Monday, February 27, 2006

Monday Night is Crime Night

Monday night used to be LOST night and that interminable series from Steven Spielberg which was called....erm...whatever - aliens and genetic experiments and people with blood coming out of their eyes and all that tosh.

Anyway, now Mondays are crime nights. And I have just wasted my evening gawping at three of the specimens on offer.

And what were these crime-busting bonanzas...? Well, first we had one of the myriad CSIs...erm, the one in New York with Gary Sinese and a story about a skeleton found in a cellar which turns out to be not the person we are led to expect but someone else who somehow finds out that Gary and his crew are onto him and so starts trying to destroy the evidence that he isn't the skeleton and that he is in fact still alive, then came Criminal Investigation, I think it's called, with a story about a shy bloke with a job in a chocolate makers' shop who had started doing indescribably horrible things to young girls he had met in bars and sleazy clubs and finally just now a pile of criminal codswallop called Crossing Jordan with no less than two story lines neither of which seemed to make any sense to me and which were both left kind of hanging when the programme time was up as if the film crew had just got up and clocked off at some point in the middle of the episode and then gone for a pizza.

What strikes me though about these new modern-day, streetwise crime series is that these days the criminal experts, forensic specialists, cranky lab geniuses or whatever, apart from all looking as if they have all just stepped out of the ultimate stylist's studio, all have incredibly sad or complicated or traumatic childhoods/marriages/sibling relationships.

Gary's "wife" was killed in the Twin Towers attack, the slightly neurotic Criminal Investigation bloke looks like a definite case of traumatic childhood and this week's Crossing Jordan revealed a long lost brother who actually wasn't and whom she didn't know about but who murdered his mother and her mother...or something...(even Sophocles wouldn't have touched that storyline!)

We are supposed to empathise with them when they investigate a crime which reminds them of their tragic pasts...and bear with them when they wander off - on taxpayers' money - for a long misty-eyed gaze at a gravestone or the classic 'faded photograph' or stop off as Gary did last week apparently at Ground Zero. It's called the 'subplot'....yawn....

But no, bugger all that...let's get back to Perry Mason and Gideon's Way...Burke's Law...and Efrem Zimbalist Junior (couldn't the parents just have called the kid Fred?) in The FBI or what'shisname with the quiff in Hawaii 5-0; not the slightest hint of a difficult past life there...hardly a hint of human personality at all come to think of it.

I'll say one thing though...these new series can be as bad as they like but they still won't ever come even close to rivalling Columbo for being my number one criminal pile of poop. Sorry Peter Falk fans but that has to be the most mind-rottingly boring crime series in forensic history...and that includes the speeches of Cicero.

Anyhow, my Monday night was definitely stolen from under my nose by these smooth criminal catchers...and noone is going to investigate that crime.

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