For the second day of my TV favourite’s series, I thought I would look at my favourite specimens of the crime drama genre. I often find that too many of crime shows are from America but there are a few good English examples too. I have chosen these three as not so much the ones I watch the most, but the ones I enjoy watching the most, as some series may overtake them in sheer scale of individual episodes, but not in quality.
Yes, the many 1,000’s of episodes of CSI maybe the most popular choice but Criminal Minds has something so much better. Most of these shows do the psychological aspect of the crimes, but I just find that the way the narrative is constructed in this show is so much more satisfying.
It is so predictable, and I think this is what in my opinion makes it so good. I know that the team are going to fly out to an area of America that has had a series of crimes that appear to be linked. I know that before they can stop the killer he tricks them and murders another victim. And I know that they will be able to save the final kidnapped victim as they work out at the last minute the identity of the un-sub.
This predictability flatters me as I guess their next move, or I gasp in horror as they chuck in a red herring. It’s a passive audiences dream!
The characters are also a real pleasure to watch. The awkward attractiveness of Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) and the playful sexual tension between Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) and Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore) keep me coming back for more!
Lie To Me
I first heard of this show from my Communication and Culture teacher at college. We were studying body language, in particular the works of Paul Ekman around facial expressions and deception. At the time I was convinced the link between the show and his works was purely coincidental, but I have recently found out the show is based on his works.
On Ekman’s website www.paulekman.com he admits that although the show has its roots in his work, it is a drama and the protagonist Dr. Lightman is a character that jumps a lot quicker into interpreting behaviour than he would. And all the cases he is involved in are of course fictional.
Yet I really indulge in the dramatization of a subject that I studied at college. The way the protagonists are portrayed makes the ability to read micro facial expressions to be a form of super-power that only a limited number of people possess. However I can honestly say I have turned back to Ekman’s research for university
assignments for references because of the show.
Well worth a watch for anyone who love a dramatic crime drama to those who study, or are just interested in body language and facial expressions.
If anyone was to question the value of my degree from a new university I would reply quite sharply that it is just snobbery and not a matter of intelligence. But that doesn’t mean I do not indulge in the spectacle made of the town in Lewis, especially around the students of the prestigious university.
Mystery, adultery scandal and most of all murder keeps me coming back for more.
Its original form of Inspector Morse, co-written by the sole author of Lewis, Russell Lewis holds much the same content. Yet the updated format with the same actor from the latter half of the Morse series Kevin Whatley performs the role so well.
Undoubtedly it does hold parallels with the American equivalents in terms of predictability, but I think the whole accentuated Englishness of the show attracts me more than any other. I’m sure it has a lot to do with the attractiveness of D S Hathaway (Lawrence Fox) as well.
It holds all the same features of multiple deaths in a short amount of time and dramatic endings – but isn’t this what we love about crime dramas?
Don’t forget to comment and let me know about these shows, and what crime dramas are you favourites.
Thanks to you all for reading,