Sarah Nasif
Staff Writer

 

Over the years more crime shows have been airing on TV. People have become obsessed with crime shows for many reasons such as the adrenaline rush that is associated with them. Another reason is because crime shows are portrayed from a different point of view which makes most of them stand out from one another. There are over 30 American crime shows airing at the moment. While some have similarities, they also all have different stories that have their audience hooked.

Crime shows come in different forms, some are told from the perspective of the police and detectives, while others are told from the perspective of the criminals or lawbreakers. It is typical for the audience of any show to root for their favorite actors despite their role in the show. What this means is, the audience will sometimes root for a criminal if this is the character the actor is portraying. This situation has led to the question of, are crime shows making crime and breaking the law seem justifiable, or less serious if audiences are rooting for the show’s protagonist? In crime shows the question of who should the audience be rooting for has often been asked. When actors are portraying characters that are cops and aim to serve justice, prevent crimes and protect the community, then the audience is rooting for good people. But what about when the actors are portraying characters that commit crimes and break the law? Do these types of crime shows make it seem like committing crimes is justifiable?

When crime shows are told from the point of view of cops and looking into the situations or obstacles cops face when doing their jobs, the audience can sympathize with the cops and have more respect for them. An example of a show that describes what a cop’s life is like is Blue Bloods. This show gives an insight into the lives of law enforcement; it covers stories that involve police shootings in different aspects, whether the police were right to shoot or it was a mistake. It also sheds light on the struggles law enforcement faces every day, such as making the right judgment without hurting anybody. A show like this is important for the public to watch because it gives a better understanding of situations that are usually immediately judged by the public as wrongful actions such as shootings.

Police shootings are tragic events that should be avoided, but sometimes people forget that a police officer is also a human who needs to return home to his/her family safe. In certain circumstances during police shootings, a police officer will shoot because he/she was in fear of their life, and this is an important concept that the show conveys. Besides that, Blue Bloods also talks about how some people’s refusal to comply with cops makes it harder for a cop to do their job and makes him/her fear more for their life.

Mistakes happen and some cops will shoot without thinking thoroughly and ending someone’s life due to negligence. There are even situations when cops will end up shooting an unarmed person. These types of cops should definitely be held accountable for their actions and removed from their position; but it is important to acknowledge that we always blame the cops for shooting unarmed people, despite some of these people provoking cops to do so when they refuse to comply with police orders. In cases like this, it is not only the cop’s fault, as we as a community have a responsibility to comply with police when they are doing their jobs to protect us. It is true other actions could be taken, but it is also important to keep in mind that a police officer does not always know what they are about to deal with and need to take action in a matter of seconds. A crime show like Blue Bloods is beneficial to the public to watch because it gives an insight into how situations that can escalate in law enforcement and puts an officer’s life in jeopardy when he/she is attempting to protect the general public. Shows like Blue Bloods focuses on reminding the audience to look at situations from both sides.

However, other crime shows are also portrayed from a different angle which may lead the audience to sympathize with the wrongful side of the law. The show How to Get Away With Murder is about law school students who were implicated in a crime during their first year of law school. With the help of their law professor, Annalise Keating, who happens to be a defense attorney, they get away with multiple serious criminal offenses. How to Get Away with Murder started airing its 6th and final season on September 26th; this season forecasts that these law students will be caught up with their lies, and face the consequences, but it’s still unknown how this show will end. Would the audience’s love of the actors cloud their judgment towards criminals because they’re rooting for these characters to get away with their crimes and not get caught? Does the way the audience views these types of shows make shows like How to Get Away with Murder negatively affect society and help justify crimes?

Crime shows are like any other show, they portray the good people and they also show the bad guys. A crime show’s point of view from people breaking the law does not justify crime or lying to law enforcement, but they tell stories that happen in our world today. The audience rooting for their favorite characters despite them playing the villains does not mean that the audience is supportive of these crimes. What it means is the audiences’ love and loyalty to the actors and appreciation for them portraying a character in a fantastic way.

Personally, I am a huge crime show enthusiast, and I watch all types of crime shows that are portrayed from different angles of the criminal justice field. I appreciate how different crime shows are and how they are told in different forms. How to Get Away with Murder is one of my favorite shows, because of how great the actors are at portraying their feelings throughout the show. Just like other fans, every time they are about to get caught in their lies I hope they will get away with it. The reason behind this is not because I support the crimes they do, but because of my love for the characters and the suspense of the events in the show. While I absolutely love How To Get Away with Murder, I also am a huge fan of the show Law and Order SVU and Chicago P.D. In these shows the main characters are police officers and detectives who, with every episode, are tasked to solve a crime and shows a behind the scenes look into their daily work lives and seeing their struggles in their personal and professional lives. The audience is primed to root in favor of the main characters. Most fans, including myself, enjoy watching these shows because we know we get a happy ending at almost every episode when the villains are caught and prosecuted.