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Why are US Cop shows better than British Cop shows?


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Old 25-01-2011, 15:58
ncis fan
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RANT ALERT

Most modern British cop shows are as dull as ditchwater and cannot compare to CSI, NCIS etc .
When will British TV realise that we want interesting and likeable characters played by actors with genuine charisma. and if all the cast are strong characters played by great actors then you usually have hit show.

Most of the talented British actors have now moved to Hollywood as they don`t want to play bit parts in soaps and reality shows. So that leaves actors like James Nesbitt,Keeley Hawes,Robson Green and Martin Clunes, who are good actors but have all the charisma of a damp lettuce leaf.

I am bored to tears of deadly dull series such as Rebus,Wycliffe,Frost Midsommer Murders, and the BBC1s latest bore-fest Zen. even a great actor like David Jason can`t bring Frost to life. and why are our cop shows so miserable? have you ever seen anyone smile in the new Taggart ? the BBC even managed to ruin Life on Mars by bringing in Keely Hawes.I would have given Gene Hunt his own series, not kill him off.

The only two British shows I now watch are Hustle and New Tricks. I also think David Suchet plays Poiret brilliantly, but the old Agatha Christie plots need updating.

Thats only my opinion - whats yours?

RANT OVER--Now where are my blood pressure pills?








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Old 25-01-2011, 16:18
Sniffle774
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I quiet enjoyed Law and Order that was set over here and Bradley Walsh was great in that. However I know what you mean, we seem to lack real drama in that genre and yet we have great script writers in this country. The Bill in its prime was great (the days of Burnside and co) but then that become more of a soap (although I hear it got better towards the end ?). I agree with you about Zen, I so wanted to like it but was just so dull The Sopranoes, The Shield, The Wire, Sons of Anarchy etc...surely we can produce something as good on these shores ?

I did like Manhunt that had David Suchet in it but that was a few years old now
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Old 25-01-2011, 16:19
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I'd say that crime in the UK is less "galmourous" and this is therefore reflected accurately in the shows.

As a country we simply don't have that many armed shoot-outs, bullion van robberies, serial killers, high tech CSI labs (I think I heard on the radio once that we have about three forensic labs in the whole of the country whilst in America they have about three per city).

We don't have that many high speed speedboat changes around marinas, corrupt DAs, mob bosses influencing the mayor campaigns (unless Boris is in league with the Russians).

Our police rarely team up with Physics, authors, actors, bionic dogs, psychotic ex-Vietnam vets, cyborgs, aliens, Canadian mounties with ghost dads, vampires and so on...

Alright I'm willing to accept that maybe, just maybe, most American cops don't either...

Most police work in the UK is boring foot work and the shows you mention are true to life. The mainstream audience in the UK wants relaistic police dramas, and so that's what produced. You may not have liked them but the likes of Frost and Morse pulled in huge audiences, and if it ain't broke the channels aren't about to fix it.
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Old 25-01-2011, 16:24
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Why are US Cop shows better than British Cop shows?

Answer: budget, production values, casting
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Old 25-01-2011, 16:25
Verence
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I'd say that crime in the UK is less "galmourous" and this is therefore reflected accurately in the shows.

As a country we simply don't have that many armed shoot-outs, bullion van robberies, serial killers, high tech CSI labs (I think I heard on the radio once that we have about three forensic labs in the whole of the country whilst in America they have about three per city).

We don't have that many high speed speedboat changes around marinas, corrupt DAs, mob bosses influencing the mayor campaigns (unless Boris is in league with the Russians).

Our police rarely team up with Physics, authors, actors, bionic dogs, psychotic ex-Vietnam vets, cyborgs, aliens, Canadian mounties with ghost dads, vampires and so on...

Alright I'm willing to accept that maybe, just maybe, most American cops don't either...

Most police work in the UK is boring foot work and the shows you mention are true to life. The mainstream audience in the UK wants relaistic police dramas, and so that's what produced. You may not have liked them but the likes of Frost and Morse pulled in huge audiences, and if it ain't broke the channels aren't about to fix it.
This ^^^

Which isn't to say that I don't like US (or in the case of Due South and Murdoch Mysteries, Canadian) cop shows as well

As for Midsommer Murders in 2004 it was the third most sold British TV show worldwide
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Old 25-01-2011, 16:26
Mr Obseen
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because they get to carry guns.
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Old 25-01-2011, 16:39
houstmon
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because they get to carry guns.
Bugger - that's just what I was going to say....
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Old 25-01-2011, 16:39
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Right. And while we're at it, don't be slagging off Keeley Hawes! She was excellent in Spooks and great in Ashes to Ashes (wasn't in Life on Mars, pedant, pedant...).

Even IRISH cop shows are better! I watched our own home-produced "Single-handed" and the gangland drama "Love/hate", which none of you will even have heard of, and they were both very good.

UK used to have good cop shows back in the 70s/80s, with the likes of the Bill, original Taggart, the Sweeney and ... well. .. can't think of any others, actually. Trouble is, you had shows like The Professionals, Messiah, LoM and A2A and so forth, which, while based in a "cop world", are more far-ranging than just being a total cop show. In the States, nearly EVERYONE on TV is either a cop or a PI, it seems, and you have the likes of Starsky & Hutch, Magnum, Hill Street Blues, The Shield, TJ Hooker (god help us!), Streets of San Francisco, Life, Dark Blue, Southland, Miami Vice, The District, Homicide, NYPD Blue and the list just goes on and on.

In addition to theirs being more exciting as they get to carry guns and shout things like "Freeze asshole!" whereas British cops are more likely to say "Excuse me sir, could you please drop the firearm?" or at best "Oi! You! Shut it!" they also have far more interesting locales (downtown Chicago is far more interesting than downtown Croydon) and they have other agencies (FBI, CIA, DHS etc) they can call in/link up with. And SWAT of course.
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Old 25-01-2011, 16:56
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I think the quality in US cop shows varies considerably, and while the UK doesn't have anything to put up against The Wire and The Shield, you have rather a lot that is better than CSI: Miami and CSI: NY.
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Old 25-01-2011, 17:10
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Right. And while we're at it, don't be slagging off Keeley Hawes! She was excellent in Spooks and great in Ashes to Ashes (wasn't in Life on Mars, pedant, pedant...).

Even IRISH cop shows are better! I watched our own home-produced "Single-handed" and the gangland drama "Love/hate", which none of you will even have heard of, and they were both very good.

UK used to have good cop shows back in the 70s/80s, with the likes of the Bill, original Taggart, the Sweeney and ... well. .. can't think of any others, actually. Trouble is, you had shows like The Professionals, Messiah, LoM and A2A and so forth, which, while based in a "cop world", are more far-ranging than just being a total cop show. In the States, nearly EVERYONE on TV is either a cop or a PI, it seems, and you have the likes of Starsky & Hutch, Magnum, Hill Street Blues, The Shield, TJ Hooker (god help us!), Streets of San Francisco, Life, Dark Blue, Southland, Miami Vice, The District, Homicide, NYPD Blue and the list just goes on and on.

In addition to theirs being more exciting as they get to carry guns and shout things like "Freeze asshole!" whereas British cops are more likely to say "Excuse me sir, could you please drop the firearm?" or at best "Oi! You! Shut it!" they also have far more interesting locales (downtown Chicago is far more interesting than downtown Croydon) and they have other agencies (FBI, CIA, DHS etc) they can call in/link up with. And SWAT of course.
Yes your right Keely Hawes was in Ashes to Ashes not Life on Mars. she is a good actress but seems to be getting stereotyped playing the feisty woman cop role that has become such a boring cliche of modern British cop shows.
If you live in downtown Chicago then you might think Croydon is glamorous and exiting. The other mans grass is always greener!
I suggest Gene Hunt joins the cast of New Tricks, I know he`s dead, but if the writers of Ashes to Ashes can come up with such a ridiculous ending then surely they can bring him back to life.
That`s already one more good idea than BBC drama has come up with this year.
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Old 25-01-2011, 17:17
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In its heyday, The Bill was outstanding. Straightforward drama. I'm watching late 70s ITV series Special Branch at the moment, and that'd great too. Juliet Bravo is one of my alltime favourites. Between the Lines was outstanding.

It depends what your priority is. Action packed excitement, gunshots and explosions? Detection and interviewing? Psychological intrigue? Forensic stuff? Maybe dig a bit further back to find excellent British drama.

I wouldn't say Agatha Christie's works were cop stories. Detective murder mysteries stories are something a bit different.
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Old 25-01-2011, 17:22
MoreTears
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I always distinguish between "cop shows" and "detective shows," although I can see instances of overlap.
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Old 25-01-2011, 17:24
Sniffle774
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In its heyday, The Bill was outstanding. Straightforward drama. I'm watching late 70s ITV series Special Branch at the moment, and that'd great too. Juliet Bravo is one of my alltime favourites. Between the Lines was outstanding.

It depends what your priority is. Action packed excitement, gunshots and explosions? Detection and interviewing? Psychological intrigue? Forensic stuff? Maybe dig a bit further back to find excellent British drama.

I wouldn't say Agatha Christie's works were cop stories. Detective murder mysteries stories are something a bit different.
I think that a valid point. Sure we cant go down the line of gun totting cops but a decent, tense drama would be nice once in a while...
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Old 25-01-2011, 17:28
jkimble123456
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because they get to carry guns.
I was just gonna say that. Seriously this it allows for much better action and tbh that's what most people watch cop shows for.
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Old 25-01-2011, 17:28
jkimble123456
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I always distinguish between "cop shows" and "detective shows," although I can see instances of overlap.
Though in most cop shows (that I can think of anyway) the cops are actually detectives.
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Old 25-01-2011, 18:21
Sniffle774
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Though in most cop shows (that I can think of anyway) the cops are actually detectives.
Of course there is the occasional exception like the legend that is TJ Hooker

The Shat rocks that 'serious' look...
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Old 25-01-2011, 18:30
Verence
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Though in most cop shows (that I can think of anyway) the cops are actually detectives.
I think in this case they are comparing shows where the detective is a member of a official law enforcement organisation (cop show) and shows where the detective is a private detective or gifted amateur (detective show)
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Old 25-01-2011, 18:42
MoreTears
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Though in most cop shows (that I can think of anyway) the cops are actually detectives.
Those would be the instances of "overlap" I referred to.

But seriously, over the years there have been enough series about PRIVATE detectives that I call those series "detective dramas" and call all shows focusing on police characters (whether the cops are in uniform or are detectives) "police dramas." No, it isn't as neat and clean as I would like the distinction to be, but it is one that makes sense in my mind.
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Old 26-01-2011, 01:45
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Why are US Cop shows better than British Cop shows?

Answer: budget, production values, casting
UK shows have big budgets too but they seem to spend it all on expensive foreign locations and costumes and sets especialy if its set in the not too distant past, where they insist every item must be authentic to the period even if its set in 2008 down to cars, sauce bottles on the table and wallpaper just because a few pedants complains to the TV company that the coat one of the extras was wearing and appeared on-screen for 10 seconds, wasn`t manufactured until a year later or the car in the background shot wasn`t sold in that particular shade of blue that year

While US shows spend their budget on getting the best ensemble actors,writers and guest stars. for that particular show.

A Good show such as Colombo, Seinfeld or Star Trek which I think was axed after two seasons are still earning the US TV companies huge revenues after forty or fifty years.Which they use to invest in todays shows,some of them such as CSI,NCIS and Law and Order will probably be watched by our great grandchildren. Long after Simon Cowell and the X factor are distant memories.Nobody will want to watch X Factor repeats in 2 years time let alone 20 or 30 years
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Old 26-01-2011, 02:17
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because they get to carry guns.
Yes, and a better uniform! Imagine US policemen with those helmets on, as in Britain. Not so cool!
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Old 26-01-2011, 09:22
Bone
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I'm still waiting for someone to make a true to life british cop show where theres 5 minutes of actionand the other 55 minutes of the episode has the characters completing the paperwork!
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Old 26-01-2011, 09:53
phil solo
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CSI isn't a cop show, its about forensic scientists labouring under the delusion that they are 'action hero' frontline cops.

I'ts glossily produced brainless tosh, granted, but it is utter shark-jumping nonsense (particularly in it's Miami flavour) and is really not "a good cop show" in the way that The Wire or Hill Street Blues were.
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Old 26-01-2011, 09:56
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CSI Miami is just crime porn
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Old 26-01-2011, 10:15
ncis fan
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I'm still waiting for someone to make a true to life british cop show where theres 5 minutes of actionand the other 55 minutes of the episode has the characters completing the paperwork!
Now that would be boring but true to life. They have made programes about more tedious subjects before, remember that documentary about colonic irrigation. It was quite literally a pile of crap.
And anyway if I wanted to be bored rigid I can always watch an episode of Lewis.
Does anyone have any suggestions for a name for the show?
I can only think of "The Paper Clip Posse." bit lame I know.
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Old 26-01-2011, 10:46
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I think The Thin Blue Line comes close to what you're thinking of. Although it probably contained less humour than an average nick.
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