Crime dramas, legal dramas, and crime fighting lawyer dramas.
That was a nearly complete list of the types of television programs I watched on any sort of regular basis in recent years. It also sounds like an excerpt from a Dr. Seuss book now that I reread it…
My sister, mother, and I cannot seem to get our fill of these shows. I think I like the mix of action, science, relationship dynamics, and ethical questions that can be found in them. Each one has a unique perspective, a varied focus, some different highlighted area. There are, however, some “staples” of any good crime drama. My favorite, though, are from the various Law and Order series.
It’s not an episode of Law and Order without:
1) a bartender or store employee that can’t remember anything the first time they are questioned, but days/months/years later, they probably can approximate the person’s height and weight, remember their eye color and recall hearing them say “something about 1568 Meridian Street at 5:43 pm… but I’m not sure what was going down…”
2) a delivery man, mover, or other person on the street (most likely lifting/carrying boxes) that won’t even put down what they are doing for 2 seconds to answers the questions of the detectives
3) I suppose this probably should have come first… a crime, either against someone no one cares about or someone everyone cares about. I.e., dead hooker or a politician. Or possible a dead politician and his hooker, just to mix things up.
4) a semi-heated or heated discussion between the detectives, the detectives and the victim or a spokesperson of the victim, or the detectives and the captain/DA about how unfair “the system” is or whether it is okay to break a law to “right” a wrong. “I just can’t sit here and do nothing while ____ gets away with _____!”
5) sexual tension between the two main detectives if a male/female pair
6) some cool filler to connect all the necessary pieces together.
Add steps 1 through 6 and repeat for over 20 years. (The original Law and Order started on September 13, 1990, according to http://www.nbc.com/Law_and_Order/ ) Hey, whatever works.
My sister once said, “When nothing good is on TV, you can always find an episode of Law and Order to watch. It doesn’t matter what time it is, someone is playing it. You can probably have several episodes to choose from, too. If not, ION is probably running a Criminal Minds marathon.”
The problem with this is that we watch crime shows at all hours, especially when we’re at home during the summertime. This begins to alter the way you think about everything. You are constantly more aware of your surroundings than any sane person would wish to be. The following is my list of some signs that you may watch too many crime dramas, especially late at night:
1) You see a man walking alone across a bridge in the evening downtown. Yeah, definitely a serial killer.
2) You discover an old semitrailer stacked with rusty, smashed cars on the back parked behind a warehouse. Gotta be at least one mangled body in one of those trunks.
3) You notice an unmarked 15 passenger van with painted windows. That driver must be a rapist or a kidnapper.
4) You remember the license plate numbers of “suspicious” cars in the area. Cops always wanna know the plates.
5) You observe the car behind you take two of the same turns you have. I’m being tailed.
I’m not sure why I continue to torture myself with such nonsense. Maybe I like to feel like I can be a part of the action. I don’t know. All I know is that I’m an addict, and I shall continue to get my fix every time I turn on the TV.
Bring on the next 20 seasons. I’m sitting here (doors and windows locked, blinds closed, charged cell phone within reach) ready for anything you throw at me.