I love crime procedurals. And I particularly love the women in crime procedurals. It’s one of those unique genres where the women are expected to be as tough, smart and capable as the men. Sure, they’re not the star of the show as much as I’d like. But that’s where Mariska Hargitay comes in. As Det. Olivia Benson she is arguably the star of “Law & Order: SVU.” Fine, straight gals and gay boys everywhere love them some Christopher Meloni. But SVU is nothing without Olivia’s crusading heart. As the good detective, Mariska is at once tenacious and tender, compassionate and composed, righteous and real.
Mariska, in turn, seems to have a very happy, healthy home life. Married to fellow actor Peter Hermann (the cheating cad from “Cashmere Mafia”), she is the proud mother to adorable, creamy-centered, little boy August. For all her Hollywood trappings (daughter of 50s sex symbol Jayne Mansfield and Mr. Universe Mickey Hargitay) she, like her character, is a tireless crusader in the fight to stop violence against women and children. She co-founded the Joyful Heart Foundation, a group that supports women who have been sexually assaulted. Last month she was on the cover of Redbook to promote another group she works with, Safe Horizon, a victim support group for abused children. All that, and she looks great in a tank top and carries a really big gun. Now that’s the kind of law I would happily lay down for, if you know what I mean. Happy weekend, all.