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The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side of the Knoll

27 September 2011

How many of the same cop show do we actually need?

It’s not just that a lot of the police procedurals on TV today share a lot of similarities — many of them are direct copies of each other, right down to the name (Law and Order, CSI, NCIS). Yeah, I know — they have different characters and take place in different cities. But as I watch them, I can’t help but think that they’re all pretty much the same show.

And I can’t help but think most of them were pitched with some variation of the phrase “It’s a cop show — but with a twist!”

You know what would be awesome to see? A cop show with a real twist. One where, instead of focusing on the heroes of our story (the stalwart and impossibly attractive men and women of law enforcement), we focus on the other end of the equation — on the criminals, and how they try (and often succeed) to outwit the cops and get away with murder. I’d watch that show.

The idea can map to other show genres, as well. Like how about the conspiracy show where we don’t so much worry about those plucky upstarts trying to bring down the conspiracy, but rather a show about the conspirators? The ones who are making this all happen, to pull the wool over the country’s eyes and achieve their own agendas?

And, sure, you can bring up “The Wire” as an example of a cop show turned on its head, and I’d agree with you there. But why not go even further with it? Why bother developing the cops at all?

Just a thought I had, some stories I wouldn’t mind seeing. Maybe it’s the drugs, but I’m getting kind of tired of rooting for the good guy lately.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 27 September 2011 1258

    It’s so true. I admit, I really love the cop shows (I am, in fact, watching CSI as we speak). I love the idea of a show about the criminals. Actually, the first few seasons of Dexter have been excellent for that type of thing, It’s more about trying to walk the line of being bad without being too bad, but Dexter is still bad.

    • 27 September 2011 1314

      I mostly agree on Dexter. It seems a lot of the really good TV is on HBO and Showtime.

  2. 28 September 2011 0530

    It’s because you always know what the good guy is going to do.

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