Favorite TV Police/Crime Dramas...

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Tall Grass
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Favorite TV Police/Crime Dramas...

Post by Tall Grass » Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:14 pm

Here's another of my harmless diversions to give us a break from all the economic noise going on these days.

What are your picks for the top three (or more) TV Police/Crime dramas of all-time? Here are some of mine in no particular order; except for the first one, which was far and away the best ever in my opinion:

Homicide: Life On the Street (Yaphet Kotto, Andre Braugher, Melissa Leo, and Kyle Secor were superb in this series)

NYPD Blue

Dragnet

Hillstreet Blues

Law and Order


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Last edited by Tall Grass on Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart." - Jonathan Swift

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Post by Gekko » Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:20 pm

not fiction/drama - true crime documentary - best show on TV bar none IMO -

http://www.forensicfiles.com/
Last edited by Gekko on Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tim1999
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Post by tim1999 » Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:21 pm

Columbo, the original 1970s one, has always been my favorite crime drama show by far. If not one of my favorite TV shows of all categories.

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Post by tim1999 » Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:21 pm

That's probably my second favorite!

Gekko wrote:not fiction/drama - true crime documentary - best show on TV bar none IMO -

http://www.forensicfiles.com/

mikepru
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NCIS

Post by mikepru » Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:23 pm

NCIS

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Tall Grass
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Post by Tall Grass » Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:38 pm

Cherokee8215 wrote:Columbo, the original 1970s one, has always been my favorite crime drama show by far. If not one of my favorite TV shows of all categories.

"Just one more thing...."


Falk really nailed that character.
"A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart." - Jonathan Swift

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Post by Rob5TCP » Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:40 pm

Law & Order
Homicide - ....
Hill Street Blues
NYPD Blue
Wiseguys
Sopranos
Kojak
Murder One

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Post by Petrocelli » Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:51 pm

The Wire may be the greatest TV drama ever.
Petrocelli (not the real Rico, but just a fan)

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Tall Grass
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Post by Tall Grass » Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:04 pm

Petrocelli wrote: The Wire may be the greatest TV drama ever.
I noticed that the creator of the series, David Simon, was also a writer and producer of "Homicide: Life on the Street"...he must have a magic touch.
"A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart." - Jonathan Swift

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Post by Puakinekine » Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:22 pm

Petrocelli wrote:The Wire may be the greatest TV drama ever.
It's the best thing I've ever seen on TV. It's a novel in visual form. I would highly recommend it to everyone--except perhaps young children.

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Post by bearcub » Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:39 pm

Homicide : Life On The Street Was ahead of its time.
Sidebar- hey Tall Grass, I finally realized where I seen your avatar picture before. I was cleaning up my bookshelfs and seen it on the cover of a book I bought a couple years ago. Religous in nature and the people that follow the leaders.

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Post by Tall Grass » Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:49 pm

bearcub wrote:Homicide : Life On The Street Was ahead of its time.
Sidebar- hey Tall Grass, I finally realized where I seen your avatar picture before. I was cleaning up my bookshelfs and seen it on the cover of a book I bought a couple years ago. Religous in nature and the people that follow the leaders.
This is what the entire image looks like in the lithograph by John Steuart Curry...

Image
"A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart." - Jonathan Swift

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Post by SoonerSunDevil » Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:52 pm

Petrocelli wrote:The Wire may be the greatest TV drama ever.
You know, I've heard several people say that but I watched about three episodes from season one and I thought it was total garbage. Based on the reviews I had heard and what I saw, The Wire might be the most overrated TV drama ever.

When does the show start to get "good?" I usually love HBO originals (Sopranos, Deadwood), but The Wire was t-e-r-r-i-b-l-e.

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Post by DRiP Guy » Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:52 pm

Law and Order: Criminal Intent.

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Post by tetractys » Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:22 pm

Green Hornet, Perry Mason, The Mod Squad--One white, one black, and one blond.
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Post by satori » Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:46 pm

Columbo (Peter Falk) I still rent the DVDs)
Perry Mason (Raymond Burr)
Streets of San Francisco (Karl Malden, Robert Wagner, Michael Douglas)
Remington Steele (Stephanie Zimbalist, Pierce Brosnan)
Magnun PI (Tom Sellack)
Kojak (Telly Savalas)
Cannon (William Conrad)
Nero Wolfe (William Conrad)
Hawaii Five-O

Recently I've been watching Life on Mars. Guy gets hit by car in 2008 and wakes up in 1973 and gets a job as a police detective. Fun because he has to bite his tongue when he starts recommending the lab do a DNA check or an online search.

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Post by Ella » Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:56 pm

The Closer
24
Law and Order: the original and SVU

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Post by SoonerSunDevil » Mon Mar 16, 2009 12:00 am

Ella wrote:Law and Order: the original and SVU
Both of those shows are excellent.

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Post by SP-diceman » Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:15 am

Loved: the original Columbo.

Enjoyed: Dragnet, Starskey&Hutch, Barretta.

Watched: Charlie's Angles

Neutral on The Wire


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Post by MWCA » Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:39 am

Hill Street Blues I want to watch some reruns.

Right now Im into the show Life.

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Post by longjohnsilver » Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:19 am

The Shield!!
Dexter

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Post by mhalley » Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:54 am

Glad to see someone finally mention The Shield. I liked Life on Mars (BBC version), also like Saving Grace (seems as if I like the quirky shows).
For the crime drama I like Weeds and Breaking Bad (not that these are my all time favs, that would be oldies like Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue and The Rockford Files).
Mike

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Post by sleepdoc » Mon Mar 16, 2009 4:58 am

Petrocelli wrote:The Wire may be the greatest TV drama ever.
I'm going to have to strongly second this statement. Stick with it for a while, it will get to you. Season 2 is even better but all five seasons are well worth the time to watch. It's as good as TV crime drama can be.

If you are looking for something with a different perspective check out Helen Mirren as Chief Inspector Jane Tennyson in "Prime Suspect" the occasional BBC miniseries (the seventh is the last one).

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Post by Valuethinker » Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:57 am

SoonerSunDevil wrote:
Petrocelli wrote:The Wire may be the greatest TV drama ever.
You know, I've heard several people say that but I watched about three episodes from season one and I thought it was total garbage. Based on the reviews I had heard and what I saw, The Wire might be the most overrated TV drama ever.

When does the show start to get "good?" I usually love HBO originals (Sopranos, Deadwood), but The Wire was t-e-r-r-i-b-l-e.
I think the closest likeness to 'The Wire' is Charles Dickens, writing a chapter a week to be published in the newspaper.

This is a series by all accounts that gets under your skin, and is a chronicle of a slice of American life. But it takes a long time to get into.

Like BattleStar Galactica, I've just never had the time.

Homicide was very good. Any cop show with Yaphet Kotto in it is off to a promising start, but Homicide really was special.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001433/ (see movie Alien below)

Hill Street Blues was pathbreaking in its time. It seems old hat now, but when it came out the whole format was unknown (except in afternoon soap operas):

- stories that ran between episodes and ended ambiguously, or badly
- multiplicity of characters each with their own arc (Johnny's drinking, Farillo and Davenport's relationship, Andy Renko's relationship with his dying father)
- handheld camera shots
- main characters getting shot, and killed, in ways that shake you, that are not just popcorn violence-- that scene in the first episode when Hill and Renko get shot, no foreshadowing, nothing, just walk round the wrong corner and get shot
- the episode when Michael Conrad (Sergeant Phil Esterhaus) had just died of cancer, and Sergeant Lucy does the morning roll call for the first time, and then she turns as they file out of the squadroom and gives out Esterhaus' trademark line

'And heh, let's be careful out there'.

is one of those moments of dramatic history that just hits you in the gut. It is Shakespearian. This is Prince Hal assuming command of the kingdom.

It has gone down into popular culture, whenever anyone says it it refers back to that trademark line. Completely humanizing the cops and their mission.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2QApwtE8zQ Michael Conrad saying that line.

Like the moment in Doonesbury when the army lieutenant, BD, is hit by an RPG and has his football helmet pulled off his head and we see his hair, for the first time in the 35 year history of the strip).

The theme song and credits of Hill Street will live with me forever.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yevI8xCAKuc

'Call Dispatch.
Armed robbery in progress.
Corner People's Drive and 124th Street'



Parker in Alien-- played by Yaphet Kotto:
Parker: Uh, before we dock, I think we oughta discuss the bonus situation.
Brett: Right.
Parker: Brett and I, we think we oughta - we deserve full shares, right baby?
Brett: Right. You see, Mr. Parker and I feel that the bonus situation has never been on a-an equitable level.
Dallas: Well, you get what you're contracted for like everybody else.
Brett: Yes, but everybody else, uh, gets more than us.
Last edited by Valuethinker on Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:04 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Valuethinker » Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:59 am

mhalley wrote:Glad to see someone finally mention The Shield. I liked Life on Mars (BBC version), also like Saving Grace (seems as if I like the quirky shows).
For the crime drama I like Weeds and Breaking Bad (not that these are my all time favs, that would be oldies like Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue and The Rockford Files).
Mike
Life on Mars (UK version) was brilliant.

Ashes to Ashes (sequel) is apparently not bad.

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Re: Favorite TV Police/Crime Dramas...

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:02 am

Tall Grass wrote:Here's another of my harmless diversions to give us a break from all the economic noise going on these days.

What are your picks for the top three (or more) TV Police/Crime dramas of all-time? Here are some of mine in no particular order; except for the first one, which was far and away the best ever in my opinion:
We have to mention The Avengers, which was a British 'spy' show with Patrick McNee and Honor Blackman (and then Diana Rigg as the unforgettable Mrs. Emma Peel).

The show was deliberately camp and at times quite kinky, but the sense of humour and the characters are unforgettable (some of the later series, and the movie, were really really bad).

http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0054518/

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Post by DaveH » Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:47 am

I really don't like cop shows and I never watch them, but THE WIRE sucked me in! Great television!
The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. — Socrates

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Post by gary Fischer » Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:51 am

My choices would be
(1) Perry Mason
(2) Columbo
(3) The Green Hornet
-Gary

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Post by taxman » Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:06 am

:D Homicide life on the street, the wire , the shield, are quite contemporary and realistic shows imo :D

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Post by Pacific » Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:35 am

In my opinion, The Wire is the finest crime series ever produced for television. But, one has to watch it with the english subtitles to really understand it as the street slang is difficult to master.

Next is Law and Order.

I haven't seen Homicide . . . but numerous friends of mine put it second -- right behind The Wire.

There was another entertaining series on several years ago with Dennis Farina called Crime Story.

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Post by HomerJ » Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:16 am

satori wrote:Recently I've been watching Life on Mars. Guy gets hit by car in 2008 and wakes up in 1973 and gets a job as a police detective. Fun because he has to bite his tongue when he starts recommending the lab do a DNA check or an online search.
I'm liking that show too... The paranormal stuff (trying to figure out why he's there) doesn't make much sense, but I love the period references...

1973 was only 35 years ago, but what a different world.

(The main guy is kind of dumb though... he makes like $40 betting with a fellow cop on the Frazier-Ali rematch - I would have bet everything I owned)

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Re: Favorite TV Police/Crime Dramas...

Post by sgr000 » Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:19 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Tall Grass wrote:What are your picks for the top three (or more) TV Police/Crime dramas of all-time?
We have to mention The Avengers, which was a British 'spy' show with Patrick McNee and Honor Blackman (and then Diana Rigg as the unforgettable Mrs. Emma Peel).

The show was deliberately camp and at times quite kinky, but the sense of humour and the characters are unforgettable (some of the later series, and the movie, were really really bad).

http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0054518/
The Avengers was absolutely amazing! Good writing, self-deprecating humor, not afraid to be silly. And, of course, the de rigeur boyhood crush on Diana Rigg; that took years to fade. (Got me to pay real close attention when she was in the RSC's Midsummer Night's Dream, though.)

'Course, The Prisoner was better, but that wasn't a police/crime drama. More of a "what the hell is going on here?" drama.

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Re: Favorite TV Police/Crime Dramas...

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:50 am

sgr000 wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:
Tall Grass wrote:What are your picks for the top three (or more) TV Police/Crime dramas of all-time?
We have to mention The Avengers, which was a British 'spy' show with Patrick McNee and Honor Blackman (and then Diana Rigg as the unforgettable Mrs. Emma Peel).

The show was deliberately camp and at times quite kinky, but the sense of humour and the characters are unforgettable (some of the later series, and the movie, were really really bad).

http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0054518/
The Avengers was absolutely amazing! Good writing, self-deprecating humor, not afraid to be silly. And, of course, the de rigeur boyhood crush on Diana Rigg; that took years to fade. (Got me to pay real close attention when she was in the RSC's Midsummer Night's Dream, though.)

'Course, The Prisoner was better, but that wasn't a police/crime drama. More of a "what the hell is going on here?" drama.
Watching the Avengers now, the double entendres (Diana Rigg in leather gear, etc.) seem amazing-- I didn't pick those up when I was 11!

On The Prisoner, I highly recommend the prequel 'Secret Agent/ Danger Man' (different shows were marketed under different titles in the US and UK), which also starred Patrick McGoohan.

They are more 'conventional' spy thrillers, but with distinctly 'Prisoner-like' aspects to the story.

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Post by Bounca » Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:38 am

Be cool. 8)

Image

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Post by Petrocelli » Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:25 am

Valuethinker wrote:
SoonerSunDevil wrote:
Petrocelli wrote:The Wire may be the greatest TV drama ever.
You know, I've heard several people say that but I watched about three episodes from season one and I thought it was total garbage. Based on the reviews I had heard and what I saw, The Wire might be the most overrated TV drama ever.

When does the show start to get "good?" I usually love HBO originals (Sopranos, Deadwood), but The Wire was t-e-r-r-i-b-l-e.
I think the closest likeness to 'The Wire' is Charles Dickens, writing a chapter a week to be published in the newspaper.

This is a series by all accounts that gets under your skin, and is a chronicle of a slice of American life. But it takes a long time to get into
I think Valuethinker hit it on the head.

We are used to television shows that wrap up a thread in one hour. There is a murder, and the murderer is caught around minute 57.

In The Wire you generally have to wait several episodes for minor plots to resolve, and until the end of the season for major plots to resolve. Some subplots last for years. Characters appear for a few episodes, then disapper, and then reappear many episodes later. Thus, when you get to an episode of The Wire, you may be unsatisfied, but you will have to wait.

It is more like a novel than a series of short stories.

Also, I like the fact that you have to give the show your full attention. It is very thickly layered. I got the complete series for Christmas. I thought it was better the second time around simply because it is so nuanced, that you miss many things the first time around.

However, to each their own.
Last edited by Petrocelli on Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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COPS

Post by Mr Bear » Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:35 am

COPS is the only network show that Ms. Bear and I watch regularly.

When the cop asks a guy, "Have you been drinking tonight?", nine times out of ten, the guy will blurt out, "Two beers!"

And as likely as not, when the cops find dope in a guy's pants pocket, the guy will say, "These aren't my pants!" Cop smiles and says, "Where did you get them?" Guy replies, "I dunno -- a guy gave them to me!"

Million laffs. :D

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Post by minesweep » Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:36 pm

My vote for the best crime/drama series is “24”.

Mike

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Post by ryuns » Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:07 pm

Petrocelli wrote: I think Valuethinker hit it on the head.

We are used to television shows that wrap up a thread in one hour. There is a murder, and the murderer is caught around minute 57.

In The Wire you generally have to wait several episodes for minor plots to resolve, and until the end of the season for major plots to resolve. Some subplots last for years. Characters appear for a few episodes, then disapper, and then reappear many episodes later. Thus, when you get to an episode of The Wire, you may be unsatisfied, but you will have to wait.

It is more like a novel than a series of short stories.

Also, I like the fact that you have to give the show your full attention. It is very thickly layered. I got the complete series for Christmas. I thought it was better the second time around simply because it is so nuanced, that you miss many things the first time around.

However, to each their own.
I think clever writers do this at their own peril. Exhibit A: Arrested Development. Wins a ton of awards and has a huge cult following and they were canned after 3 seasons. Best. Show. Ever.

Perhaps the popularity of TV series on DVD will help change this. Fans of a program can encourage their friends to start watching a show inter-season, and they can sit down and watch the whole prior season in one sitting. I hope so.

Ryan
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered. -- GK Chesterton

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Post by ryuns » Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:14 pm

Does anyone else watch Sons of Anarchy? It's on Hulu, unlike most other shows mentioned here, which is why I followed it this season and I feel like a bit of jackass admitting I kind of like it.

The Storyline is a bit contrived and cliched at times, but some of the writing, particularly in the later episodes is quite good.
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered. -- GK Chesterton

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Post by Mr Bear » Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:19 pm

Ms. Bear and I loved a 90s series, Crime Story, with Dennis Farina and Anthony Dennison. Only lasted two seasons, ended with recurring badguy Dennison being blown up in a Nevada desert A-bomb test!

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Post by chaz » Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:23 pm

I like NCIS - the scripts include a lot of humor among the cast.
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Post by mickeyd » Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:26 pm

Dexter

A forensic expert lives a double life as a vigilante-serial killer who murders wrongdoers who've escaped justice.
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Post by sage1166 » Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:34 pm

Law and Order:SVU
Law and Order (mid-90s)
First 48 (A&E i think), though this is more reality than drama
High Incident (IMO a great show about uniform officers from the mid-90s, starred David Keith)

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Post by runthetrails » Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:43 pm

We enjoyed the FX tv series "Thief" from a couple seasons back, and were sorry that it was not renewed.

"Breaking Bad" is the current favorite.

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Post by deepdrive » Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:08 pm

Criminal Minds is an excellent show. 8:00 Central time Wednesdays on CBS.
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Post by Elysium » Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:14 pm

Law & Order - SVU
Law & Order - Criminal Intent
Law & Order - Original

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Post by fishndoc » Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:50 pm

So, am I the only Boglehead who watches Reno 911?

And, of course, any episode of Dragnet.

Wayne
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Post by SP-diceman » Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:59 pm

Petrocelli wrote:
I think Valuethinker hit it on the head.

We are used to television shows that wrap up a thread in one hour. There is a murder, and the murderer is caught around minute 57.

In The Wire you generally have to wait several episodes for minor plots to resolve, and until the end of the season for major plots to resolve.
I'm not sure of this.

I've known a lot of people who liked the TV show
"LOST".

That has a habit of not wrapping up plots and sub-plots
for weeks on end.

Thanks
SP-diceman

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Post by SP-diceman » Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:08 pm

sgr000 wrote:
And, of course, the de rigeur boyhood crush on Diana Rigg; that took years to fade.
Me too. Except for me it was Linda Thorson.

I started watching the show late in the series
and she was the star.
Only saw the Emma Peel episodes later in repeats.


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Post by Junk007Trader » Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:23 pm

24 and Cold Case

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