The FBI reports serial murder is "less than 1 percent of all murders. This suggests fewer than actual serial killings in the most recent year for which statistics are available. But hundreds of serial murders were depicted in TV procedurals and at the movies. Actual murders of naval officers , and actual traitors, are rare. In the reality depicted by these shows, both happen so often the characters race from crime scene to crime scene. Generally, procedurals depict murders that involve the well-off, glamorous or powerful, though these too are rare.
Shows like "Southland" or "The Wire," which depict routine crimes involving average people, are on cable, not network, because routine crimes are not entertaining.
It was well-written, realistic and magnificently filmed on location -- but a ratings bust because the subject was detectives tracking urban corruption, not vice among the powerful or beautiful. On TV, cops exist in constant jeopardy of life and limb. This, though "most police officers retire at the end of a or year career without ever having fired a weapon other than at the practice range. Most are spoiling to charge headlong into obvious danger. Arriving at a taped-off crime scene, TV detectives bend over the body, take a quick glance and say things like, "This was done with a Sumatran Badek knife.
CBS Crime would decline if only criminals understood that law enforcement has flashlights. They spot clues instantly. In a recent "CSI," Ted Danson needed about 10 seconds to notice an important clue -- though the thing amiss was extremely small and Danson was wearing sunglasses indoors. Once the crime is discerned, the more exotic the better.
Criminals in procedurals aren't merely seeking money or merely depraved. Plots will involve an adopted child who's now an astronaut with bipolar disorder who killed an endangered-species smuggler because he was trying to stop her from freeing her amnesiac birth mother from a religious cult. That sort of thing.
Most amusing: In the Dana Delany vehicle "Body of Proof," the medical examiner interrogates suspects and goes on stakeouts. Procedurals employ so many scenes in the unrefrigerated medical examiner's offices -- detectives eating pizza as the mutilated body of a gorgeous young women lies on the examining table -- that agents must be calling producers about corpse roles, since they involve significant screen time.
An agent might say, "Hire my client. She looks great dead. Script classes tell TV crime writers to produce a serious main plot plus an offbeat subplot. This mirrors life, if your life occurs on a sound stage.
The arrival of an old best friend of either gender is a bad sign. In procedurals, old best friends always turn out to have gone Dark Side. Real-world cases may take decades to solve ; on television, you've got 43 minutes. The wisecracking officers have a suspect by lunchtime and drive to the suspect's home or workplace, where there is always evidence in plain view. Detectives enter an office, open a drawer or file cabinet at random and the key document not only is in the first place they try, it is easily recognized by someone who has no idea what to look for. The good guys arrest the suspect, fist-bump, wisecrack about their lack of love lives despite being extremely good-looking, and shift to indulging a charming habit.
In South Dakota, Gordon tries to steady his left hand, now shaking after his experience in the portal. Point Park selects John H. The music, the clothes, the hairstyles—the s are back! He worked at the Office of Naval Research from to , when he helped found Thinking Machines Corporation, where he worked until He was turned away. This eventually led her to a position as literary manager and education coordinator for Young Playwrights Inc. Could you send me an application form?
A TV detective must own an albino ocelot or live in an abandoned slag tower or build bark canoes. Universal Pictures Wouldn't you hold a meeting outdoors on the roof of a tall building? It's such an obvious choice. Oily superior officers, or The Feds, try to assume control of the case. Courageous street cops could save the city if only the big shots would stay out of the way! Tension with The Feds is a low point in procedurals, since most crimes are local-law offenses where The Feds cannot step in. A good place to have a meeting if you're unsure about jurisdiction is on the roof of a skyscraper, which happens in the "Miami Vice" movie.
Internal Affairs is the most frequent mid-episode complication. In the real world, Internal Affairs departments avert their eyes from misconduct ; on procedurals, the Rat Squad is devoted single-mindedly to shutting down cops. In "The Closer," a final-season subplot is the effort of Internal Affairs to take away the badge of the protagonist -- though she has cleared every case she's ever been assigned, and pretty much single-handedly rid Los Angeles of crime. Interference from higher-ups validates viewer desire to think of government as full of officious miscreants.
Since the good-looking, brave police heroes are themselves government officials, they must be balanced by government bad guys. Another running subplot is the malevolence of the media, which in procedurals always take the side of criminals. The media is on the side of criminals -- have the scriptwriters heard of Fox News? In "Blue Bloods," the New York City media relentlessly hound the gallant police commissioner played by Tom Selleck, though he has pretty much singlehandedly rid Manhattan of crime. That prime-time dramas depict news organizations as inept or irresponsible is vexing, considering the shows appear on ABC, CBS and NBC, which have news divisions they want viewers to find credible.
Fun fact: Selleck's father is portrayed by an actor six years older than Selleck. Staring at a jerky decades-old 8 mm film, one of the cops suddenly realizes the third guy from the left is wearing the crest of the Carpatho-Ruthenian royal family.
In no time, the detectives find searchable documents from the factory, including live links to current titles of the cars. Within procedurals, all possible information -- say, the Social Security numbers of teachers from the suspect's kindergarten -- easily is obtained using a laptop. The Web is presented as all-knowing: Enter "serial killer with bunny rabbit tattoo" in the search box and you'll get his birth certificate on screen in 0.
Breaking into encrypted files is accomplished on TV by reaching the password screen, typing really fast and saying, "I'm in. Procedurals may depict crime-scene investigators with super-advanced technology that doesn't exist, such as tricorder-like devices that sense trace cellular samples. On "Hawaii Five-0," a detective snaps a photo of a suspect and in seconds a "facial recognition database" sorts through all million Americans to pull up his ID.
Actual facial recognition, such as Apple's project to get iPhones to recognize their owners, has been somewhat less zoomy.
In most cases a person who is arrested is not required to give a DNA swab; privacy rights groups are opposing legislation to require DNA swabs from those merely arrested. In "CSI: Miami," the good guys find a sniper rifle used by a killer wearing gloves. They shine a gizmo on the scope and in minutes know who held the rifle -- without even having a genetic sample! Actual DNA matching under ideal conditions has taken years to identify just a few people. The crying neighbor, the kindly headmaster at the private school, the graying cop who came out of retirement to close a cold case -- OMG, that's the real killer!
If an early scene introduces a sympathetic, straight-arrow character not seen in any previous episode, that will turn out to be the killer. Suddenly the officers know where the killer is. Do they wait for backup? They charge in the front door, often without taking basic precautions. At the conclusion of the pilot of "Unforgettable," the heroic female detective realizes who the killer is.
She goes alone to meet him at a warehouse late at night, and goes unarmed. The good guys come through the door shining flashlights, even if it's broad daylight. They grasp them in the wrist-up position that producers think converts flashlight-holding into a macho activity: "Criminals can't hide from us. We are the law and we have flashlights!
ununnarozer.gq Tactical note: If you charge into a dark warehouse pointing a flashlight, you make yourself a target. At least TV detectives have stopped holding their Glocks sideways. Producers thought this looked really cool.
Holding a pistol sideways dramatically reduces accuracy. In standard policework, before anyone enters the front door, an officer is posted at the back.
In procedurals, no officer ever goes to the back door. This allows the killer to escape, setting up a down-the-alleys chase scene. The good guys confront the killer, who may instantly confess.