awesome pre-commercial one-liners.'”) L&O vets Stephanie March and Linus Roache swung by to make the torch-passing feel vaguely ceremonial.

The episode itself spent perhaps too long dwelling on Meloni’s departure — we were left to ponder the dark night of the soul that Detective Stabler was apparently having off-screen — but I’m a sucker for ripped-from-the-headlines campiness, and the decision to plug the SVU squad into the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case made for some fun bits, all of them involving Ice T. (When Faux-DSK demanded to know why he was being paraded in front of cameras, Ice T cackled: “Freedom of the press, baby!” Why isn’t he the star of the show yet?)

To my eyes, Giddish didn’t seem to immediately gel with SVU. Her cute-as-a-button Southern belle-ness seems like an especially odd fit for SVU. It’s clear that the show is experimenting — new costar Danny Pino won’t even appear until next week. But for now, we want to hear from you: What did you think of Giddish? Was she a good addition to SVU?

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

Comments (254 total) Add your comment
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  • Kata

    I like Giddish and watched her on Chase. But nobody can fill Meloni’s shoes… Watched with my Fast Forward because the story line sucked. Can’t writers come up with their own ideas anymore?

    • Rita

      The plot was almost word-for-word the DSK scandal, a little too close to ripped from the headlines. I thought the writers phoned this one in.

      • Tallgirl28

        I completely agree. I’ve always been a loyal Law and Order fan. However, as soon I saw that they were ripping the DSK case I turned to ABC and watched the premier of Revenge. I do not regret my decision.

      • globetrotter

        I too kept waiting for the twist and there was none. It was too close to reality with no interesting nuances and was really not up to what I had come to expect from this series in “ripped from the headlines” episodes.

      • harry

        My best friend has just announced her wedding with a great man who is a cele+brity!
        They met-via { himillionaires%c o m }
        It is nice club for rich men or pretty girls mate.
        You do not need to be wealthy or famous, but you can meet your true love, it’s worthy a try.

    • Tiffany

      @ Kata. With all of the franchises, there are episodes that are ripped from the headlines. Totally off topic, but did anybody watch Law and Order UK last night. Oh…my…damn!!!! There is not a page where I can comment with others that watched it.

      • Medusaworks

        I love love love Law & Order: UK. Even though most of the time, they are riffing from US L&O episodes, the quality is so much better. And it’s not just because of the British accents. I haven’t seen last night’s yet but I can’t wait to watch it tonight.

      • Ana170

        Try TelevisionWithoutPity.com. They’ve got a whole section in the forums dedicated to the L&O franchise.

      • elena m cryer

        I watch law&order UK,love that show,I also like Luther.

      • finnyd420

        @medusaworks-they make no bones about using orig. L&O cases. Watch the credits it even tells you the name of the ep. its based on. I love this cause then you try to figure out which ep it was & how they tweaked it storyline wise or updated for times.

    • Cheryl

      did they kill off stabler?

  • Unstabler

    Your poll doesn’t give me the real option: wait and see. Yes, last night was necessarily about addressing Stabler’s absence. And I liked the way they had Benson’s character say “he deserved it” as if she were talking about the pay Meloni deserved. But her breakdown scene at the end was too Emmy-concious. I can’t get a sense of Giddish’s character yet, and I’m curious if Pino’s character will get more attention at the expense of Munch and Fin. It won’t be the same show, but indeed if it sticks to more ripped-from-the-headlines standalone stories, then I’ll watch it. but with the same distance I give Criminal Minds. The day of the unpredictable character on L&O is over (Bye-bye Bobby Goren, So Long Stabler.)

    • Myrick Jones

      As soon as I heard he was no longer on the show I deleted it from my DVR recording log. He deserved every penny he could have asked for. I loved all the L&O shows, but I’m with you, first Goren, now Stabler, screw ‘em

      • urret

        I agree with you 100%

      • joanie

        I agree with both of you. I watched because I wanted to see how they would handle Stabler leaving. I was already upset not seeing him with the others, nor was Tamara Tunie with them, just listed as a guest star, is she next? I have to say that I did cry when Bensen cried b/c that’s exactly how I felt, what a loss, he did deserve the money, together they were the show. I really love the other characters and truthfully they didn’t give a third option about the new girl, the wait and see one. I hope that the ratings sink enough for them to change their minds. AND Goren, don’t get me started on Goren. It’s a good thing they gave it some closure but I wouldn’t watch it when Jeff was on it, he acts the same in every undertaking. I was very sorry to see them end CI.

      • Sonya Walls

        Im with you. WTF is SVU without Stabler. No good.

      • june vanatta

        i totally agree…..i am (WAS) a HUGE SVU fan! I loved the chemistry of Olivia & Eliot! I love Munch & Fin. The ADAs have come & gone, and that has been hard enough to get use to, but I don’t know if I’ll continue to watch w/o Stabler. I don’t like it when they screw with the main characters that are attracting the viewers! If Chris Meloni left over a money dispute….the producers were really stupid to let him go! he was worth every penny they paid him! Just like when Goren left L&O, SVU will never be the same!

      • Augirl

        I am with you. Kelli is an ok actress, but not for this show. I watched Chase a few times, but there is just something about her. I was blown away, I had not read or heard anything about Chris not coming back. Why do they always have to mess with a good thing. I have it set up on my DVR for a series recording, but I will cancel it.

    • Kate

      Without Meloni I will not watch the show.;

      • darlene

        i agree its not gonna be the same without him and i dont even want to watch it anymore. they need to think aout there viewers and what they like if they want to kep us.Pay him the money and bring him back it wasnt the same lastnight with out him

    • Dora R. Garza

      I totally agree with you. It was sad to watch L&O without Stabler. When I watch Goren on the old Criminal Intents, i wonder what is wrong with these people. He is one of the most intriguing actors, and his performances with his mom always invoke all sorts of emotions. I would rather watch old L&O CI’s than watch Giddish in anything.

  • losuvfan

    NBC F**KED up by taking Meloni off the show !!! Stop being cheap JEWS and pay him to get him back!!!

    • get a grip

      Can the EW monitor people please remove this post.

      • get a grip

        Please ignore my last comment. I’m a c u n t.

    • TVJunkie

      @losuvfan be ashamed of yourself and stay close minded. it’s working for you.

      i hope the jew you work for fires your ass.

      • losuvfan

        @tvjunkie I dont work for a Jew,I have few succesful businesses I own .. I have the jews making me money!!! Need a job, u jew?? hahaha!!!

    • KartofflMuter

      Stop blaming Jews for everything. People are cheap because they are cheap. Period.

    • Robin

      Seriously???? Did you just make a insensitive, not to mention inaccurate reference to Jew’s being cheap? Any reason you capitalize the word? Are you some kind of Nazi or just stupid?

      • get a grip

        I guess you never worked for one, stop being so naive.

    • Rachel

      How do you know cheap Catholics didn’t give him the axe? Come on. Think a little before you post.

    • AB

      Try getting your facts straight, racist a-hole. Meloni didn’t want to do the show anymore, he was tired of it after 13 years. He said it didn’t have anything to do with his salary.

      • wtf

        Um were did you get that because it says every where else its was because he asked for a higher salary and they denied him. Not that the jew joke was funny but it was because they wouldn’t give him a pay raise which is unfair but whatever SVU is the only law and order left and they are killing it like they killed the other two. Shame svu is my fav :( DIE NICK AMERO!

    • distar

      this sounds like fake Lori’s rantings. IGNORE!

    • Maka

      You’re an idiot. And Meloni chose to leave himself.

    • Robin

      From this Jew, I say F you. A schmuck on this board and most likely a schmuck in life.

    • Sonya Walls

      I agree . Stabler Stabler Stabler!!!!!!!!!!

  • sheri

    i have been watching this show from the beggining wheres atablers thatswhat i look forward too why woukd you cut him out now the show is not going to be the same without him

  • Rachel

    I loved Meloni he made the show I’m telling you know from the things I’ve herd people say about him leaving the show this show will nose dive with out him! why everything on T.V keeps getting worse and worse idk I think all the choices the shows I wacth SUCK!!!!

  • Unstabler

    I’ll be curious to see how the ratings do.

    • tvfan

      The ratings won’t tell the whole story since ABC finally has a decent show (Revenge), compared to previous years. SVU used to get solid ratings, but it has been slipping for a couple of years.

  • Unstabler

    I also got a kick out the maid’s statement that America is run by an African. Looks like Wolf’s team has their own thoughts about the President’s place of birth!

    • Elliot_stabler

      Little does she know he’s only half black…

  • Rachel

    I don’t think I’m even going to watch next weeks I’ll just stick to reruns with him in it!

  • John

    Worst SVU episode I’ve seen. Poor writing, awkward cinematography (especially in the morgue scene). Rollings doesn’t fit well at all, and the actress who plays her is not very good.
    Seemed more like a CBS or USA Network show, and I mean that in the worst possible way.

    • Solutions

      Agreed!!! I hated the camera angles, etc. It was weird. Miss you Stabler!

    • e.ccolgan

      Please put stabler back! agree, no show without Chris

  • Kathy

    It’s not L&O SVU without Meloni! He needs to return and everyone stay where they are. This is not the original L&O with the revolving door.

  • jj

    So far it’s not working, but it’s only the first episode. As long as Olivia is there, I’ll be watching. Also, bring back Calvin!

  • Carrie

    I agree with you Kathy. Without Stabler it’s not the same show but I’ll give it a try to see how the story lines go.

    • LISA


      • towbeezgrl

        i TOTALLY agree! they need to get him back! I’m going to give it a try, but it just doesnt hold the fascination for me without Eliot! Liv with out El is like popcorn without the butter!

  • T

    I thought it was a good start.
    People come and go especially on a long running series like the original L&O – remember all the detectives and the lawyers that came and went ?
    It’s just the same for the SVU. Give ‘em a chance.

    I like to see Benson and the group drop over to the United Kingdom to L&O UK group.

  • Char

    The show was not the same without the Elliott/Olivia team. The new detective I liked in Chase and she might be a good addition but not at the expense of Elliott.

    • Vigs

      She was also cool in her minor role on The Good Wife.

  • Trent

    Forget about Kelli Giddish. Mike Cutter was back! He and Anita Van Buren were my favorite characters on the L&O Mothership and I was SO happy to see him back in action. Great to see Alex, too. And I have to disagree with most here — I thought last night’s premiere had a snap and energy that I haven’t seen on the show in a while. Plus great teamwork with Munch and Finn. Really enjoyed it!

    • AB

      Agreed, glad to see Mike Cutter. And Munch and Finn were fabulous. Liked the energy, didn’t like Olivia starting to play “bad cop.” THAT’s a turn off.

      Looking forward to seeing Danny Pino though. Loved him on Cold Case.

    • NS

      I agree as well. As bad as it may sound but I loved last night’s eppy.. I will definitely miss Elliot because other than the epic story lines early on in the show’s history, he and Benson were the reason I watched. EO baby. But last night had just the right amount of Crime and Personal drama in it that kept me interested. A breath of fresh air crica season 7-8. All the actors did well in my opinion. Next week, next week :D

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