‘Law & Order: SVU’-induced paranoia

law and order
sol419/Creative Commons

“Law & Order: SVU” is a Netflix binge watcher’s dream come true. With 16 seasons (and still more to come), the show offers you more than 200 hours of crime show madness. There will be a constant battle between your tired, bloodshot eyes and your entranced mind. You simply can’t go to sleep without knowing whether Olivia and Elliot ever get together. Thus, the seasons fly by, Elliot’s hair line recedes, and Munch gets more and more sarcastic. Over time, some of the episodes may seem to be just reiterations of past ones, but more often than not, “SVU” keeps you on your toes with increasingly convoluted plot lines. “SVU” provides a seemingly endless supply of quality entertainment, but it comes at a price. You will undoubtedly become increasingly paranoid and scared that you will end up just like the victims of “Law & Order: SVU.” Here are some ways this may manifest.

Expecting to find dead bodies everywhere

You brace yourself before opening the trash can because that’s where all the uncreative murderers dispose of corpses. You cringe while walking by the Lower Sproul construction; no doubt there’s a body buried under cement waiting to be discovered by a guy named Carl who has a jackhammer and pot belly. You hesitate to gaze wistfully into peaceful bodies of water because you know the mortal remains of some poor soul is just waiting to surface from the murky depths. You will never be the one to run and get the Frisbee when it lands in the bushes. A runner’s dead body is not what you want to see on your relaxing Sunday afternoon.

Flinching whenever you hear a strange sound in your apartment late at night

You’re just waiting for the person with a ski mask to appear in the mirror while you’re brushing your teeth. You quickly remind yourself to scratch him or her and grab at his hair. This is all in the name of getting some sort of DNA, of course. Just another awesome tip from Olivia. You quickly route your exit to the balcony, where you release a blood-curdling shriek — “Fire!” — for all to hear. It may be not be true, but it will gain more attention than screaming, “Rape!” — another wonderful insight from Benson.

Thinking about all the sociopaths who are being bred in private elementary schools

The majority of sociopath teen killers on the show come from wealthy families, and whenever the SVU team comes to make an arrest, it is always at an elite private school full of children wearing their crest-embroidered school attire. You’re not entirely sure why this is so. If only you could ask Dr. George Huang for the answer. After watching so many episodes, you now stay away from anyone who 1) attends private school, 2) enjoys hurting small animals and 3) wets the bed. You try to be accepting of creeds — even the superfluously wealthy — and you know the kid on your floor wearing his prep-school swim team hoodie probably isn’t actually a sociopath, but it doesn’t hurt to keep your distance.

Bracing yourself for something bad to happen when you’re walking alone at night

When you’re leaving the Recreational Sports Facility, you zip up a hoodie to make yourself look more imposing and mysterious (hence dangerous), but you know it’s all in vain. Your attacker will see that you’re shaking from nerves and not chilly weather and realize what an easy target you are. If only you had the imposing physique and perfectly groomed ponytail of Ice-T. Nobody messes with him.

Image source: sol419 via Creative Commons

Contact Nora Harhen at [email protected].