My wife is hooked on the alphabet police dramas.
What are alphabet police dramas, you ask?
CSI (Crime Scene Investigators) and Law and Order SVU (Special Victims Unit) are two examples. She also watches Blue Bloods and Hawaii 5-0 but they haven't quite bought into the initials thing even though 5-0 is a code name for police.
If I were to make my own alphabet police drama it would be titled RDC (Really Dumb Cops).
The hook for some of these police dramas is really good. A unit that responds to victims of weird sex crimes is certainly titillating. A show about investigators who use science to solve crimes is pretty well loaded with story possibilities as well. The shortcomings (at least in my book) come in when they start having to apply drama to a police drama.
The science and the sex get pushed aside in favor of the drama and the characters and that's where the believability suffers. My wife likes the drama and the characters more than the facts so she doesn't mind — if she gets to watch her program without me, that is.
I can't let unbelievable parts pass without mention and I have the knots on my noggin from the remote being bounced off of it after I corrected one too many things on the night.
One of my big pet peeves are when these specialized crime scene investigators are seen storming through the bad guy's door ahead of another specialized unit called SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics). If I'm ready to take down the nasty serial killer, I leave the CSI guys back at the science lab and put SWAT guy who just mustered out of Special Forces in the lead.
I also hate it when the lab guys wind up doing interrogations. It's even funnier when they work the bad guy over a little. I guess the drama's just not there if the star doesn't get a chance to shake his/her finger at the crook and swear to get him.
Another phenomenon is the number of times the cases these big city cops are working suddenly have a personal connection to someone or something in their lives. Then when that personal connection is revealed the cop's captain tells them they're off the case. As soon as the captain says that, it assures us the detective will continue working on the case anyway and in the next couple of scenes will be face-to-face with the criminal with guns drawn.
We all know these dramas are made using the same template so I don't know why my wife gets so upset when I explain to her what's going to happen next before it happens in between criticizing the show.
If they find me buried in my own back yard in the future I hope as soon as CSI is through examining the bugs dining on my carcass they quickly get around to "tuning up" my wife in the interrogation room.
She'll be guilty of more than a blunt forced drama.
Karl Terry, a former publisher of the Quay County Sun, writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at: