How to Write a TV Police Procedural in Thirteen Easy Steps

The following rules apply to procedural shows from any country. There’s no need to read the subtitles on Netflix as the characters always say “I have to go – it’s work”, “What do we know?” Or “So you left him in this swamp / basement / Arby’s to die.” ”

1. The main character in most of the proceedings is a concerned male detective whose marriage has collapsed because he works too hard and cares too much. If your real husband mentions the desire to become a detective, take him personally and yell, “Do you wish I was a serial killer? Then would you look at me “

2. The detective has at least one young child, and visitation rights are limited to the night he finally arrests a serial killer after a tense, violent argument. This is the detective’s equivalent of taking his kid to Chuck E. Cheese or a Pixar movie. One day the kid will grow up to visit dad in assisted living and ask with an ironic chuckle, “Hey, do you remember the night we were buried alive and mom was so upset?”

3. Sometimes the detective has an estranged adult child who only exists to have a rare dinner with the detective interrupted by a cell phone call from a crime scene. Studies show that estranged adult children from detectives have never finished an appetizer.

4th. A woman in a lawsuit is almost always an ex-wife so hurt and disappointed that she can only be seen through a screen door, or the warmer partner of the chief detective, who is either an overworked mother or a colored lesbian. This is called diversity. If the partner is an overworked lesbian mom of color, the show can be government funded and a peabody.

5. On the rare show that is about a female detective, this character will express her gross competence by wearing her hair in a ponytail. The ponytail is the equivalent of a male detective’s shoulder holster or the pint of whiskey in his desk drawer. The detective’s husband was most often murdered so that his unsolved death could haunt her. After their occasional dinners, any new love interest is also killed off. The technical term for this is “suicide by dating a detective”.

6th. The male detective always wears a jacket and tie, unless the procedure is stipulated in Scandinavia. In this case, he’s wearing a knobbly sweater (also known as a Swedish tuxedo). He’ll be taking orders for face scratches and bark on Younger Staff, a legal group that includes a black person, a peppy young gay man, and the only blonde person on the show. Crime is not a place for blondes except as victims, that is, as actresses who appear as corpses covered with leaves.

7th. If the procedure is set in London, Wales, or Edinburgh, the locale looks depressing. Suspects are most often interrogated in garages where they are welding unspecific objects. Nobody in these places ever smiles because they have to weld again.

8th. Wealthy suspects are interrogated in the glacier salons of their immaculate townhouses or country estates, while a silent, uniformed servant offers drinks. Wealthy suspects, even if they are the grieving parents of a murder victim, are always guilty of being rich and wearing pearls, cardigans, and headbands, and they will say things like, “We got back from the club late and there was blood in the foyer. “

9. If the show takes place in France, the entire cast will be attractive.

10. If the show is set in Scandinavia, the crime will always be linked to climate change. Even the most grotesque Norwegian serial killer is driven to his evil deeds by thoughts of solar panels and wind turbines. In American trials, most of the time, the serial killer is someone who survived an abusive childhood because Americans know climate change is a hoax.

11. When suspects are taken to the district headquarters for questioning, they are mostly displayed as a blurry video feed on the television screen for the sake of authenticity. Yet they never look into the camera and ask themselves, “Is my hair okay?”

12th. All background information on a suspect is immediately found online by a fresh-faced technician, who reports: “He dropped out of business school three weeks ago, had contact with three known militiamen, and drove east on a hundred and sixty-eighth street in a stolen van. “This subordinate will never mumble to himself,” And he’s so hot. I would go out with him. “

13th. A suspect’s family will always insist, “I haven’t seen him in months” just before the suspected criminal falls a back door into an alley. One day a tired mother or a silent father will ask the detective, “Have you never seen one of these shows? He’s in his bedroom and he’s armed, duh. “♦

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