Seriousness, Ordinariness, and ‘Actual Police Work’
The single most ubiquitous narrative pretext for television drama is, almost certainly, that of murder, and no matter how rare in the social world, the ‘serial killer’ is a favoured antagonist. This chapter argues that this derives from a rhetorical investment in crime seriousness, as demonstrated by the first series of True Detective (2014–). Although prevalent, it is a model that may yet be challenged through an emphasis on ‘actual police work,’ and this essay will consider in contrast two British series which demonstrate alternative perspectives on crime and society: Suspects (2014–), which invests in actuality, and Cuffs (2015) which stakes a claim to ordinariness.
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