In some cases, the accusation of rape is clear and simple. But in other cases, it is a complicated case of he said vs. she said.
In the television series Liar, both Laura Nielson (Joanne Froggatt) and Andrew Earlham (Ioan Gruffudd) are at crossroads in their lives. Laura is newly single after a long term relationship has just ended. Andrew is a widower with a teenage son. They meet at the school where Laura teaches and Andrew’s son is a student.
After they go on a date, they go back to her place to hang out and share a bottle of wine. One thing leads to another and they end up in bed. The next morning, Laura cries rape while Andrew claims it was just a one night stand. The consequences of that evening and the questions of what really happened will have far reaching consequences.
I only watched the first couple of episodes and was riveted. Both Froggatt and Gruffudd are superb in their roles. Unlike the open and shut cases is seen on Law & Order and other police dramas, this one is not black and white.
I was also drawn to the show because there was an instant comparison to the rape of Froggatt’s Downton Abbey character, Anna Bates. While Laura is both believed and her reputation is initially intact, Anna is not sot lucky. If she is to retain both her job and her good name, she must pretend that it never happened.
Television viewers have been taken with police procedurals since the beginning of television.
For thirty years, Law & Order has been a staple of our television schedule. Between 2009 & 2014, the British spinoff, Law & Order: UK was on the air. The plot of every episode is standard for the genre. The inciting incident is a crime being committed. The police investigate and then hand their findings over to the attorneys. Their job is to convince the jury that the accused is guilty.
I only watched a few episodes of the series, but I can say that I enjoyed it. The show had the same hook and energy as it’s American’s counterparts. The language and terms are slightly different because it is obviously set in another country, but that does not negate the program’s ability to entertain.
On September 20th, 1999, a new crime drama was added to the NBC lineup. It’s name was Law & Order SVU.
It was an offshoot of Law & Order. But instead of focusing on crime in general, the focus of the show are victims of sexual crimes.
On Thursday, SVU will start off its 20th season, making it the longest running drama in television history.
I’ve been a fan of SVU from nearly the beginning of the run of the show. Most shows, if they are lucky, run out of steam perhaps five or six years after their premiere. The fact that SVU is still going strong 19 years later says something. Not only is the writing and acting absolutely still fantastic after all of these years, but it still speaks to audiences. The show has broken barriers, created conversations and allowed us as a culture to talk about topics that must be discussed, but are often avoided.
After all of these years, nothing gives me a high like the opening theme song.
Here is the 20th season and many more seasons to come.
The new season of Law & Order: SVU premieres this Thursday, September 27th and 9PM.