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Morning Spew

It’s Battery Acid Mixed With Cocoa Puffs and the Kids Are Calling it ‘Trombozo’: Some Suggestions for an Authentic ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Fan Experience

And some especially heinous links for your Thursday morning.

(NCBUniversal Media)

How do you celebrate the fans of a show like "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit?" The longest-running scripted drama to ever appear on primetime TV in the U.S. has been on air for a whopping 25 years this month, and NBCUniversal wants to give back to the viewers who made it happen with an "immersive NYC fan experience" this Thursday and Friday at Rockefeller Plaza—or should I say Olivia Benson Plaza, which is what they're actually calling as part of the event, for the next two days. 

I have been watching "Law & Order: SVU" since I was around 12 years old and really into the USA Network. (Characters welcome.) That's more than half of my life. I am a fan. But when my friend (another true fan) sent me an Instagram post about this proposed 25th anniversary celebration, we were both in stitches at the prospect of an immersive experience patterned around a show where NYPD detectives hunt pedophiles, rapists, sex traffickers, and serial killers at a fever clip of approximately one collar per episode. 

What could that possibly look like? According to NBCUniversal:

Fans will enjoy complimentary refreshments featuring latte art of beloved characters as well as an exclusive kiosk featuring a commemorative 25th anniversary newspaper and an exclusive limited-edition T-shirt designed by the Shop at NBC Studios and Wolf Entertainment. On both days, fans will have the chance to participate in Law & Order: SVU-themed trivia, giveaways and unique photo opportunities onsite. 

Hm. Trivia? Latte art? Friendship bracelets? Not exactly what I think of when I think of the two and a half decades of television (and counting!) featuring these dedicated detectives who investigate vicious felonies in the squad known as the Special Victims Unit. For real fans, the phrase "'Law & Order: SVU' fan experience" doesn't conjure images of a crowd of tourists milling around Midtown and grubbing for freebies on a Thursday afternoon. 

A true "Law & Order: SVU" "fan experience" would capture the thing viewers can't look away from, all these years later: the show's lurid, bleeding heart. Here are a few ideas about what that might actually look like: 

"Law & Order: SVU" fan experience: You experience so much sexual tension with your coworker that outside observers rabidly speculate about it for more than a decade—but by the time you two actually hook up, nobody really gives a shit.

"Law & Order: SVU" fan experience: You stop an exotic animal trafficking ring, for some reason.

"Law & Order: SVU" fan experience: You get stuck guarding a crime scene that Detective Munch is working, and he tells you that electric cars are a scam, and there was a man who actually figured out how to generate clean energy using hydropower, but he was murdered "by them" after he posted his findings to online forums.

"Law & Order: SVU" fan experience: You're in the U.S. illegally, but you're trying to keep your head down and live a quiet life. Too bad you secretly have a twin, and guess what: They're doing sexual hate crimes. 

"Law & Order: SVU" fan experience: Here, put this on. You're a pizza delivery person, and you're about to find a pair of mutilated corpses.

"Law & Order: SVU" fan experience: You're a pedophile music teacher, and the student you're grooming? Turns out she's your daughter!

"Law & Order: SVU" fan experience: You're locked in a room with a livid Italian American man. He screams at you while you wear handcuffs and whatever happens, happens.

"Law & Order: SVU" fan experience: The kids are dipping lox into the paint they use to make road markings reflective, then putting it on a chopped cheese and calling it a "Verrazzano Bridge." The body high is incredible.

"Law & Order: SVU" fan experience: A wealthy and powerful and possibly famous man almost gets away with it until a masterful legal maneuver by Alexandra Cabot/Casey Novak/Rafael Barba saves the day at the 11th hour. You get to be a juror and your main job, acting-wise, is furrowing your eyebrows at the dramatic parts.

"Law & Order: SVU" fan experience: Yup, this kid was murdered—and you get to watch the autopsy. Pass the scalpel.

"Law & Order: SVU" fan experience: You babysit Olivia Benson's churlish adopted son and you totally whiff it when he asks you to explain what "family annihilator" means, because he overheard his mom say it during her biweekly teletherapy session. She's late—again—but at least she offers to pay for your Uber home. 

"Law & Order: SVU" fan experience: You go undercover as a stripper. For, uh, plot reasons.

"Law & Order: SVU" fan experience: You overstep the boundaries of the law in an interrogation setting, but goddamnit, we need to get these bastards off the streets—and the vic looked just like your daughter, who you never see because you're too dedicated to your work with this elite squad of detectives! 

"Law & Order: SVU" fan experience: You join a sex cult with a suspicious number of parallels to a recent HBO documentary.

"Law & Order: SVU" fan experience: Oops! The new ADA you've been hitting it off with may or may not have killed a sex worker.

"Law & Order: SVU" fan experience: A 15 year old fell through the cracks of the foster care system, and now you have to rescue him from the clutches of…guest star Willem Dafoe?! What a get!

"Law & Order: SVU" fan experience: Dang. It was the dad :(

"Law & Order: SVU" fan experience: You're in the middle of your shift at a bakery in the West Village when Ice-T and the blonde lady burst through the doors and call your name. You say something like, "Hey, I'm kind of busy here," and the blonde rolls her eyes and smirks as Ice-T says, "Oh, yeah? Busy doing something like this?" He presses his phone into your face until it's almost touching the tip of your nose. Playing on it is a video of an adult, the same race and roughly the same age as you are, masturbating over a box of donuts (away from the audience, of course—this is still primetime television, all these years later.) The video has been circulating around the local middle school. Your vision starts to swim, you start to sweat, and you stammer out a denial, but it's too late—customers are staring. "You can either leave with us right now, or you can leave in cuffs, donut freak!" Ice-T barks. You sheepishly follow him to the squad car. Down at the station, you immediately lawyer up, but are held for the maximum legal duration, sans charges, anyway. Lucky for you, the detectives do a single second more investigating and check the offending video's metadata against your cell phone records; they don't match. You're in the clear. Nobody apologizes to you—or even looks at you, really—as you leave. They're too busy debating what age they'd let their kids have cell phones, or something. The next day, you get fired over text message before you can even show up to work.

—Katie Way

Some links you don't have to use your imagination for:

  • Legalize cheating on your spouse!
  • BRB, throwing some binoculars in the ol' tote bag and taking a little look-see into Steve Cohen's gargantuan new West Village pad.
  • The office of Councilmember Susan Zhuang—who gave an AI-generated quote to City and State last year—has been caught in another digital flub: soliciting donations for a nonprofit using a City email address, an apparent violation of City ethics law.
  • Rent prices just hit a new record high in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. 
  • A former Westchester cop is suing the department after allegedly being fired for refusing to honor a police union courtesy card.
  • According to NYCHA records, private management companies that run NYCHA housing initiate tenant evictions at a far higher rate than the housing authority itself.
  • Ever wanted to cross state lines via zipline? This spring, your stupid dream can finally come true: a mile-long zipline, a monument to man's hubris in the face of God and physics, is set to open in May at Catamount Mountain Resort in Hillsdale and stretch all the way into Massachusetts. 
  • Creative housing solutions abounded in City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams's latest State of the City speech.
  • The MTA's Fair Fares program is failing to capture everyone who might be eligible for the discounted rides, according to a new report.
  • Alas! The Medieval Times union drive failed.
  • And finally, hope everyone enjoys another sunny spring day in the Port-au-Prince of America:
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