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Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Trope

This is one trope that I thought I would not get tired of, but right now I'm afraid it might be wearing thin for me, after seeing the thousandth police detective/inspector/lawyer/other kinds of crime solver with a completely screwed up life. He works too much. He has an addiction (drinking, gambling, sex, drugs). He is self destructive. He alienates family and friends around him. He has a boatload of psychological baggage and/or memories of trauma. Solving crime is the only escape and redemption ...

I have read and seen so many of them. From Kurt Wallander to Harry Hole to Clive Owen in Second Sight to Jane Tennyson in Prime Suspect. Lydia Chin might be a well-balanced young woman but she is plagued by an unrequited pining for her hopelessly dysfunctional partner Bill Smith. My God there are so many of them. I just finished the Australian series Rake. It's pretty well written, but almost entirely focused on the lead character's self-created problems. 

The only detectives with a happy family are Maigret and Ray Curtis in Law and Order --- Wait, even Curtis had a brief moment of crisis brought on by his excessively gorgeous looks. But at least he reconciled with his wife. 

Ah, right now I appreciate Law and Order so much for keeping the recurrent characters' personal lives complete off screen! So what if Jack McCoy has no time to date any woman outside of the DA's office. I don't care! I don't want to hear about it! Thank you. 

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