Friday, January 23, 2015

True Crime Friday - Fictional Crime

As you all know, or certainly suspect, I am a fan of true crime shows.  I like figuring out who committed the crime.  I love seeing them face justice.  I really love all the forensics and the investigation and the personalities involved in catching a killer.

But does this translate to fictional crime dramas?

Well, yes and no.  Certain shows I love, and others I can't tolerate.  It's a personal preference thing, so I'm not going to get into which shows are which.  I do love the ones that tend to stick closer to the reality of crime fighting.  And I'll drop a show if they stray too far from that, or the ones that smush the investigation into a tiny part of the show so they can focus on the drama going on in the lives of the characters. 

I don't watch shows like that for the interpersonal drama.  I used to watch soap operas for that, and I'm over it.

There were a couple shows I really loved that went off the air years ago: Homicide: Life on the Street and Under Suspicion.  The latter didn't last long, but I thought it was the best thing on TV.  And despite the write up at IMDB there, I didn't get the whole "...the unending prejudice faced by the only female detective in a male-dominated police squad..."  She was just a tough chick doing her damnedest to catch criminals.  The former was just gritty and felt 'real' to me. 

After all the true crime I've watched, though, I don't know if either show would hold the same appeal.  It seems true crime has kind of ruined fictional crime show for me.  (Not fictional crime books, though.  If that makes any sense.  Maybe the fictional crime writers try harder to get it right.  Or maybe I get sucked into the story and don't pay as much attention to whether all the procedures are as correct as they should be. :shrug:)

How about you?  Do you watch both fictional and true crime television?  Can you separate the two?  And finally, how do you feel if a writer doesn't get it exactly right?


  1. I like to watch both, with Alibi & ID being my chosen addictions. I love Castle for the interpersonal stuff as much as for the crime. I know it's fluff but Nathan Fillion???? I loved him in Firefly and he's just as watchable in Castle. I also loved a short 11 ep show called The Unusuals - cracked me up it was so funny. The real life stuff is just as addictive because you gain such an admiration for the people who do the job day in day out. I am fascinated by the lab stuff but I expect it's tedious and boring, with flashes of excitement - just like most jobs. I'm just glad to know the cops & CSIs are out there.

  2. I hadn't really distinguished between 'true crime' and 'fictional crime. My wife is the big fan, but I watch some of them. The more intellectual ones appeal to me, where someone has to put together the clues in just the right way to find out whodunnit. If the 'splatter and gore' is a sub-genre, I'm not going to watch that. A chase for the sake of a chase doesn't do much for me. Nor am I particularly interested in the personal agonies of any of the characters. It's fine they have an issue, and they have to cope, but lets not dwell on it. That sort of thing is much better done in a book.

    The word is plausible. I don't go fact checking my fiction, even if it's in an area I know about. Goof on a police procedural and I'll never know. I'm there to enjoy the ride, not subject the work to critical analysis. Though I guess if the genre is true crime, the details need to be right.