Crime drama is a genre that is hugely popular across the world and can been seen through CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000- present), The Wire (2002-2008) and Waking the Dead (2000- present). The different television genres, like a lot of other cultural forms, including literature and theatre has seen many writers, producers and viewers attracted to crime and deviance. There was a lot of backlash against the genre in the 1990’s as not a lot of people agreed with the depiction of crime and society on the television screen. Crime drama as a genre deals with social problems, which offers space for debates about the justice system, criminality, gender, race and social and cultural values that people struggle with today. The genre also gets the viewer involved in the storyline as that is the narratives main focus. Typically, there is a storyline per episode, but when talking about Waking the Dead there is a storyline every 2 part episode on a Sunday and Monday night. In this essay there will be a number of different characteristics of crime drama that will be discussed with detailed reference to three different series, to explore what the enduring appeal of the genre is.
One of the main elements of a crime drama’s narrative structure is the mystery involved in the storyline which keeps its viewers guessing. It has an engaging plot in every episode which is the main reason for such high ratings of these particular crime drama series. The Wire (2002) has the same element running throughout, but it is a continuous serie...
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...ect: Television, Crime and Governance UK: Rowan and Littlefield Publishers
Cagney & Lacey (United States, 1982)
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (United States, Canada, 2000)
Lane, P, J. (2001) “The Existential Condition of Television Crime Drama” Journal of Popular Culture Vol. 34. p 137.
The Wire (United States, 2002)
Turnbull, S. (2010) “Crime as Entertainment: The Case of TV Crime Drama” Journal of Media and Cultural Studies Vol. 24. (December) p. 819-827.
Waking the Dead (UK, 2000)
Cortez, D. (2006) Investigating CSI United States of America: BenBella Books Inc
Lavigne, C. (2009) “Death Wore Chiffon: Sex and Gender in CSI” Canadian Review of American Studies Vol. 39. p 383-398.
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