Monday, April 26, 2010

American German Crime Shows and Canadian American Ones

Sometime ago I wrote a post describing my interest in the difference between what I saw at the time as the crime show model in the US and the crime show model in the German-speaking world, by which I meant Germany and Austria, excluding Switzerland only because of my utter ignorance.
During some years when I was not much watching 'detective fiction' on US TV it turned into German Krimis. And more power to it! And wow did they do it well, in a glorious outgrowing of wonderfully diverse series.
It first struck me as I started watching episodes of CSI. This was the original Las Vegas version. And it was magnificent. It took the best of the German Krimi form, and improved it enormously by assigning roles, even though slightly fluid, to the many team members. It allowed each participant a personality, but also wonderfully mapped that role to other elements of the character's role, not something I recall much from Tatorts or der Altes. Moreover, CSI pumped up the size of the team, and allowed the team to split across a couple of investigations per episode! Major economy. And I am not joking - I think it has to do with our attention span - a team of six or so requires us to see them split across a couple of investigations.
Of course I had stumbled across CSI, only to realize shortly later that the whole damned panoply of US crime shows were in the German mold - and delightfully! Look at them all - the CSIs (very different, the original having lost a bit with Gil and Sarah, Miami being awful and close to unwatchable except for looking at Emily Proctor, CSI NY pretty good), Criminal Minds, Bones, NCIS, and even House MD (not a crime show but damned close).
Meanwhile, the irony is that Canada (!!!) has recreated the Rockford mold brilliantly. I do not know where anyone can watch 'The Republic of Doyle', but I sure hope for people in other countries they get the chance. This show has produced a perfect balance between the old Rockford Files model and the more group-oriented one in fashion now, and made it a lot of fun.


Post a Comment

<< Home