Tag Archives: Ice-T

Law & Order: SVU Character Review: Odafin “Fin” Tutuola

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

There has always been the debate on whether it is better to see the world in black and white or color. On Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Odafin “Fin” Tutuola (played by actor and musician Ice-T), sees his world and his job as black and white. That view came from his early upbringing on the streets of New York City. As a young boy, he watched as the city rioted after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and saw his mother killed by one of his father’s business rivals.

As a cop first in narcotics and then in special victims, Fin sees the world as black and white. If the accused is guilty, then he or she deserves whatever punishment they receive. This point of view often led him to clash with his colleagues, who saw the shades of grey in the cases they were assigned. Outside of work, Fin sought to keep his private life and his job separate. But he eventually opened up to his partners, who became as close as family.

To sum it up: Sometimes a character is defined by his or her point of view. Fin sees his world and his job as black and white. Which is fine, because that works for the character. But there is also more to him than just a cut and dry perspective on the law. He has a big heart for those who he cares about and is willing to do what it takes to get the job done.

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Filed under Character Review, Feminism, History, Music, New York City, Television

Law & Order: SVU Character Review: John Munch

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

Sarcasm and cynicism, when doled out properly, is a wonderful thing.

On Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, the sarcasm and cynicism usually comes from Detective John Munch (Richard Belzer). Munch is a believer in conspiracy theories and is more than willing to share his opinions with his colleagues. The character originally started out on Homicide: Life on the Street before transferring to SVU. Like all of the detectives on SVU, Munch has had several partners. His longest lasting partner was Fin Tutuola (Ice-T), the street smart former narcotics detective who balanced out the wise ass that is John Munch.

Though no one would say that Munch is outwardly sentimental, he is known to have occasionally worn his heart on his sleeve, especially when the victims are children. He also is a firm believer in individual rights and once in a while may cross a moral boundary when he believes that it is the right thing to do.

To sum it up: Not every character has to be sunshine and light. There is something to be said for a well placed sarcastic remark or a cynical question. Munch’s cynicism reminds the audience of the reality of that world, may bring out a question or two and perhaps make them laugh. Fans of SVU still love Munch not only for his sarcasm, but also for his heart and his convictions. When all of those characteristics are tied together, they present a portrait of a man who is flawed, deeply human, but goes out of his way to do what is right.

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Filed under Character Review, Feminism, New York City, Television