Thursday, July 24, 2008

Questions Answered: Part 2

Johnny's two parter question also asked "And do 99.9% of cop shows make you giggle?" The answer is an absolute resounding YES! Not just giggle either. I'm talking full on laughing out loud hysterically at the ridiculousness of it all. Most are not true to life in the slightest. And they just end up getting on my last nerve.

But I do watch some reality type cop shows. I really like The First 48. Watch that a lot. Still occasionally will catch an episode of COPS when I want to relive the memories of working in uniform patrol. And I found a new one recently called The Academy. It's making me reminisce about my days trying to survive the police academy. (Ahhh... it was the best of times. It was the worst of times.) Although the LA Sheriff's Academy is much more hardcore than ours was. But still a lot... A LOT.... of similarities. This is the kind of stuff I watch.

But cop dramas. Not so much. One that I really hate is CSI. Now don't get me wrong. This is an interesting show. And if I could turn the cop part of my brain off, I could probably actually enjoy it. But when Horatio Crane walked up to a house that had been bombed ...and I mean completely flattened, burned up, pile of rubble.... and just happened to look down and find the one tiny little itty bitty piece of evidence that could solve the case I about threw my TV out the window. Ridiculous.

And don't even get me started on how this stupid show has effected actual real life police work. I can't tell you how many times I've said the following phrases:
"We can't fingerprint a rock."
"We can't zoom in the surveillance footage any further because the picture gets all grainy."
"No. DNA evidence takes weeks, months even to analyze. Not an hour."
And have then heard the response "But I saw them do it on CSI."
It's a freakin' TV show, people. Fiction.

There's a new one called Flashpoint. I gave it a chance and watched the first episode. Dumb, dumb, dumb. It's about a Hostage Negotiation/SWAT team. They had innocent bystanders and the media within about 100 ft of an armed man who was holding a woman hostage while standing right out in the open courtyard of an office building. I guess the yellow crime scene tape was gonna act like an invisible force field that was gonna stop that guy's bullet from hitting one of them. Seriously... who writes this stuff?

The only props I can give them is for how they handled the aftermath when the sniper actually killed the hostage taker. He was genuinely shook up about it. Which is a normal real life response to taking a life. Even a bad guy's in which it was totally justified. Not high-fiving his fellow SWAT dudes like in most fictional shows.

Then a superior officer immediately confiscated his weapon and escorted him away, not allowing him to speak to anyone. They took him back to the office and made him strip to his underwear and took all of his clothing as evidence. Then the cop's lawyer showed up and sat with him in his interview as he went over his statement with Internal Affairs. That's real life. That's what actually happens when a police officer is involved in a shooting. Not the "holster your gun, leave the dead guy laying there and go get a beer" which is what most shows portray.

Now not all cop dramas suck. I like Law and Order, too. It's fairly true to life as far as what my job is. Detectives catching a case and investigating it. Following up on leads. Hunting down bad guys and trying not to violate the criminal's rights but still get a confession. Arguing with the prosecutors who say you still don't have enough evidence. That's true stuff. Except they solve their cases in an hour and Mariska Hargitay's lipstick always looks fresh. But that's TV, right? LOL!

But my favorite cop drama ever is The Wire on HBO. It lasted 5 seasons and I watched every episode. Sometimes more than once. Johnny, you'd like this one (if you haven't already seen it.)

This is the most realistic look at police work I've ever seen on TV. I can't recommend it enough. But I'll warn you, it's not for the faint of heart. It's hardcore. It's down and dirty, gritty, foul, violent, vulgar and not so pretty. But it's real. This show portrayed how it really is to be a cop in an urban city.

Scared, people? You should be. There are things you probably would feel better just not knowing. The corruption behind the scenes throughout city government, the politics, the bullshit, the drug epidemic, the violence, the dysfunctional cops, the drama, the camaraderie. All very realistic. This show has a huge cop fan base. Because it's true.

So that's just a few of my opinions on TV cop shows. There have been other good ones in the past and there probably will be again. But if I tried to dissect every single show out there....we'd be here all night. And I'm tired and ready for bed. :P


Johnny said...

Thanks for your perspective.

My from computer-nerd perspective, when I see people trying to break into a computer, and I see the actual password shown WHERE WE CAN READ IT, it drives me k-razy.


I mean, "Hugs!"

Joannah said...

My husband loves legal shows. They just put me to sleep. I have the utmost respect for our peace officers, but I don't find that to be an entertaining subject at all. But people must enjoy them because there always seem to be new ones each fall.

I'm enjoying your Q&A series!

Kayce said...

Great post! I can just imagine the corruption at the government level with city govs, because it's just as bad in some school district governments as well. Scary.

I still love CSI, but only the vegas one.

k1 said...

Hi, first time visitor here. Have seen your user name before but never clicked on it until I saw your comment on Janet's blog and realized that we share a profession.

Haven't read all the previous post to know the questions, but I agree with this one.... I can't watch cop shows on TV because I end up shaking my head and talking back to the TV tellig the characters that they are doing it wrong.

I understand there is "artistic license" in Hollywood, but come on, try to have SOME credibility!

Stay safe.

kris said...

Oh thank God Law and Order got your vote of confidence. I am an SVU FANATIC... fave fave tv drama show ever.

Briana's Mom said...

Love reading your take on these shows. I have never been a CSI fan! I do like Law and Order. And every once in a while I tune in to Cops just so I can remember how good my life really is! :)

Beverly said...

I love the First 48 hours. The city I work in is on it but just had the contract cancelled because the mayor thinks it is making the city look bad. Never mind he is a crack addict in his own right!