Cops, Courts and Correction
While TV shows are meant for entertainment as opposed to information, a majority of viewers align their concepts of reality to the versions and ideologies portrayed by the players on screen. This development results in a skewed notion of the criminal justice system, the security of the nation and prevailing crime rates as well as the notions of lives of police officers while portraying little truths. Among the most common shows that portray the criminal justice system are the crime shows such as NCSI. Their entertaining plots a, storybook endings and heroic themes have in my opinion more harmful than helpful result to the legal system.
As mentioned before, the objective of these shows is the entertainment of the viewer. With this goal in hand, a crime show had the prerogative of ensuring the portrayal of as much crime as possible, in the most unimaginable ways. While this seems a little out of hand, a crime show with rudimentary offenses would be like a medical drama without the extraordinary surgical exploits that rescue patients from certain death. However, in a bid to rid their show of poor ratings, the developers provide the notion of a country prone to homicidal tendencies, due to the depiction of gruesome murders that require the wit of exceptional detectives. Besides its impact on personal resolve on crime, these depictions are a distortion of the police officer’s daily routine. By requiring the lead role to solve a murder case in each episode, the actual representation of an agent’s life is undoubtedly represented.
Besides the inaccurate depiction of the lawman, these forty-minute TV sequences have in their conclusion the consistent rhetoric of usually solving the case and a convicting felon. While this notion would be frantically welcome by the public, especially by the victim’s next of kin, it lacks a foundational basis in the real world where the rates of crime resolution are resoundingly dismal. This notion that all crimes are solved is another aspect that in my opinion is a distortion of the Criminal Justice system. However, despite its lack of honesty, this farce provides a significant boost to the system by fostering confidence in it. Due to the hope and optimism such conclusions instill in viewers, the overall result are the beneficiaries who have faith in the capability and infallibility of the Criminal Justice system. Such confidence is important in ensuring the prevention of revenge attacks, as victims prefer to allow a legal system they trust to take its course.
In addition to the development of civilian confidence, these TV shows provide an aura of respect for the men in blue. In the NCIS, the dedication of the federal agents in Leroy’s unit towards resolution of the crime is outstanding. Despite their gender, social and authority issues, each officer is dedicated to their duty in ensuring the offender is brought to book. However, in matters of correction and the race of the offenders, while traditional shows had the black prominently playing the offender and the white victim, NCIS has the white race as both victim and offender. While this departure may be an attempt at striking balance, it is still a distortion. Therefore, despite subtle merits to the Justice system from these shows, the overall effect of a distorted message is a distorted response.