Sunday, 21 August 2011

Crime shows: no mourning allowed

I watch a lot of crime shows and police procedurals. I don't like the CSI Franchise, but most other shows are fun. Law & Order SVU, Law & Order Criminal Intent, The Closer, A Toch of Frost, New Tricks, I love them all.

As much as I enjoy crime shows, one thing seriously bugs me. One of my pet peeves is that you almost never see any sign of actual grief on those shows. Sure, family and friends of the murder victim shed a tear or two, but before you know it, it's business as usual. You never see any of the shock and devastation that a death, let alone a murder, causes in the real world.
Now I realise that the writers only have 40 to 60 minutes at their disposal to tell their story and have to deal with grief in a perfunctory manner, but come on. When your friend gets murdered you don't just go on with life. Everything stops and for a while you're either in shock or besides yourself with grief. You might find a 'new normal' but not in the week or so it always takes TV detectives to catch the killer.

What's even more annoying is the exception to the no-grief rule. As soon as someone shows some real emotion it's a clear sign he or she is the murderer. Only murderers are allowed to weep and wail to their heart's content.

Last night I watched an episode of the delightfully quirky Life, starring Damian Lewis. A man was utterly destroyed by the death of his wife. At first I was pleasantly surprised, here at last was some realism. But sure enough it turned out that the husband had devised an ingenious plan to kill his wife. For political gain, no less.

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