Round Up the Usual Suspects: Criminal Investigation in Law & Order, Cold Case, and CSI

Round Up the Usual Suspects: Criminal Investigation in Law & Order, Cold Case, and CSI

Round Up the Usual Suspects: Criminal Investigation in Law & Order, Cold Case, and CSI

Round Up the Usual Suspects: Criminal Investigation in Law & Order, Cold Case, and CSI

Synopsis

TV shows that retain their popularity over the years do so for obvious reasons: good production values, good acting, and compelling storylines. But detective stories in particular also endure because they appeal to the gumshoe in all of us. America is obsessed with crime solving. Nancy Grace on "CNN Headline News," Greta Van Susteren on Fox, and the seemingly annual recurrence of the courtroom sensation all testify to this fact. And these people and cases are able to reach their phenomenal status not simply because of the media-the media only demonstrates the enormous national appetite for this material. Rather, "Cold Case, CSI," and "Law & Order" have achieved their current popularity because they all respond to the same national craving for crime, and do so with great skill and creativity. "Round Up the Usual Suspects" provides a comparison of the crime fighting models and justice proceedings of each of these TV series.

Each series has its own special crime-fighting niche, and each approaches its job with a different set of values and different paradigms of discovery and proof. Their separate approaches are each firmly grounded in different components of human nature -- analytical reasoning, for instance, in "CSI," memory in "Cold Case," and teamwork in "Law & Order." After examining each of the individual series in depth, Ruble goes on to investigate some of the historical antecedents in classical TV detective series such as "The FBI "and "Dragnet." It is interesting to note that these crime fighting methodologies are extensions of the way we all process information about the world. Ray Ruble here aims to increase our appreciation for the ingenious manner in which fictional cases are broken and convictions convincingly secured, and also illuminates the deeper human elements that lie under a more implicit spotlight in these runaway hits.

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