However in this essay, I am going to analyse what is the enduring appeal of crime drama for a television audience through a close analysis of crime theory, the narrative as well as the gender of the crime drama genre. I will illustrate my analysis with three detailed examples of Oz (1997-2003), 24 (2001-2010) and The Bill (1983-2010).
Television has seen plenty of producers, writers and viewers attracted to crime and deviance. The crime drama series is not an unchanging structure but develops in an intricate relationship with audiences, media institutions, social contexts and other genres. Crime drama series’ structure often begins with some strains to the social order by criminal forces. Historically police officers or “cops” are good and the criminals are bad. However today we can notice “bent” cops and sometimes sympathetic villains.
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... Unit. The audience want to see criminals who are guilty of committing a crime being punished. Jan Van den Bulck (2004) did a research on the relationship between television fiction and fear or crime and stated that watching television increases fear of crime.
24, FOX; (6 November 2001)
Adalian, J. (2002) “PrimeTime Rate Rises” Variety Vol. 387, Issue 8, p. 17.
Law & Order, NBC; (13 September 1990)
Monk, USA Network; (12 July 2002)
Oz, HBO; (12 July 1997)
Straubhaar, J. Larose, R. Davenport, L (2009) Media Now: Understanding Media, Culture, and Technology Wadsworth: Cengage Learning
The Bill, ITV; (16 August 1983)
Van den Bulck, J. (2004) “Research note” the Relationship between Television Fiction and Fear of Crime” An Empirical Comparison of Three Casual Explanations” European Journal of Communication Vol. 19, Issue 2, p.239-248.
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