Can We Trust American Crime Shows?

This is very difficult for me to write as I am a die-hard Crime Show fan.

I love Crime Shows.

Not CID, of course, but those awesome American crime shows.

Here comes what this post is about. I’ve realized that American Crime shows are no better than our ‘beloved’ CID.

Seriously, the elements that make CID so un-watchable for Indian viewers are the same elements that make us Indian viewers to be addicted to the non-native crime shows.

Although I agree that these shows have a main background story and crime as a side story but still some things just don’t add up. The idea of solving a crime is based solely on the protagonist’s skill or field of study.

I mean, crimes are solved only on the basis of the knowledge the protagonist carries.

Here are a few examples,

1) Castle

Castle Logo

Castle is a show based around two characters, Crime Fiction writer Richard Castle and NYPD Detective Kate Beckett. The story is that Castle decides to find a new muse for inspiration of a new character as he kills his famous character Derrick Storm in his latest bestseller. He decides to tag along Kate during murder investigations and starts to write new novels based on the adventures of a tag-along writer Jameson Rook (Character based on Castle) and Detective Nikki Heat (Based on Kate Beckett). The overall story of the show is the romantic side of Richard and Kate’s hidden love. While in the background the story goes forward with them trying to catch the conspirators involved in the murder of Kate Beckett’s Mother.

What Doesn’t Add Up

EVERY case is cracked by Castle’s stupid actions or out-of-the-box Crime Writer theories and no crime ever involves the use of ANY other resource. At the end of the day, it is just Castle who does all the brainstorming and breaking of every case.

 2) Psych

Psych Logo

Psych is a show solely centered around its protagonist, Shawn Spencer. Spencer was trained by his father the art of being a good cop but he could never enter the Police Department, so, he decides to cover his skills of Observing Details and Accurate Assuming by telling himself as being as a Psychic and being able to predict or get visions from the past. While he just observes things that others don’t, puts them together and cracks a case.

What Doesn’t Add Up

Again, ALL crimes are cracked by Shawn and his partner, Gus. Moreover, the crimes shown are as abstract and as weird as the ones shown in our very own CID.

3) Dexter

Dexter Logo

Dexter is the story of Dexter Morgan, a Blood Spatter Analyst for the Miami Metro Homicide/Serial Killer who kills other serial killers. The show is solely based on Dexter trying to adapt within the ‘normal’ society as he lives the life of an outcast and cut out person. He was turned this way and his thirst for murder was raised when he saw the murder of his mother being cut into pieces when he was 3 years old. The show has a dark theme and is the best crime show anyone has ever seen.

What Doesn’t Add Up

Every crime the Miami Metro Homicide cracks DOES involve the decoding of the Blood Spatter Pattern analysed by the protagonist and no theories are used in this show for cracking homicide cases. The case depends JUST on the Blood Work.

4) Bones

Bones Logo

Bones follows the story of Special Agent Seeley Booth and Forensic Anthropologist Dr. Temperance ‘Bones’ Brennan. They crack cases together by analysis of fractures and trauma marks in bones which are mostly found months/years after the homicide. The show also focuses on the chemistry between both the protagonists.

What Doesn’t Add Up

Seems like every case shown in the series is cracked by Dr. Bones and no case ever pops up with them having to investigate or question suspects.

5) Lie To Me

Lie To Me Logo

This one is based on Dr. Cal Lightman, a FACS (Facial Action Coding System) specialist and The Lightman Group solving crimes by using the same science. Dr. Lightman is quick at picking up facial expressions and breaks every suspect hence, solving the case.

What Doesn’t Add Up

Dr. Lightman does the FACS by memory and within seconds while this science is bound to take more than that, it even takes hours to read the Facial Actions correctly.

So, these examples clearly show that no American Crime Show can seriously tell you about the way of investigation of an actual Homicide.

Also, I do understand that crimes would be solved in the show according to the protagonist’s qualities and skills and that is normal but next time when after watching some show you start to admire the style of Americans solving crimes, remember that all they do is form the crimes, the script and the story in such a way that the protagonist can solve the crimes easily.

What would Dexter do if he gets a case from Lie to Me? or What would Shawn Spencer do if he gets a case from Bones?

Simple, that won’t happen.

So, in a nutshell – We Can’t Trust American Crime Shows for Being Legit.


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