Essay on The Crime Drama Genre

1948 Words8 Pages
The crime drama genre has endured many changes since the days of 'Dickson of Dock Green' (1955-1976) in the UK along with 'Dick Tracy' (1950-1952) in the USA. The natural progression within the crime drama genre saw them eventually displaying police procedural's. This was a first for television, the audience not only saw the crime and the apprehension of the criminal, but for the first time, the whole crime solving system was opened for the audience to see. Forensics and legal bureaucracy where presented within the dramas. This in turn evolved into crime dramas that focused solely on these other elements that were previously unseen. Shows such as 'Cagney and Lacey' (1982-1988), 'Hill Street Blues' (1981-1987), 'Law and Order'…show more content…
This in effect provides a sense of realism for the audience and when paired realism in the shows characterisation, the show creates a platform in which we are able to study the shows use of cultural anxieties. The themes of the show all become intertwined with Gang culture and drugs having an obvious link and racial stereotypes providing a link to both of these themes. The show also attentively examines police corruption and brutality. The show is loosely based on the ‘Rampant’ police scandal. Rampant as it is more commonly known occurred in the late nineties, where a large number of the Los Angeles police department’s anti-gang unit where implicated for corruption and misconduct, around eighty officers were charged in relation with the scandal. This mirroring of real life experiences increases the audiences levels of anxiety. Barry Peterson discuss' in hs article (Television Advertising and Drug Use -1976) how in 1973 the Roper survey’s findings revealed that television is considered by Americans to be the most believable of all mass-media. The shows detailed examination of cultural anxieties caused by drug culture provides a deep impact in the opening to the pilot episode. The opening scenes shows head of the strike team Vic Mackay (Michael Chiklis) and his team, chasing a perpetrator, the chase is sets place in front of a very public arena, an offering to
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