Cop/Detective Shows

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by backstept, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    You know, I can see that . . . .
     
  2. PsychoPere

    PsychoPere Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Some recommendations based solely on the Netflix Watch Instantly criteria:

    The Chicago Code
    Day Break
    Flashpoint
    Luther
    Sherlock
    Terriers
     
  3. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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  4. auntiehill

    auntiehill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^I believe they are both available on Netflix--but not sure if it's for both DVD and instant viewing.
     
  5. Valin

    Valin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Goren is my favorite cat-and-mouse cop since Columbo.
     
  6. Snowlilly

    Snowlilly Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Definitely Luther, Wire in the Blood, Terriers was actually good too with a touch of humor in it, and of course Castle rocks!
     
  7. A beaker full of death

    A beaker full of death Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Dunno if it's on Netflix, but it's on Hulu. The best of all time: Hill Street Blues
     
  8. Gary Mitchell

    Gary Mitchell Admiral Admiral

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    I've been rewatching Miami Vice on Netflix. Not every episode is the greatest but I'm enjoying it.
     
  9. Davros

    Davros Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Police Squad
     
  10. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If you get into mysteries very much, you'll discover there are some basic differences between cop shows and detective shows. The key is the nature of the authority.

    Cop shows themselves are fairly easily divisible into procedurals, character-driven workplace ensembles and social dramas. One type found in literary mysteries, the humdrum, does seem pretty much missing from the screen.

    Detective shows are also divisible into great eccentrics, madcaps, cozies and hardboiled.

    Then there is the closely related crime show, which is fairly easily divisible into social realist and hysterical reactionary. Oops, almost forgot the caper.

    Whoever thinks all cop shows are the same just doesn't understand what they're seeing on screen.
     
  11. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I agree on the quality, but unfortunately only the first three seasons are available. The show didn't really hit its stride till later Season 2, and I'd say seasons three and four are the heart of the series. Season five is interesting because of the increased influence of David Milch, and it's still really good. Seasons six and seven seemed to lose something, even with the addition of Dennis Franz.

    One area where "Hill Street" is impressive to this day is how they handled the ensemble. When I hear someone say it's impossible to write good stuff for everybody in a big cast, I think back to HSB (and its contemporary St Elsewhere). They had IIRC thirteen opening credits "starring" roles (maybe fifteen or sixteen in Season 5), and a number of recurring regular or semi-regular parts (Asst. DA Bernstein, Jesus Martinez, Chief Daniels, Grace Gardiner, Al Wachtel, Jerry Fuchs...). And they didn't just get lines here and there. The audience knew each one of them: their family life, their personal problems, their background, their sense of humor, which of their co-workers they liked and which they didn't, and on and on. And it didn't take years to build that, either, it was there almost from the beginning. Just allowing the characters to talk, to interact for a minute or so and deliver a few deftly-drawn, outside-the-plot lines contributed volumes to their believability. Really wonderfully done.

    I watched a couple of those recently to show my wife "special guest villains" Michael Richards and Frank Zappa, and to see how the show compared to my recollections. It was OK, but not something I'd rewatch aside from the nostalgia factor. The stylistic emphasis is almost overwhelming and undercuts the realism a bit; there had to be some unfashionable interiors somewhere with old desks, dingy acoustic ceilings and bad flourescent lights. But they go to a city courtroom and it looks like it belongs with some futuristic alien civilization from TNG. Back in the day it was said that if there was a house in a location shot that violated their "no earth tones" rule, they'd have it painted gray.

    It's interesting that Anthony Yerkovich went from the decidedly un-glamorous realism of "Hill Street" to Miami Vice where style was clearly valued over all else. He did re-use the name "Sonny Crockett," who was a pretty nasty, murderous biker on a few "Hill Street" eps.

    True, though Adam-12 did make some effort to include episodes with little action. Of course there were plot complications, but they often got episodes by without car chases, foot pursuits or gunplay, and often focused on the officers answering routine calls from a wide range of everyday citizens. It seemed like they'd only use their siren a handful of times a season, which was quite frustrating for me as a kid. Dragnet did similar things sometimes, too: Friday spends an episode on a board reviewing a fellow officer's conduct, for instance, or doing background checks on new applicants.

    One mystery detective show I've not seen since the original '80s run and recently revisited is Remington Steele; a local digital side-channel has started running it as part of "Me-TV" programming. And it's held up quite well. The leads are great, the premise is strong, the characters are real and funny, the plots are sometimes a little rushed but usually solid. Stephanie Zimbalist is terrific, never overselling her detective's hardness and handling the light comedy effortlessly. I never understood how she didn't become a major star.

    Justin
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
  12. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    You could also say the detective shows or at least some of them fall under two sub-genres the whodunnitor the howcathcum (aka. reverse whodunnit)
     
  13. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I'm actually surprised that nobody has tried rebooting REMINGTON STEELE yet. The premise would lend itself to a big-screen version.
     
  14. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^They should cast Daniel Craig, just to piss Pierce off...
     
  15. auntiehill

    auntiehill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The locked-room mysteries, like Jonathan Creek, are what I've always called "howdunits." I freaking LOVED that show. ;)
     
  16. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In color!
     
  17. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Hypothetically speaking which fictional detective would you want to solve your murder. My vot would go to Columbo.
     
  18. Valin

    Valin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^Columbo or Poirot to catch the killer. Raylan Givens to shoot the culprit---over and over again.
     
  19. Kirby

    Kirby Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A couple that haven't been mentioned yet are Monk and Psych. Not drama, but entertaining nonetheless.
     
  20. auntiehill

    auntiehill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Sherlock Holmes to solve the crime, Raylan Givens from Justified to bring him in, and Fitz from Cracker or Dr. Tony Hill from Wire in the Blood to make him confess. If all that fails, then leave him to Dexter. :biggrin: