Will ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Season 21 Be Its Last? Should It Be? (POLL)

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - Season 20

Law & Order: SVU is going to be the longest-running primetime live-action series in TV history with its 21st season in the fall, but should it also be its swan song?

Or should the series go on forever? After all, there will always be gruesome crimes — and new ways to commit them — in the world, so SVU will likely never find itself short of inspiration. But wouldn’t it be better to say goodbye on a high note, rather than go on too long?

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Here, we take a look at the arguments for why it should and shouldn’t continue. Share your thoughts in the vote below.

More SVU, Always More SVU

Let’s be realistic. As we said above, there will always be people committing heinous acts, and how better to deal with that than to also watch people put them away — especially characters we’ve gotten to know over decades of television? We’ve seen that there are new ways to tell stories and that crime has evolved, just over the years on SVU. After all, when it first premiered, no one was using social media. Now, it’s rare if it or some website isn’t part of an investigation.

(Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank)

And as we’ve seen, the team is not done yet. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) is successfully leading the squad, and the show has made it through several cast changes. Sure, we miss some of the departed characters — Stabler! Munch! Cragen! — but newer faces like Rollins and Carisi have easily slipped right into the fold. And something the show has done well is the changing of the guard at the DA’s office. We may be getting a new ADA next season after Philip Winchester’s exit, but we’re not worried.

It Can Only Last So Long

At this point, however, we do have to wonder if not now, when? And can the series last if it loses another cast member? The answers to those questions may actually go hand in hand, and it all depends on who chooses to say goodbye next. The answer is simple: If Hargitay ever decides to leave, the show should end. We don’t want to see anyone take over for her.

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As much as we love her and her character, Olivia can’t do this job forever, and we’d rather see her decide to hang up her shield and get a break at some point. She should have the chance to raise Noah without having to worry about the stress and dangers of her job than have that decision made — perhaps tragically — for her.

And maybe it’s time for TV to have a break (at least in the primetime, given all the reruns) from some of these cases. After all, we can only watch and wonder how someone could do something so horrible to another human being so many times.

Law & Order: SVU, Season 21 Premiere, Thursday, September 26, 10/9c, NBC