Saturday, November 13, 2010

Why does TV get more leeway?

I know more than a dozen people in law enforcement.
That's not odd as I was on a first aid squad for 18 years.  We interact with the cops on a regular basis. When you call 911, depending on where you are, a police officer responds first.
Of those people in law enforcement half of them are or have been directly involved in investigating crimes.
In other words I have some great resources.
And none of them watch any crime shows on TV. They wish their jobs were that easy.
So I know from my research that crimes don't get solved in a half an hour and that crime scene techs wear, at the very least, booties on their feet. And that sometimes Emergency Medical Services has been there so the crime scene is not pristine.
But there are more than a dozen crime shows on TV.
If I wrote a book with that many inaccuracies, NO publisher would buy it.
Is the TV watching public not so smart? Being someone who watches TV, I'd like to think they aren't.
But publishers and I assume book buyers will not put up with such things wrong in my story.
Why does TV get so much leeway? Anyone have an answer?


Maryannwrites said...

The inaccuracies can be irritating, but I keep reminding myself that this is drama, this is fiction. I know a lot of police officers, too, and the daily routine of their lives is pretty boring, so what would make people watch the shows if they held closely to reality?

This is just a comment and not an endorsement of the inaccuracies. LOL

Author Peg Herring said...

I agree with Maryann. Having been a playwright in an earlier life, I know that drama has to move along, and mostly through dialogue. Some shows try to depict the passing of time and the intricacy of the work of crimesolving with long patches where characters work as music plays in the background. That soon becomes irritating for the viewer.
I applaud Jan Burke's efforts to educate the public on the CSI effect and to let them know police do not have all the "toys" and endless funds to use them. I guess we have to chalk it up to entertainment, but we also have to remember that entertainment is overstatement. I'll bet no one ever really tried to eat all the chocolates on the conveyer belt, but we love watching Lucille Ball do it!

Russell Brooks said...

I'm so happy that this topic was brought up. Several times I keep arguing with my friends that "This wouldn't happen in real life!" It's true, us authors have it harder, I guess it's because books are historically of higher standard than television.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

But isn't it fun to say, "Oh sure, that would never happen!" Hubby and I both have a great time picking TV shows apart.


Juanita Rose Violini said...

Books engage a person on a different level. If something is inaccurate in television it moves along so quickly and so visually that I forgive it but in a book my mind gets stuck on the inaccuracy and won't move on or forgive as quickly. Reading,I am the one that has to move on from the distraction of error whereas TV moves me on.