Fear follows crime, and is its punishment.” (Voltaire)
Are we the fearful? Is that why we find crime drama so compelling?
In the last decade fun, light-hearted sitcoms such as Friends, Seinfeld and Frasier have taken a backseat to the deeper, more action packed American crime drama. Long gone are the days of humming along to the Cheers intro or falling in love with the Cosby’s way of life. Replaced by darkness and danger. Is this a reflection of the world we live in today?
Turning on the news today there are reports of missing aeroplanes, high alert for terrorist attacks and on-going investigations of cyber issues. All of these very real stories are portrayed in the fictional programmes we have come to love. Addiction to crime based TV has become more and more evident, with the rise in popularity of Netflix and Amazon Prime, it is easy to see the success of these shows. Under the recommended or most popular categories are series links to The Following, staring Kevin Bacon, White Collar, Prison Break and 24 to name a few.
What is it about these programmes that we find so fascinating? I, personally, am gloriously attracted to solving the crime along with the detectives/ FBI/ police. My heart races every time the tension in the music builds or when the principle character makes a ground breaking discovery that is bound to solve the case. Additionally, I find myself having ties to the main characters, the good guys, with an attachment through shared
morality. We have the same belief that good conquers evil, or at least it should. The twist in the tale is that often even the “good” lead role has a flaw, whether it be a drug dependency, inability to love or even a criminal themselves. We, as the audience, hope for Dexter, Neal Caffrey and Ryan Hardy to become reformed characters, so join them on their voyage.
Perhaps this desire for the characters to prevent crime from taking place and for them to become upstanding citizens, is a representation of society’s need for a world which is free of these crimes? Unfortunately, the pessimism in me predicts that the masses of crimes taking place around the world are unlikely to cease. So it seems, the popularity of crime drama is indeed going to continue to rise. Although tragic, that lives are being lost and crimes are taking place, this blogger is enjoying the wide variety of quality viewing online!
My top 5 picks of crime dramas!