A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Five *New* TV Crime Show Cliché I'm Already Tired Of (And I Bet You Are Too!)

Does not play well with others
Like all genre fiction, crime fiction is riddled with clichés, some of which are fun and generally beloved (by writers, anyway) and some of which are just...overused.

For example, one of the most treasured (i.e. dusty) old school crime fiction clichés is that anyone--but particularly law enforcement personnel--due to retire in the foreseeable future is doomed. As in probably deader than a door nail before the end of their next shift.  Or--this was enormously popular for a while--the coroner who eats lunch in the morgue. Who cares about forensic evidence; I'm hungry!!

Anyway, here are my current all-right-all-ready!! crime show eye rolls:

1 - The Detective Chats With the Corpse - And I quote: "I'm really sorry this happened to you." Yeah, I realize that steely internal resolve is perhaps not cinematic, but what is with these Q&A sessions between detectives and victims? It's just...embarrassing to all concerned.

Uncle Sam wants YOU!
2 - The FBI Takes Over the Case - And naturally everyone hates them for it. Not least because these FBI agents are such total stone-face assholes and clearly up to no good. But come on! The FBI isn't working for a foreign power (so far) and they don't just swoop in and take over an investigation except in very--VERY--rare circumstances. Plus FBI resources are actually a really useful thing to have for your task force!

3 - This Time it's Personal - Okay, this is not new, which is probably one reason I'm so tired of it. For the love of God, can someone just work a case that doesn't directly tie back to their own misspent past? I mean, what happened to making a crime interesting and involving without it having to be personal?  IT'S NOT PERSONAL. Or shouldn't be.

Jeez, dude, she was on stakeout all night! 
4 - The Detective Has a Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Home Life - In fairness, working in law enforcement does put strain on a marriage, but come on. You'd think detectives would be better at noticing psychotic behaviors in a potential mate. Does he never wonder about that cache of explosives in the back of the closet? And even if the boyfriend/girlfriend is not a terrorist, and it's just the normal run-of-the-mill horrible TV/film marriage, do the problems have to be SO dramatic? How about the more normal stuff that happens? People grow apart and move on. Does it always have to lead to an affair with the protag's partner followed by descent into alcoholism and someone having a tragic car crash?  Can't anybody know...act like a grown-up?

5 - Terrorists - Yes, they're a real and present danger, yes they're out there, yes terrorism is the new arsenic, but sometimes it's nice just to have a simple murder with no world wide implications. Sometimes murder is not part of a vast global conspiracy--in fact, mostly murder is not part of a vast global conspiracy--and that's OK.


LD Masterson said...

I agree with all of these,with one exception. I enjoy Dr.Mallard's (NCIS) conversations with the victims in autopsy. Or perhaps I just like Ducky.

Rita said...

This is one of many reasons why I no longer watch crime shows. Sigh.

Anne Marie Becker said...

LOL. I loved this post, Josh. Loved. Especially #4. ;)

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