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Lefties want comedy, right wingers like work
December 8, 2011 9:34 AM   Subscribe

Republicans vs. Democrats TV survey results: Lefties want comedy, right wingers like work. EW commissions a survey of conservative and liberal television preferences. "In the findings, “sarcastic” media-savvy comedies and morally murky antiheroes tend to draw Dems. While serious work-centered shows (both reality shows and stylized scripted procedurals), along with reality competitions, tend to draw conservatives."
posted by benbenson (80 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
So the "law and order" crowd prefers ... Law and Order?
posted by joe lisboa at 9:36 AM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Popular crime dramas — except the left-wing Law & Order franchise — tend to draw a conservative crowd.

I've recently become a habitual L&O watcher, I burned through all of CI a while ago and I'm up to season 10 in the regular series now, and while, yeah, it is by no means a conservative show, is it that much more liberal than the other procedurals/crime shows they list? My only other experience with the genre is the original CSI, and the sympathies on that show also went pretty liberal.
posted by griphus at 9:37 AM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


TIMING
posted by griphus at 9:37 AM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is really meaningless, although it'll certainly confirm a bunch of people's preconceived notions.
posted by JHarris at 9:38 AM on December 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Lets see, reality shows and reality competitions, hmm. So you're saying dumb people like dumb shows? Could be.
posted by charlesminus at 9:40 AM on December 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


Most of the "republican" shows are top-rated reality shows with huge audiences. That doesn't seem particularly one-sided.
posted by mathowie at 9:40 AM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is this something you'd need a TV to become misinformed about?
posted by swift at 9:41 AM on December 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Democrats watch like this ... Republicans watch like this ...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:41 AM on December 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Just about every cop procedural depends on either denying the accused, or tricking them out of, their rights. So, yeah, I'm not surprised someone's interest in that would be affected by their political outlook.

(Are those shows supposed to make you root for the axe-murder? Every time I see one of those shows, I end up practically yelling at the TV "You're home free! Just don't say anything and you'll walk! Ask for a lawyer, now!")
posted by spaltavian at 9:42 AM on December 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


It's not that they don't like comedies, it's just that none of the current comedies find the hilarity in watching underdogs being mocked and humiliated by their betters which Conservatives seem to enjoy so much.
posted by Legomancer at 9:43 AM on December 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


I've recently become a habitual L&O watcher, I burned through all of CI a while ago and I'm up to season 10 in the regular series now, and while, yeah, it is by no means a conservative show, is it that much more liberal than the other procedurals/crime shows they list? My only other experience with the genre is the original CSI, and the sympathies on that show also went pretty liberal.

There's a conservative critique of Law and Order that goes like this: in the show (after the first couple seasons), the plot is always about finding someone other than the killer to convict, the killer's psychatrist, to take one example. Conservatives see this as indulging the liberal tendancy to avoid personal responsibility and look for "root causes" to crimes that are really the fault of moral failings of the criminal. Not saying I agree, but it's out there.

Also, the show absolutely hates rich people.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:44 AM on December 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


this seems both important and controversial. wingnuts assemble!
posted by Avenger50 at 9:45 AM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I now feel like my preference for Britcoms and actual documentaries makes me possibly a communist or something.
posted by gracedissolved at 9:54 AM on December 8, 2011 [16 favorites]


So a media savvy-sarcastic comedy about work should clean up? Explains how The Office is still around especially after the transmutation to hearwarming schlock and Community gets the axe.

If this doesn't facilitate kicking the red state from the union I don't know what will.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:54 AM on December 8, 2011


> ...right wingers like work.

Sitting on the couch watching someone work != work
posted by goethean at 9:55 AM on December 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


I wonder why Dirty Jobs is on the liberal "dislike" list.
posted by brundlefly at 9:55 AM on December 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


They prefer reality?!
Oh, that IS funny!
Wait. I don't like this comedy.
posted by hypersloth at 9:55 AM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


It appears I am guilty as charged. I retract my L&O snark but only while going about my dayjob and treating your questioning about a homicide as a minor annoyance. Probably loading boxes onto or off of a truck bed.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:56 AM on December 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


Reality shows are "work-centric"?

I dunno, if I had to take a wild stab I'd argue conservatives enjoy those shows more for the faux Randian promotion of "Social Darwinism".

And it is not just conservatives who "believe" in personal responsibility. I am pretty liberal and hold to a strong mix of personal responsibility and social responsibility. I truly believe the best of all words is one in which both the personal and the social act like... well... grownups and support one another.
posted by edgeways at 9:56 AM on December 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Reality shows are "work-centric"?

Reality television is established enough to be genre-ized now. So, yeah, there's a genre of reality television wherein they follow people with certain interesting jobs -- crab-catchers, pawn shop owners, cake-makers -- and craft narratives around their daily experience.
posted by griphus at 9:59 AM on December 8, 2011


What also has a lot to due with the show's perceived liberal tilt, is that the defendants on L&O are most often wealthy white Manhattanites. Which is far from who the police and prosecutors in real spend their time going after.
posted by riruro at 10:00 AM on December 8, 2011


I'd have thought that, in the current economic environment, both conservatives and liberals would be in need of both comedy and work, and have plenty of time to watch TV...
posted by Skeptic at 10:00 AM on December 8, 2011


...is that the defendants on L&O are most often wealthy white Manhattanites

I have to say that there is something deeply ironic that the institutionalized racism in television casting that maintains that white people get the Best Parts is the exact same factor that is alienating conservatives.
posted by griphus at 10:07 AM on December 8, 2011


Wait, Mythbusters is on the conservative "like" list? Huh.
posted by JHarris at 10:07 AM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wait, Mythbusters is on the conservative "like" list? Huh.

That was the only thing that really surprised me, too.
posted by Shepherd at 10:09 AM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Funny how we watch people doing blue-collar, working class jobs as entertainment just as all those jobs are vanishing.

American Pickers always seems like one primal scream away from turning into The Lord Of The Flies.
posted by The Whelk at 10:10 AM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


If there's one thing the writers of L&O hated, it was the students of the corrupt Hudson University.
posted by drezdn at 10:10 AM on December 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


Funny. A relatively conservative person I know was telling me about how one of these reality shows where they mine for gold was turning him into an environmentalist. He couldn't believe the soil and vegetation destruction just to get at a small amount of precious metal.
posted by nowoutside at 10:11 AM on December 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


If the "work-based" reality shows are things like Pawn Stars, Operation Repo, and Dog the Bounty Hunter, then I can see how they would be popular. Shows where the principals espouse various libertarian/conservative points-of-view, act tough, and engage in occupations that are generally parasitic on society? Makes sense to me.

Seriously, when the hell did we start admiring pawn shop owners? It's not Antiques Roadshow, they're barely a step above loan sharks!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:11 AM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have theory Hudson University is where you sent kids you didn't like very much.
posted by The Whelk at 10:12 AM on December 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


they follow people with certain interesting jobs -- crab-catchers, pawn shop owners, cake-makers

Oh, right. When I hear 'reality show' I think of crap like vote-this-person-off-the-island, but I guess you are right there are those types as well. Some of which are kinda interesting from time to time.
posted by edgeways at 10:12 AM on December 8, 2011


Something interesting to take note of here is that the conservative list is largely made up of shows which purport to teach something. The liberal list is made up of shows which assume prior knowledge for context.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:12 AM on December 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wait, Mythbusters is on the conservative "like" list? Huh.


Gender divide. Do you think Mythbusters is somehow more "Republican"? Guys like to see things get blown up; guys are also more right-wing politically. I suspect this explains a lot of the differences.
posted by grobstein at 10:13 AM on December 8, 2011


Also, you can totally track the trajectory of Rudy Giuliani's crime reforms -- and not just visually -- just by watching the first ten years of Law and Order. It starts off with every other episode having a crackhouse raid wherein no one is actually arrested. Ten years later, they're telling a guy that they won't charge him, but he'll still have to do his 30 days for a turnstyle jump.
posted by griphus at 10:13 AM on December 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


You mean the media oligarchy produces content that is segmented into two categories, the definitions of which the media oligarchy has been complicit in promoting and sustaining? Do tell.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:14 AM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait, Mythbusters is on the conservative "like" list? Huh.

That was the only thing that really surprised me, too.


Republicans got confused by the recent Dublin, CA episode and thought Mythbusters bombed the EU.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 10:14 AM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I hear 'reality show' I think of crap like vote-this-person-off-the-island...

That was the genesis of the genre, yeah. Reality television is actually a lot more nuanced than people give it credit for. A lot of Bravo!'s reality stuff -- the dancing one or the fashion one, for instance -- is just a documentary of people with some very, very impressive skills with a layer of drama on top as icing. The crab-catching show (I can't remember any of these names) is a pretty interesting exploration of a really, really hardcore job. And Toddlers and Tiaras is just a window into the nether region of the soul of America.
posted by griphus at 10:16 AM on December 8, 2011


Although, to be fair, I would consider myself quite liberal, and I enjoy at least one "work-centered reality program."


Wait...is "acting out the psycho-sexual drama that normally only exists inside of Tyra Banks' head" considered work?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:21 AM on December 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


This thread is funny. You could post the exact same article on a conservative weblog and get mirror-image comments about what's "revealed" about liberals watching The View and Glee and Cougar Town in huge numbers.
posted by red clover at 10:23 AM on December 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: You could post the exact same article on a conservative weblog and get mirror-image comments
posted by found missing at 10:25 AM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


EW commissions a survey

No need to read further.
posted by polymodus at 10:36 AM on December 8, 2011


Preconceived notion confirmed.

Now, back to my It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia marathon.
posted by General Tonic at 10:36 AM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sweet! My fondness of Castle and Mythbusters will confuse the demographic-gatherers.

Possible downside: really nasty advertisements come election time.
posted by cmyk at 10:37 AM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm continuously amazed by the absurd bending over backwards people do to fit into the bullshit conservative narrative... People watch The Bachelor because they like hard work? Seriously?
posted by EtzHadaat at 10:45 AM on December 8, 2011


Count me as another flaming lefty who loves Mythbusters!
posted by vibrotronica at 10:46 AM on December 8, 2011


Conservatives might think Law and Order and some other police procedurals are "liberal," but what they really are is authoritarian, and I think the shows influence both political liberals and conservatives (both can also be authoritarian, by the way) to make them more comfortable with authoritarian measures.

TSA checkpoints and random DUI stops and internet data collection are all okay, you see, because the police officer is allways rational, polite, respective of our constitional rights, and just an all around good guy, all the time, and when she's not, it's only because the criminal really, really deserves it. Just like on TV.
posted by tommyD at 10:51 AM on December 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


...the police officer is allways rational, polite, respective of our constitional rights, and just an all around good guy...

What? Have you actually watched Law and Order?
posted by griphus at 10:57 AM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Funny. A relatively conservative person I know was telling me about how one of these reality shows where they mine for gold was turning him into an environmentalist. He couldn't believe the soil and vegetation destruction just to get at a small amount of precious metal.

Just to derail, one of the things we really should keep in mind about conservatives is that a lot of them are decent, well-intentioned, even thoughtful people. The problem is that so many have allowed themselves to become infantilized and commodified by Fox news and talk radio. It's almost like some kind of conservative zombie plague that has turned most of them into shambling brain eaters and left very few survivors.

Which, to get back on track, would make for an intriguing story idea: a zombie apocalypse that only affects some particular segment of society, leaving the world mostly unchanged for the rest of us, so it's largely ignored the larger society. It's a show that would appeal to liberals.
posted by Naberius at 10:58 AM on December 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


I don't know why they still haven't made a reality show about the people who produce reality shows. The drama would involve showing producers creating drama among the cast by feeding tidbits of info to individual cast members, show how they manipulate cast members into saying things due to exhaustion, drunkenness, etc. Show how the show edits together a bunch of random bits into one seamless exposition to create archetypes for cast members: the good Christian, the slut, the douchebag, the closeted gay kid with a crush on the douchebag, etc.

It could appeal to both sides: the conservatives who love work-based reality shows, and the liberals who love cynical, metatextual, multi-faceted programs.
posted by nushustu at 10:59 AM on December 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


When I hear 'reality show' I think of crap like vote-this-person-off-the-island

Nothing like demeaning Survivor - a fascinating extended game show with a lot to say about social dynamics, negotiation, and duplicity - to get easy yuks from the look-down-your-nose-at-that-populist-trash crowd...
posted by mightygodking at 11:01 AM on December 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


: If you’re a Republican candidate looking to raise money, put ads on History.

This. History Channel shows skew distinctly right, which would explain quite a bit - they tend to frame things in a way that confirms conservative beliefs.

Sometimes we drink beers and watch the History Channel and argue with the TV.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:02 AM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, I am pretty sure that some of those shows are disliked not for political reasons but because they are terrible.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:09 AM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Conservatives might think Law and Order and some other police procedurals are "liberal," but what they really are is authoritarian, and I think the shows influence both political liberals and conservatives (both can also be authoritarian, by the way) to make them more comfortable with authoritarian measures.

As someone who has read hundreds of Law & Order scripts for my job, I'd just like to second this.

It's insane how much the format of the show normalizes the idea of a police state, even lulls viewers into believing that they already live in one.

Also, if there's ever a single and/or childless female character older than her early 20's, or an out lesbian - she's the killer. Also family matriarchs.
posted by Sara C. at 11:27 AM on December 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Sara C. was the bias built into the show? Like a rule about not having cops portrayed in anything but a good light?
posted by The Whelk at 11:28 AM on December 8, 2011


Isn't it possible that conservatives just don't get humor?
posted by uosuaq at 11:41 AM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Which, to get back on track, would make for an intriguing story idea: a zombie apocalypse that only affects some particular segment of society, leaving the world mostly unchanged for the rest of us, so it's largely ignored the larger society. It's a show that would appeal to liberals.

I started thinking about such a show and then realized it would be nearly impossible to script without becoming, or appearing to become, a parable about the early days of AIDS.
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:53 AM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Isn't it possible that conservatives just don't get humor?

Not true. Look at the studio audience next time Americas Funniest Home Videos is on.

Boy-Kicked-In-Balls-By-Baby-Brother-While-Funny-FX-Mask-Agonized-Screaming clearly demonstrates that conservatives can deftly wring great humor from even the most unlikeliest of places.
posted by -harlequin- at 11:54 AM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Isn't it possible that conservatives just don't get humor?

Well, they're obviously not very good at it. cf. Victoria Jackson.

That said, a lot of them do find some things funny and do enjoy laughing at those things. There are plenty of comedians who play primarily to conservative audiences. However, conservative comedy is a special case. It's about reinforcing and comforting the audience. Yakov Smirnov is a prime example. Regular comedy is more about transgressing social values and expectations in ways that real conservatives simply wouldn't think of on their own, so it's hard for actual conservatives to be successful at comedy. So-called conservative comedians tend not to be real conservatives at all but performers who have figured out how to craft a persona that will appeal to a particular audience. I'm thinking of acts like Larry the Cable Guy and Ann Coulter.
posted by Naberius at 11:54 AM on December 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I started thinking about such a show and then realized it would be nearly impossible to script without becoming, or appearing to become, a parable about the early days of AIDS.

Is that necessarily a bad thing? V (the original miniseries) was great.
posted by -harlequin- at 11:57 AM on December 8, 2011


Isn't it possible that conservatives just don't get humor?

Glenn Beck's network has got a new comedy series, "The B.S. of A with Brian Sack." I saw about five minutes of it from YouTube clips. It's got stronger writing than those horrible previous shows, and it's not a strident as those other shows (they actually made fun of Republican candidates OMG). Still, it doesn't look like Stewart and Colbert have much to worry about.
posted by JHarris at 12:09 PM on December 8, 2011


Glenn Beck's network

His what?
posted by griphus at 12:28 PM on December 8, 2011


Nothing like demeaning Survivor - a fascinating extended game show with a lot to say about social dynamics, negotiation, and duplicity - to get easy yuks from the look-down-your-nose-at-that-populist-trash crowd...

I guess if it works for you, but from what I understand shows of that type had little to do with "reality" and where/are artificially manipulated and edited to produce the drama and "social dynamics" that made it so appealing, It is not fascinating, it is fake. By tagging it reality and playing up the aspect of "oh no this is exactly what happened, no scripting here!!!" it undermines our perception of what people would actually really do in those situations, or under adversity in general, it paints the world in a very ugly light.. Game show? Sure great CALL IT A GAME SHOW then. But Reality? No. My comment wasn't produced to get yuks, it is genuinely how I feel about it. Just because something is populist and popular does not make it good (nor bad), so watch the show, enjoy it, I have many friends that do, but don't pretend it is anything other than a low budget scripted soap opera in an exotic location.
posted by edgeways at 12:34 PM on December 8, 2011


"In the findings, “sarcastic” media-savvy comedies and morally murky antiheroes tend to draw Dems. While serious work-centered shows (both reality shows and stylized scripted procedurals), along with reality competitions, tend to draw conservatives."

I love Mythbusters and L&O:SVU, and hate most comedies becuase the dialogue is so painfully stilted.

And I'm the only person I'm more conservative than is my friend who's a campaign delegate for the Green Party.

I think I'd not just mess with the curve, I think I'd make it blow up.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:35 PM on December 8, 2011


Mythbusters has turned into the "let's shoot shit and blow other shit up" show, so no surprise there.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 12:57 PM on December 8, 2011


Oh god, the police-state leanings of Law & Order. I love me some procedurals, but watching “Special Victims Unit” last year after the whole run went up on Hulu Plus was horrifying. There's one episode where the cops are trying to find a child rapist and decide it was probably a convicted molester who lives nearby. They round him up, bring him in for a punishing round of “we know you did it, confess or you're going to jail for the rest of your life” questioning with no lawyer. When he gets out of the station he immediately commits suicide by driving his car into an 18-wheeler, creating a spectacular accident and likely injuring other people as well. After the break, we find out that yeah, he really didn't do it and they drove him to suicide on a hunch.

A few episodes later, when Detective Stabler is accused of overstepping his bounds in dealing with suspects, this is treated as ridiculous and obviously motivated by bad faith.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:11 PM on December 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh god, the police-state leanings of Law & Order.

*blush* In my defense I only watch because I think I subsconsciously am shipping Richard Belzer and Ice-T.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:13 PM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I completely forgot to complain about the criminal waste of Richard Belzar. The failure to make him a lead detective, never mind the decision not to produce The John Munch Show Starring John Munch, cannot be forgiven.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:18 PM on December 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


And it is not just conservatives who "believe" in personal responsibility. I am pretty liberal and hold to a strong mix of personal responsibility and social responsibility
Conservatives who favour "personal responsibility" actually mean "not my problem".
posted by fullerine at 1:21 PM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


The failure to make him a lead detective, never mind the decision not to produce The John Munch Show Starring John Munch, cannot be forgiven.

Actually, I think that is happening, it's just broken up amongst a whole bunch of different shows instead:
Munch has become the only fictional character, played by a single actor, to appear on ten different television shows. These shows were on five different networks: NBC (Homicide: Life on the Street, Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Trial by Jury, and 30 Rock); Fox (The X-Files; Arrested Development); UPN (The Beat); HBO (The Wire) and ABC (Jimmy Kimmel Live!).

Munch has also been one of the few television characters to cross genres, appearing not only in crime drama series, but sitcom (Arrested Development), late night comedy (Jimmy Kimmel Live!) and horror and science fiction (The X-Files).

He has also played a role in international television series, beginning with UK crime drama Luther where he is mentioned as an American contact for the series' Serious Crime Unit (SCU). Notably Luther stars Idris Elba, the actor who played Stringer Bell in the HBO drama The Wire where Munch had cameoed previously.
And that's only if you don't count the Muppet version.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:25 PM on December 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Belzer also appeared as both Munch and himself on Arrested Development. That's gotta be some kind of record.
posted by griphus at 1:40 PM on December 8, 2011


Belzer also appeared as both Munch and himself on Arrested Development. That's gotta be some kind of record.

And hey, now that I think about it, there was that time that he even caught a real criminal, remember? Been trying to find a link -- it was during Homicide, when they were set up in an alley someplace filming a scene with Munch -- and an actual bank robber, on the run from actual Baltimore PD, came flying around the corner to hide -- then stopped short when he saw Belzer and all the guys dressed as beat cops. The robber then surrendered to Belzer.

(Apparently Belzer said something like, "uh...okay, can you put your hands on the hood of the car here," figuring the real cops would be along soon -- and the cops who'd been in pursuit indeed turned up a few seconds later, at which point Belzer nervously turned the guy over to them.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:02 PM on December 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Now Belzer just needs to appear on NTSF:SUV:SD::.
posted by drezdn at 2:12 PM on December 8, 2011



In all sincerity, source please ?!

This may come off as threadshitting, I apologize for that, but discussing a survey without even knowing any of the methodology, number of participants, etc, is foolish.

Surveys like this are just used as fulfilling preconceived notions and (I admit, the results for me plausible, based on the TV habits of families and friends). (wait, jharris beat me to it).
posted by fizzix at 2:14 PM on December 8, 2011


Regular comedy is more about transgressing social values and expectations in ways that real conservatives simply wouldn't think of on their own, so it's hard for actual conservatives to be successful at comedy. So-called conservative comedians tend not to be real conservatives at all but performers who have figured out how to craft a persona that will appeal to a particular audience.

Good points but I think the persona argument is a red herring. All comedians have personas and most are deliberately crafted for success. As a comedian, Eddie Murphy played a streetwise badass when he was suburban Long Island kid, etc.

Larry the Cable Guy is wildly successful precisely because he is transgressive for his audience. He/his persona is transgressive against the mores of educated, urban people (like us) who his fans see as the elites ruling America. This may ignore the larger, dominating power of business and right wing power brokers, but it's not a crazy point of view if you are a guy in a poor heartland town with a GED making $17K with few prospects for improvement ever. And you have Fox News supporting this view all the time.

I'm surprised there aren't more actually. But this requires a lot of ignorance or deep cynicism to sell, and I think they just can't find decent talent willing to play along.
posted by msalt at 2:58 PM on December 8, 2011


Republicans like Top Gear? I did not see that one coming.
posted by Dr. Zira at 5:10 PM on December 8, 2011


...the police officer is allways rational, polite, respective of our constitional rights, and just an all around good guy...

What? Have you actually watched Law and Order?


There are two themes here that tickle the conservatives right where they like it:

1- In the end, the cop ends up being more right than wrong. And it's the pansy scumbag lawyers who let the bad guy git away.

2- Even if the "bad guy" wasn't guilty this time, he probably deserved the rough treatment for something else he did in the past.

3- There is also a theme where, perversely, they expect their good guys to break the rules in trying to catch the bad guys.
posted by gjc at 7:17 PM on December 8, 2011


Well, that explains Dennis Miller.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:16 PM on December 8, 2011


I get confused because some people call SUV and the like Law and Order. I love the original L&O, but hate the spinoffs. The only other show I watch semi regularly on this list are The Mentalist and Dirty Jobs. I am to the Right of Che Guevera if that’s what they mean.
posted by bongo_x at 9:12 AM on December 9, 2011


The Whelk - sorry this is late, but I got busy at work and didn't come back to MeFi for a while.

It's not so much that the police are portrayed as The Good Guys as a rule* - though they are, and it (probably/mostly) is one.

I think a lot of it is actually down to laziness on the part of the writers, or possibly the producers and/or network execs. It's just so much easier to pretend that the police have instant access to everyone's private information, that technology/forensics always reveals the truth, that the cops are borderline omniscient and should be given free reign to do what they need to do to get the Bad Guys.

*FWIW, I now work on a different TV show in a different genre, and I know the writers run into resistance on this from the network - they literally are not ALLOWED to show the main characters in anything but the most positive light. They HAVE TO be the good guys and can never fuck up or knowingly do wrong.
posted by Sara C. at 8:26 AM on December 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ah, interesting info Sara C. Some enterprising journalist could probably write a longform piece about that for the New Yorker or some such on that. (Anyone such person reading this: hint, hint)
posted by JHarris at 5:17 PM on December 10, 2011


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