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Why Many Law & Order: SVU Fans Didn't Like The William Lewis Storyline

While "Law & Order: SVU" may be a spinoff of the original "Law & Order" series, "SVU" pretty definitively eclipsed its progenitor after breaking a record once held by the original "Law & Order" for longest-running non-animated drama on primetime TV.

Of course, what sets "SVU" apart from "Law & Order" is the darker nature of its featured crimes, hence the addendum of an abbreviation for "Special Victims Unit" to its title. In practice, this means that the crimes and criminals featured throughout "SVU" are often gruesome or unsettling in nature. For example, "SVU" fans love to hate Bronwyn Freed (Sarah Storm), a character featured over the course of five episodes starting in Season 15. Although Freed never perpetrates crimes of a heinous nature herself, she frequently aids convicted murderers with whom she becomes infatuated, serving as an example of someone with a dark psychological affliction.

Meanwhile, William Lewis (Pablo Schreiber) is arguably the worst criminal in "Law & Order: SVU" Season 15. Most notably, Lewis' wrongdoing peaks when he kidnaps series protagonist Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay). Even after she escapes his capture, the two remain at odds moving forward through the season. As it turns out, this storyline is relatively unpopular among a number of "SVU" fans who shared their thoughts about it online.

Viewers have a few different complaints about William Lewis' storyline

In a Reddit thread soliciting unpopular opinions from the "Law & Order: SVU" fan community, user Robbie06261995 commented that they do not enjoy the William Lewis storyline. "His character wasn't all that interesting and the way Benson (and everyone else) handles the situation just makes me angry," they said in a follow-up comment. A since-deleted user similarly wrote that they would have preferred Benson kill Lewis than leave him at large upon her escape, and characterized the situation on the whole as drama for its own sake.

User eggsovereggs wrote in the same thread that they find the Lewis storyline to be overly long. Two users replied that they agree with this assessment, one of whom argued that Lewis' first two episodes are enjoyable but everything after that is a bridge too far.

Pablo Schreiber, for what it's worth, revealed in an interview with VH1 that he found the role of Lewis, in conjunction with a similarly evil role on "Orange is the New Black," to be genuinely taxing. "The last two things that I came off of were harsh characters doing terrible things. I was really interested in getting back to something a little closer to me," he said about accepting a role as an altogether nobler character.

Lewis' detractors and Schreiber both, then, can take solace in the fact that Lewis' "SVU" storyline remains a done deal.