Monday, December 15, 2008

Better Late Than Never, and Catching Bad Guys

I'm posting a few hours later than usual this morning because of an early gift I received from my Very Best Beloved...she spent the last few days down for maintenance with a ghastly stomach virus which she has, in her usual loving and thoughtful way, decided to share with me. Between about 3:00 PM and 9:00 PM yesterday, I was racing to the bathroom about every 10 minutes while everything I've eaten in the last two weeks revisited me at one end or the other. I then slept from 9:00 until 6:30 this morning (unheard of for me), called the office to tell them I was out of commission, then went back to bed until 11:00.

So...

I still feel like s**t, but I'm well-rested.

But you didn't come here to listen to me talk about my gastrointestinal difficulties, so we'll drop that pleasant topic and discuss something more uplifting.

Like forensic pathology.

I'm old enough to remember when TV's law-enforcement heroes were flawed, hard-bitten tough guys like Mike Connors (Mannix), Tom Selleck (Magnum P.I.), and Jack Webb (Joe Friday); accompanied by their radio counterparts like Philip Marlowe, Johnny Dollar the insurance investigator, Boston Blackie, Nero Wolfe, and Sam Spade. They got to the truth by drinking lots of scotch, chasing bad guys and beating the tar out of them in the end, and interacting with mysterious and exotic women..

It's different, now.

Now, the airwaves are ruled by the forensic pathologists like Quincy, Temperence Brennan ("Bones"), CSI (New York, Miami, Las Vegas, etc), Cold Case, and so on. Villains are caught not by lantern-jawed detectives battling crime in dark alleyways and dim, smoky bars, but by geeky scientists in lab coats who find the ultimate clue to be a microscopic bit of something-or-other amidst the gooey remains of a victim.

I liked it better before. I like seeing the bad guy get his come-uppance at the hands of the hero, lying gasping on the floor right after the hero has beaten him to a pulp and before he's dragged off to a richly-deserved jail sentence. It's so much more satisfying than watching some character in a pristine laboratory cinch the villain's fate with a minute speck of gotcha. The real people like it better, too. My good friend Bakr, who is a forensic pathologist, has complained about how difficult the TV shows have made his work, because TV-besotted juries now don't understand why the answers aren't presented to them on a silver platter of scientific jargon.

I still enjoy watching all the shows, new and old, but something's missing.

And now it's time to go back to bed.

Have a good day. More (and more coherent) thoughts tomorrow.

Bilbo

7 comments:

Gilahi said...

Quincy? When was the last time you looked at a TV Guide? I could never get past Jack Klugman being Oscar Madison enough to take Quincy seriously.

John said...

Cannon, Mannix, Jake and the Fat Man,Rockford Files. All old favorites.

Perry Mason was the mild mannered "gotcha" guy of the past crime shows.

I do like the new shows...all of the CSI's (though I rarely watch NY) and also NCIS.

Mike said...

I think NCIS has got a better character set than New Times Roman.

"a few hours later than usual this morning because of an early gift I received from my Very Best Beloved"

This didn't go where I thought it was going. Speaking of going, how's the energizer bunny doing so far today.

Twinkie said...

I love Law and Order (all of them) but my favorite show by far has to be Magnum P.I. Tom is the most handsome man that came out of those types of shows.

fiona said...

I loved Kojak. Oh and to give credit to the gals Cagney and Lacey were good!
The new ones hmmm does "House" count in a hospitally (note new word) detective pill poppin kinda way?
Get better dear :-)

Bilbo said...

Update - 8:34PM. Still feeling lousy, and it looks as if I'll have to take another sick day tomorrow. This Energizer Bunny finally did run down.

Fiona - do you remember the year that there were three shows on TV at the same time: "Kojak," "Kolchak (The Night Stalker)," and "Kodiak" (about a cop in Alaska)? You'd have thought they'd have given some other consonants a chance...

The Mistress of the Dark said...

Hope you are feeling better.