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Law & Order stars provide drama at the Emmy Awards

Christopher Meloni
Christopher Meloni as Elliot Stabler on Law & Order: Organized Crime. Pic credit: NBC

The Emmy Awards had some nice drama for Law & Order fans.

After a fun talk on the red carpet, Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay had a steamy moment presenting on stage.

The actors who play Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson teased a kiss before going into presenting an award together.

However, there was a question of how some Law & Order cast members would react to HBO comedian John Oliver following his critique of the franchise on his talk show.

While Oliver claimed to have no altercations with anyone, he did relate why he devoted a large segment on his show to chastising the franchise’s “unrealistic” view of police work. 

Between the banter of Hargitay and Meloni and the reaction to Oliver’s piece, the Emmys provided some good stuff for Law & Order fans. 

Hargitay and Meloni’s Emmy reunion

Monday night saw the airing of the 74th Emmy Awards, always the biggest night for television and its actors.

While none of the Law & Order series were nominated for major awards, several of the actors did appear for the ceremony. 

On the red carpet, Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay talked to Entertainment Tonight about how it felt reuniting after so many years.

“I don’t feel any pressure at all,” Meloni said. “I go to work knowing how lucky I am. Whenever we get together, it’s old home week, and it’s great to have a touchstone to go back to. It’s nothing but pleasure for me, so as long as we keep telling good stories, it’s gonna be all right.”

“Yeah, it’s just been such an incredible experience to collaborate with such incredible expertise,” Hargitay added. “I mean, our writers and our crew, and we keep pushing the envelope and digging deeper and going harder. And the thing I’m probably most proud of is that every time we have a guest star or anything they always say, ‘I just can’t believe you’re still committed after this long,’ and we are all so committed, and that’s a joy.”

Hargitay joked that Meloni returned mainly because it was difficult for him to stay away from the iconic franchise.

“How could you stay away from this?” she exclaimed, agreeing that he simply needed to be around her every day. “That’s what I’m saying!”

“If you were looking for a secure job, I don’t think acting is the first go-to on the list right there, so look to be an employed actor, to be a well-compensated actor, and then to be telling stories that you like with people that you love for as long as we’ve been doing it. It’s pretty special,” Meloni acknowledged.

The pair then appeared in a pre-taped skit chasing a “thief” with an Emmy statue at the ceremony. They then showed up on stage to hand the “thief” to cops, with the announcer introducing them as “two cops no one wants to see defunded.”

 The two joked about Meloni admiring the Emmy, with Hargitay cracking, “I’m good; I have two.”

The pair then teased going in for a kiss before presenting the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy. The winner was Jason Sudekis for Ted Lasso.

While the pair looked to have a good time, the real talk was the backstage drama involving Law & Order’s unexpected beef with a noted comedian. 

How did Law & Order actors react to John Oliver?

John Oliver attacks WWE on Last Week Tonight, WWE and CM Punk respond
John Oliver talks WWE and independent contractor status. Pic credit: HBO

Just a day before the Emmys, HBO’s Last Week Tonight With John Oliver had a lengthy segment where the British comedian heavily criticized Law & Order.

Oliver chastised the show for its unrealistic take on police work, making the public think the police were more successful than they were and always showing the police in a good light rather than their internal issues.

After winning a seventh consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Variety Talk Series, Oliver was questioned by reporters on the piece.

Oliver claimed he had not had any altercations with anyone from Law & Order.

“It’s almost like I hadn’t considered the Emmys are on NBC this year,” he added with a laugh. “No, I haven’t run into anyone yet, so I don’t know how that will go. I hope it’s OK.”

Oliver defended the segment on how he thought it was important to shine a light on the franchise influencing the public opinion on the police. 

“I hope we made a pretty clear separation between not just what the cast and the writers are doing and what Dick Wolf wants, but also the problem clearly, obviously is policing in general. As we said, it’s an ad for a defective product…It was just something that we thought was fascinating.”

So far, no one at NBC or Dick Wolf Entertainment has spoken about the Oliver piece, and the actors refrained from discussing it at the ceremony.

While Law & Order didn’t take any Emmys home, they did provide some unexpected drama for this year’s ceremony.

Law & Order premiere crossover begins with Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 3 Thursday, September 22 at 8/7c on NBC.

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