Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Random TV Shows

I seem to have a television theme going through my last few posts. It is totally random, but I don’t have anything else to blog about right now, so here are a few observations about some shows I like.

NCIS and Criminal Minds are two of my favorites and I just started following a new one called Lie to Me. What they have in common is that all three involve law enforcement investigations. Like many similar TV shows, the plot takes viewers through twists and turns of one or more investigations during each episode. They often do a great job with surprise endings.

Criminal Minds and Lie to Me also utilize psychology and profiling as a main component of their story lines. That has always appealed to me. All three have their share of action too. Brains and brawn are a pretty good combination in drama.

Of the three, NCIS is probably my favorite. What sets that show apart is character development: you really start to care about the characters as if they were real people. Criminal Minds does that too and their episodes usually end with the voice of a character repeating a philosophical quote that had something to do with that story line. Lie to Me has less of that so far but the lead character is interesting and quirky.

Do shows like this last? Hard to tell. The average lifespan of a television series seems to be five to seven years. The original Law & Order, a former favorite, has or is about to set a record at twenty years. This is probably its last season but two of its spin-offs are still running and a brand new one just began this season, set in Los Angeles (the other three are in New York).

My prediction is that NCIS has about one or two seasons left; it is increasingly difficult to develop new story lines. Criminal Minds might have a few more years than that because they have done a better job of introducing new characters and new layers of personal complexity in existing characters. It is too early to tell about Lie to Me. They are doing a very slow reveal on the lead character. But that one is fun to watch.

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