"you can turn pretty much anything into a police procedural"
July 23, 2015 2:07 AM   Subscribe

If you're tired of the endlessly minor variations of TV's Police Procedural shows (seriously, "CSI: Cyber"?!?), check out "The Encyclopedia of Hypothetical Police Procedurals" for great non-existent shows including...

The Big Naptime (a grizzled undercover cop becomes the partner of a one-month-old infant)

Out on a Limb (the leper detective - "many episodes where he threw his hand or foot at an assailant")

Take My Case, Please! (Henny Youngman and Rodney Dangerfield play cops working the Borscht Belt beat)

Scene of the Scene of the Scene of the Crime (it's so... meta)

The Baboonist

H9 ("In a post-apocalyptic universe where dogs are in charge and people are scarce, Joey Russell is the only human in the Dog PD.")

Last Second Squad ("the best detectives, but the worst procrastinators")

Low Self-Esteem Cops (and it's famous Prop Notes)

Department of Autocorrections

NYPD Blue Moon ("NASA’s astronauts are deputized by the NYPD to join the fight against organized moon crime.")

and multiple variations on "Internal Affairs" and "Time Cop" that are NOTHING you expected.

In an interview, one of the creators of the Encyclopedia of Hypothetical Police Procedurals said "One of my favorites is '#018 CopCop': Part Cop. Part Cop. All Cop." Regrettably, the premise is pretty much the same as a running gag from Kris Straub's Chainsawsuit webcomic created in 2010: "Two Cops", but since it's all about duplication, I guess it's okay, okay?
posted by oneswellfoop (42 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
 
Now, with nothing left for him in Denmark, Hamlet travels Europe solving crimes with the help of his ghost dad..Hamlet, following his near-death experience, has a fresh perspective on life. He’s decided to be more decisive, less mopey, and to help others using the crime-busting skills he developed while investigating his father’s murder. He’s chipper, upbeat, and quick to make a witty remark when turning a criminal over to the authorities.

Is this something you need to be high to understand?
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 2:22 AM on July 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


No, it's something you need to be familiar with Shakespeare to understand. *still giggling to myself*
posted by hippybear at 2:24 AM on July 23, 2015 [6 favorites]




My favourite police procedural is still Crimer Show, a twitter account serialised in a website of cliches and poor spelling. I can't really explain why it's funny. Maybe a few samples will help:

CRIMER: Im have did moy Last crimeing.Nomor crimes from Me. DETETCIVE: Thats Goodnews! CRIMER: (turns to camera) Im defnitley do mor crimes

CRIMER: (turns to camera) Ther maney waysTo crime... (puts on sunglasses) but onley One man knuw them all... (puts on more sunglasses) ...Me

In one great subplot, the stressed detective gets addicted (to milk):

DETETCIVEWIFE: (on phone) Youm sleped in worke? DETETCIVE: Yese. DETETCIVEWIFE: Yor drinkeing? DETETCIVE: (looks at empty milk cartons) No

DETETCIVE: Im shot a blemp. Im go Balde. Im got trobles. (drinks milk) GRUPE: (gasps) DETETCIVE: Im hav... (looks out window) Terbil dreams

DETETCIVE: (on phone) Allthese yeres,youm bin crimeing. Yor crimed us goode. Im...respact yor crimeing. CRIMER: Yor outa yor Braines on melk
posted by kersplunk at 2:54 AM on July 23, 2015 [35 favorites]


Another almost-postworthy detective parody is the animated webseries "Nwar". And yes, there are lots of puns and wordplay at least as cringeworthy as that title (that's why I like it). Like the steakhouse stakeout that was a mistake...
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:42 AM on July 23, 2015


I still have a cherished copy of that J. J. Armes biography; at one point I had the action figure, detective van, etc. I was a little obsessed by J. J. Armes in my youth. It should be fiction, yet it is not.
posted by parki at 4:02 AM on July 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Tummy is [detective] Prince’s wisecracking psychic belly. Full of zingers and snappy retorts, The Tummy loves to undermine and make fun of Prince on the job, mocking him by claiming he sees nothing but baldness and impotence in Prince’s future. The Tummy loves chili dogs.

Oh, yeah? D'ya like heartburn? Cuz yer gonna get it -- every time you eat a chili dog . .
. and the way he stuffs himself at his mother's!

You've always hated my mother . . .

Gentlemen, gentlemen, please! . . .
 
posted by Herodios at 4:08 AM on July 23, 2015


Some of these aren't all that far-fetched. I'd watch this one (even if season 4 is, arguably, a departure in tone).
posted by Mogur at 4:17 AM on July 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's really funny because leprosy actually doesn't turn you into a zombie where your limbs fall off, and can be cured in about 6 months worth of free treatments. We're always laughing me and you!
posted by Brocktoon at 4:46 AM on July 23, 2015


DETETCIVE: Im shot a blemp. Im go Balde. Im got trobles. (drinks milk) GRUPE: (gasps) DETETCIVE: Im hav... (looks out window) Terbil dreams

I'd like to imagine these are all written by Jimmy McGovern's cat.
posted by thetortoise at 4:57 AM on July 23, 2015


There was a Ken & Robin episode recently where they mock pitched a police procedural for the character of Wendy from Peter Pan and at least one other, which was typically good value
posted by howfar at 5:14 AM on July 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Needs more Space Cop (teaser - trailer!) - He's a cop from the future, the future of space!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:29 AM on July 23, 2015


kersplunk. My godz. thank you for meeetng me wit the bests crimers forver.
posted by davidmsc at 5:51 AM on July 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'd watch all of these. They're all better than late SVU.
posted by lownote at 5:56 AM on July 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Space Precinct
posted by Rob Rockets at 6:00 AM on July 23, 2015


The manuscript one, oh my god
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:09 AM on July 23, 2015


Popo is a dada police procedural.

CATCHPHRASE: “I reject your definition of ‘mystery.’” / “The real crime is your bourgeois complacency.”
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:10 AM on July 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


Of course, They Fight Crime is still up and going if you need a quicker fix.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:17 AM on July 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also from the Popo entry:

TRIVIA/MISCELLANY: Popo pioneered the technique of creating scripts by cutting phrases out of newspapers, throwing the clippings into the air, grabbing them while blindfolded, and pasting them onto a page at random. Today this method is used by the vast majority of procedural producers.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:17 AM on July 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


This was being mocked more than 20 years ago by The Comic Strip Presents in 'Detectives on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown', which featured or mentioned shows such as The Gourmet Detective and The Whistling Detective Who Lives on a Barge. (And indeed the BBC promptly went on to make something not far from the former as Pie in the Sky.)

'Detectives on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown' can be found online if you go looking; it's worth watching just for Jim Broadbent parodying John Thaw as DI Jack Regan from The Sweeney, if you can call it a parody when he's not actually exaggerating at all.
posted by Major Clanger at 6:17 AM on July 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Jeez......I would watch at least the Pilot of every one of those!
posted by TDavis at 6:20 AM on July 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Ok, I've got one to pitch. A detective and a gardener, partnered up to solve horticultural crimes. A police pro-seedural.
posted by nubs at 7:04 AM on July 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


In a related topic, I know Washington DC has a special force of public library police with their own cars. The link is to a forum. The first page mentions maybe disbanding them, but they are still around (at least they were in 2014).
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:05 AM on July 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


The Tennis Police. To Protect, Serve and Volley. (Their arch-nemesis: The Racketeers.)

And most importantly:
The Bad Pun Avengers.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:08 AM on July 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


That dada one reminded me of something that always cracks me up: Yellowjacket Greenapple, PI
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:21 AM on July 23, 2015


Get thee to a jailery.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:00 AM on July 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


[Hamlet's] chipper, upbeat, and quick to make a witty remark when turning a criminal over to the authorities.

No, no, no. That's not Hamlet at all. More like this:

Believed killed in the massacre at Elsinore, Hamlet in fact crawled from the scene to a hidden cave far beneath the castle that was revealed to him by his father's ghost. There he subjected himself to intense physical conditioning to recover from the near-fatal poisoning and rebuild his strength.

There in the dark, drinking water that dripped from the walls and eating blind fish he caught in the cave's pools, with his only company only his father's ghost - still haranguing Hamlet to avenge his murder - Hamlet trained his body and his senses to razor sharpness. Haunted by the violent deaths of his parents, he resolved to return to the surface and strike back against evil in all its forms, but knew he couldn't simply reappear as Prince Hamlet. He needed a way to conceal his true identity while simultaneously striking fear into his enemies.

He took his inspiration from the creatures who shared his cave.

Now a ruthless avenger stalks the corridors of Elsinore, and evil doers tremble at the mention of the caped figure that appears suddenly from the darkness bringing violent justice. No one knows his name. They call him... the Batman.
posted by Naberius at 8:11 AM on July 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm waiting for the Geometry Cops. Tagline: Working All the Angles.

Technically, this tagline could also work for a show about police in post-Roman Britain.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:22 AM on July 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hey Naberius!

I've got a corporation full of lawyers representing Detective Comics on the phone here wanting to have a polite yet firm word with you ...
posted by Faintdreams at 8:24 AM on July 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Urgh, Memory fail.

Can anyone else remember the fake trailer for the fake cop show that was featured at the end of one of the season five Community episodes?

That feels like the perfect fodder for this encyclopaedia
posted by Faintdreams at 8:30 AM on July 23, 2015


Now a ruthless avenger stalks the corridors of Elsinore, and evil doers tremble at the mention of the caped figure that appears suddenly from the darkness bringing violent justice. No one knows his name. They call him... the Batman.

I prefer the version where, while he is hiding out in the cave, the Ghost's magic causes Hamlet to fuse with a cantaloupe and a dog, leading him to use his new powers to fight crime as the Melon-Collie Dane....
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:47 AM on July 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


What, no love for Baby Legs and Regular Legs? Is it because they are deemed "not hypothetical"? Sure it sort of actually happened on TV for a second, but only as part of an improv'ed cartoon.
posted by Freon at 8:59 AM on July 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


And while it is a song, I still think the Dream Police has potential as a police procedural. Every week, Detectives Goodnight and Wrestful face off against the criminal gangs Nachtmahr, the Sleepless, and the Somnambulists and the repercussions of their crimes while in pursuit of the mastermind behind it all, Pavor Nocturnus.

You could have a character called Nodoz as an informant. They would answer to Captain Sandman.
posted by nubs at 9:12 AM on July 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


CSI: Gaiman would be amazing.
posted by mikurski at 11:08 AM on July 23, 2015


He took his inspiration from the creatures who shared his cave. . . . They call him... the Batman.

What bats? You didn't mention any bats.

I thought he was gonna be The Blindcavefishman.

the fake trailer for the fake cop show that was featured at the end of one of the season five Community episodes? That feels like the perfect fodder for this encyclopaedia

Well, community is the fodder of invention.

encyclopaedia

By the way, Jiminy Cricket would like a word.
 
posted by Herodios at 11:25 AM on July 23, 2015 [1 favorite]




Metafilter: Im defnitley do mor crimes
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:23 PM on July 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


DREAM DETECTIVE: "I've solved the case... and the pies couldn't be sweeter." Dream Detective is suddenly your mother
posted by phooky at 1:42 PM on July 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


These are fun to cop up with.

How about: Intersectionalism Division, which would be about the squad of cops that a department hired after a consent degree to improve diversity, where each of them is diverse in multiple ways to make the consent degree cheaper, where you start out being introduced to them by their qualities (queer and black, jewish and female, biracial and bisexual, Muslim and disabled etc), but the audience finds out that they are people who happen to be those things, not just checkmarks on a list. And it turns out their knowledge makes them excellent cops who take the cases the white cis guys just don't get (feminist reconstructionist rabbi murdered, extortion of brothers on the down low, butch vs. femme violence, male domestic violence victim). I kinda want to bring in Julien Lowe from The Shield for an episode, so we can tie into that universe, just because I think cop shows should all tie together into one horribly complicated web of connections.

I also think we need more police procedurals with criminals. How about Prison Planet Cops (texas ranger style cops on a futuristic and yet vaguely western prison planet), or Organized Crime Squad (a squad of criminals that enforce the rule of crime bosses on the underworld).
posted by gryftir at 2:15 PM on July 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Confession: back when "Law & Order: SVU" was new, I was part of one of the dozens of comedic entities pitching a "Law & Order: SUV" parody to whomever would listen. WAY TOO OBVIOUS. I'm glad nobody picked up on that pun until somebody at Adult Swim fleshed it out to "NTSF:SD:SUV".

Still, there are many easy word-play based premises (and I'm glad the EoHPP is not dependent on them):
Landscape Detectives: "Lawn & Order"
Enforcing Laws Against Offensive Smells: "Law & Odor" (Episode 1: The Sriracha Caper)
Teen Horror Vigilantes: "CSI Know What You Did Last Summer"
Mad Men Spin-Off with Ex-Wife Turned Cop: "Trudy Detective"
College Sports Detectives: "NCAAIS"
Going back to a very gay reboot of an old cop show: "Adam & Steve 12"
REAL Internet Investigators wouldn't be CSI: Cyber, they'd be: "CSI: OMG: WTF: LOL"
and the lighter side of a police precinct full of Satanists: "Brooklyn Six Six Six"
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:01 PM on July 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


"Ok, I've got one to pitch. A detective and a gardener, partnered up to solve horticultural crimes. A police pro-seedural."
posted by nubs at 10:04 AM

So close.
posted by merelyglib at 1:34 PM on July 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


fearfulsymmetry lays claim to Copthulhu (links to FanFare page for True Detective season 2 episode 6).
posted by filthy light thief at 12:15 PM on July 28, 2015


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