Saturday, December 15, 2018

I Can Only Solve Crimes In Britain

(Ripley is judging my taste in television programs.)

 Here's my confession: I love watching police procedurals. Since I've dropped all the streaming services, I don't watch that much television, but if I can find a good detective show, I'm all set. You have characters that are building relationships over the season, while problems are being solved every week. It's the perfect way to relax.

But. (You knew there had to be a but.)

I can't watch police procedurals that ignore the procedures of police. Sadly, that pretty much knocks out anything made in the US. They take a swab of something in the morning and have DNA back before lunch? No. They bust down some person's door without a warrant and there are no repercussions? No. The first people on the scene are suddenly running the multi-agency task force? Sorry, I don't think so.

I mostly end up with shows coming out of Great Britain. I'm sure they have inaccuracies as well, but not on the same scale.
  • Not only do they show the forensic team properly suited up, but they actually show the forensic team and they don't pretend that the random supercop is collecting their own trace evidence.
  • They have bosses that keep track of what they are doing, and when they are out of line there are consequences.
  • Not everyone is either a distinguished white man or a hot young woman.
  • Women don't show up to crime scenes in high heels.
  • The science is at least plausible. I can't keep track of the US shows whose plots routinely hinge on completely ridiculous forensics. If you can't write a plot that could happen in real life, find another show to write for.
The weird thing is that all these inaccuracies in the US shows seem to be done to make it more cinematic, but in reality it makes the whole thing dull. There's no point even paying attention because the plot every week is "supercop makes an illogical leap and is backed up by magical science". There's nothing interesting about that.

So there you have it. Once again, if I were in charge of the universe, things would be very different.


Route 8 said...

What shows are you watching? Most of the TV I watch is British. I can always use recommendations.

Theresa B (of Nebulopathy) said...

Depending on your level of darkness, you might try one of these: "Death in Paradise", "Murder in Suburbia", Inspector Lewis", "Shetland", "Hinterland".

I'm always on the lookout as well. Sometimes I have better luck with the Canadian & Australian ones, but that definitely tends to up the cheese factor.

Route 8 said...

I've tried "Death in Paradise" a couple of times but haven't gotten into it. I haven't checked out the others yet. I liked "Broadchurch," "The Loch" and "Unforgotten."

Theresa B (of Nebulopathy) said...

If you're looking for light-hearted (murder), "Death in Paradise" works, but I can see where it might not be everybody's cup of tea. I'll have to check out "The Loch" and "Unforgotten", thanks!