“Popularity” of the television legal procedural drama, Law and Order

Please discuss the “popularity” of the television legal procedural drama, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. Consider: SVU is only one of numerous police/legal dramas on American television (others include NCIS, the CSI franchise, Criminal Minds, et.al.), suggesting what is valued in American society and culture. In the fall SVU will return for its 15th Season.

Given the nature of SVU’s program content (i.e., rape, abuse, sexual assault, pedophilia) and the rather graphic verbal and visual depictions, please attempt to explain the “appeal” of this program to American audiences. In addition, please assess the possible assistance to the mental health profession (inasmuch as this program popularizes information previously limited to mental health professionals).

*Do we watch to obtain information (about sexual deviance, mental disorders, predator behavior…), or, to be entertained?

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