While in reality we (for the most part) feel that we can rely on those who protect and serve us, if you live in a television show, I wouldn’t hold out much hope of that. Police officers on TV tend to be a special type of incompetent where they will miss everything important that’s going on. If the main character is a villain, you can bet the writers will bend over backwards to ensure they’re one step ahead of the law at all times. How is this accomplished? By making the law enforcers completely idiotic when it suits the narrative, it’s easier to make the police dumber than to make the criminal more intelligent.
This leads to some rather ridiculous situations: your sibling is a serial killer/drug kingpin? Who’d have thought? Oh wait, maybe you should have as you’ve been developed as the best detectives in your respective forces. Of course there would be no drama without these narrative decisions; as viewers we love the chase.
It’s not unfair to say however, that sometimes you’re left scratching your head at how these officers jump between being super efficient badasses and someone who couldn’t spot a crime occurring two inches in front of them. Occasionally though they’re just plain bad at their job, let’s investigate both cases.
As I’ll be discussing the plot of various television shows be aware of SPOILERS.
This article was first posted on December 24, 2013