Saturday, July 09, 2011

Why I Like Cop Shows Better Than Murder Mysteries or Thrillers

I recently listened to a James North Patterson story while on a long car trip alone. I was dissatisfied with the experience. I discovered that I do not like stories in which the protagonist takes foolish risks, and acts alone. What I want is an intelligent team acting together to beat unreason and selfishness.

I put the question to my Facebook friends. I asked for police procedurals in which the cops act together and rationally. A friend pointed out that it is hard to have a novel about a team, because it is difficult to keep all the people straight. There are some such novels - my wife has been reading Louise Penny's "Inspector Gamache" stories to me, and my mother is a fan of Henning Mankell's "Kurt Wallandar" stories (though he often does crazy things alone).

Which led me to this insight: television and film can tell the stories of teams better than novels can, because the visuals, and the voices, help you keep the group members straight.

Which is why Mrs. G. and I have been particularly enjoying "The Wire," one of the best cop shows ever.

1 comment:

Marty said...

The "Left Behind" series is a great example of epic teamwork.