1. Munch. You know I love Much. He’s a crank, a conspiracy theorist, a million-times divorced bitter civil libertarian, and a devoted Transitions lens user. ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE POSITIVES IN MY BOOK. While prickly, physically unimposing, and generally useless, wise-cracking Munch will always be my #1 co-pilot.
2. Tutola. Odafin is nearly as witty as Munch, but a lot breezier and easier to work with. Initially one of SVU’s more naive detectives (when it comes to sex crimes at least), in later seasons Tutola has blossomed into an eminently progressive, sweet-hearted guy, though he retains his infamous penchant for declaring things “messed up”. If Odafin Tutola was my partner, I know he’d be down to take languid lunch and coffee breaks interspersed with philsophical conversations about evolving social media norms. Plus for the past five seasons he’s been dressing like an old uncle at a barbecue, which I like.
3. Carisi. Okay okay. I know a lot of people hate Carisi because he’s kind of goofy and ignorant and always tries to pop off some convoluted yet hackneyed good-cop, bad-cop routine, but I love how genuine he is. Sure he’s a greaseball, but he’s straightforward and ready to learn. Just look at how quickly he decided to nix that awful moustache! A lot people will say that their ideal SVU wingman is somebody seasoned, like Benson or Stabler, but that’s all wrong. You want somebody who’s hungry. Somebody who’s ready to grow. Carisi gets the award for Most Improved every damn episode. Give him a chance.
4. Rollins. She’s such a cute little mouse. I always underestimate her! And so do you! But Rollins is one of SVU’s ass-kickingest detectives, when you look at the veritable mountain of shit she’s been in during her tenure. She’s been assaulted, coerced, manipulated, loan-sharked, played (by her sister!!) and exposed for all her faults time and time again. She’s still there, still swinging and looking like a beautiful, cynical angel the entire time. If she was my partner, we’d have lots of intense soul-bearing conversations during stakeouts. You just know she’d listen just as much as she talked, in that lovely way that only a good friend knows how to do.
5. Benson. Okay. Of course Liv is a pro. She’s principled, battle-tested, and amazing at going undercover. Liv knows her shit. If we worked together, I’m sure she’d school the shit out of me at every moment, just by taking a wide physical stance and saying some really intense, kind of poorly written shit while staring into the middle distance. I would rank her higher, but there’s a level of perfection to her that makes her untouchable. I mean she’s the captain. Working side-by-side with her would be intimidating.
6. Cragen. I love papa turtle face. He’s kind of a coward, and he has a sex worker habit that is kind of a liability in this line of work, but…come on! Let’s be sex work positive here. Plus he loves gibbons:
7. Huang. Not a detective, but a cool-ass customer who possesses a totally unrealistic, almost psychic level of awareness of people’s mental states. He’s so…frosty. It’s admirable. If I worked beside George Huang, I know I’d be a lot more serene, yet just as withering.
8. M.E. Warner. Again, not a detective, but Medical Examiner Warner is so sophisticated I can’t pass her up. She’s a globe trotter, she speaks French, she always stands by her principles even when the rest of the cast is trying to nudge her into fudging reports…and she may have had a fling with Tutola. I think if we worked together, we’d get drunk on a really nice Cabernet and she’d divulge all of Benson and Cragen and Munch’s deepest secrets.
9. Barba. Yeah, of all the ADAs, I’m picking Barba. Screw Novak and her weird questionable morals. Forget Cabot and her frigid blonde routine (except when she’s with Benson, then swoon swoon swoon). If i’m gonna partner up with an attorney on this show, it’s gonna be the fast-talking, unemotive, sartorial snarkmaster Barba. I love his thinly veiled bisexuality and his pocket squares, his sad little grandma and his inability to project emotion. If we hung out, er, worked together, I would become 1000% swankier and have 200x better control over my whiplashing emotions. I wish I was as cool and composed as this dick.
10. Any one of Liv’s square-headed, no-chemistry-having boyfriends. The show’s pathetic ongoing attempts to make her character straight just help increase her apparent queer-coding. And after all, anybody is better than….
11. Amaro. Sorry detective guapo. You’re too hot-headed and brittle. You look good in your uniform but you’re a total liability and you’re no fun and I can’t. Plus you’re a quitter. Liv said some really flattering things when you left about how her partnership with you meant more than 12 years with Stabler but we know that’s not true. You’re forgettable, baby boy. Go grow your sadness retirement beard out.
12. Stabler. Nobody is more relentlessly obnoxious and bad at their job. And I will never forgive his role on True Blood.
Originally published at erikadprice.tumblr.com.