The Duggars’ fall from grace after revelations that the 19 Kids and Counting family’s eldest son Josh molested an unnamed baby sitter as well as his own sisters may be out of the headlines for the most part, but the saga isn’t over. Some of TV’s favorite cops will be taking the Duggars’ bizarre story and tackling a similar situation on a Season 17 episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.
I am a long time fan of the show, and I know that this is absolute gold for this cast. For those of you who are not aware, the show follows the cases of Manhattan’s Special Victims Unit, which exclusively deals with sex crimes and child abuse. The most horrific cases for the SVU crew is always sex crimes committed against children.
The Duggars make a perfect model for the show. They have all the usual elements when cops are trying to break into a closed off environment of fundamentalist religious nuts. Will the episode, called “Patrimonial Burden,” tackle the Duggars’ bizarre teachings about sex and sexual abuse, along with the victim blaming contained in said teachings? Will they take on the problem of faith-based “counseling” that really helps nothing?
Time will only tell, but Raul Esparza, the actor who portrays ADA Rafael Barba on SVU, seems to believe that the producers and writers will definitely use one of the show’s famous “ripped from the headlines” stories. Esparza says that, as per usual with these episodes that were inspired by real life events, the details will have to be changed, but there will be no doubt about where the story came from. The Duggar story will be easily recognized.
SVU’s version of the Duggars will have a family of 10 kids instead of 19. They will also have a reality show, and the investigation will be sparked when a 13-year-old girl in the family turns up pregnant. Should be interesting to see this made-for-TV version of this creepy cult of a family.
At least one actor on the show, Peter Scanavino, who plays Detective Dominick Carisi, seems to be looking forward to shooting the episode. He called the real life Duggars a “lunatic fringe family,” and seems to be as disgusted by them as the rest of us are. Scanavino went on to say:
With the Duggar one, it was like the double-whammy because it was his sisters and the fact—I mean, honestly, I feel like we’re dealing with some topics this season that feel a bit meatier than some lunatic fringe family…I wouldn’t mind doing one just because I have never been so infuriated with someone’s level of hypocrisy, and lying, and then displacement of responsibility onto something else. When I think about that guy, it boils my blood, I will say.
As for the very public downfall of the real life Duggars? Well, as a huge fan of the show, I’m sure that will be nothing short of absolutely glorious. Perhaps in this fictional version, we’ll actually see the justice that was never served in real life.
Don’t miss “Patrimonial Burden,” which will air on NBC on Nov. 4.