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Thread: Too much detail in crime drama TV shows?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Animedude5555 is infamous around these parts Animedude5555 is infamous around these parts Animedude5555 is infamous around these parts Animedude5555 is infamous around these parts Animedude5555 is infamous around these parts Animedude5555 is infamous around these parts Animedude5555 is infamous around these parts Animedude5555 is infamous around these parts Animedude5555 is infamous around these parts Animedude5555 is infamous around these parts Animedude5555 is infamous around these parts Animedude5555's Avatar
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    Default Too much detail in crime drama TV shows?

    I've always wondered how they draw the line in shows like Law & Order, and CSI, how they decide how much detail to put into describing/depicting the crime in a given episode.

    I know for example that a crime drama book called Hit Man, went into SO MUCH detail describing how the bad guy made and used his weapons, silencer, etc that it almost was like a crime instruction manual, and some criminal used it for exactly that. They followed the details in the book to actually murder someone, after which the book company was sued by the family of the murder victim, and so was forced to pull all the copies of the book from store shelves, and ceased any future publication of this book. It's often considered a "banned book" though technically it didn't violate any actual law (it didn't actually order someone to commit a crime, nor did it issue a threat against anybody, nor did it contain illegal material like CP).

    This makes me wonder, how much detail TV crime dramas are actually allowed to go into, when describing/depicting any given crime. If it's too much detail they run the risk of a criminal using the info (and therefore getting sued, or in a worst case scenario actually being criminally charged with "aiding and abetting" the commission of a crime). Using too little detail may result in viewers finding the show uninteresting, and thus a loss of ratings and profit for the show's producer and the TV station airing the show. I don't think there's any law that explicitly states what can and cannot be described or depicted in such a show. So what I'm wondering is where to show producers "draw the line" regarding this issue, and how do they decide where to draw it?
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    Default Re: Too much detail in crime drama TV shows?

    Even if all these crime drama shows show little. You still get to learn how to kill someone and dispose the body and get away with it. Even if the criminals get caught, You learn to correct their errors.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Too much detail in crime drama TV shows?

    Quote Originally Posted by KyouFalls View Post
    Even if all these crime drama shows show little. You still get to learn how to kill someone and dispose the body and get away with it. Even if the criminals get caught, You learn to correct their errors.
    Good point. Do you think it is irresponsible for companies to make such shows?
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    Default Re: Too much detail in crime drama TV shows?

    It's not rocket science to kill and dispose of someone. You could never have seen a crime scene show and still figure out how to kill and dump a body in the woods. It's the not getting caught part thats tricky.


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    Default Re: Too much detail in crime drama TV shows?

    What moral or ethical obligations (if any) do you think that a writer of a crime drama show had? Do you think that they should post the least amount of detail about the crime as possible? Should they be held civilly or criminally liable under the law if someone becomes the victim of a crime that was committed by a criminal using tactics (used by the criminal, who likely had seen that show) which were similar to what was in an actual episode of a show? If so, how far should this liability extend? Should it cover kids action shows like Power Rangers, if a kid tries a stunt seen in the show, and ends up injuring or killing himself/herself or someone else when the kid's attempt to perform the stunt fails? Should the makers of GTA (or other similar games) be held responsible under the law, of someone rehearses and practices a crime they plan to commit for real, by first simulating the events in the game?
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    Default Re: Too much detail in crime drama TV shows?

    I hate Cop Shows ... such self-righteous and sanctimonious Law Enforcement Jerks and Lawyers are such Douchebags.


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    Default Re: Too much detail in crime drama TV shows?

    Quote Originally Posted by Animedude5555 View Post
    I've always wondered how they draw the line in shows like Law & Order, and CSI, how they decide how much detail to put into describing/depicting the crime in a given episode.

    I know for example that a crime drama book called Hit Man, went into SO MUCH detail describing how the bad guy made and used his weapons, silencer, etc that it almost was like a crime instruction manual, and some criminal used it for exactly that. They followed the details in the book to actually murder someone, after which the book company was sued by the family of the murder victim, and so was forced to pull all the copies of the book from store shelves, and ceased any future publication of this book. It's often considered a "banned book" though technically it didn't violate any actual law (it didn't actually order someone to commit a crime, nor did it issue a threat against anybody, nor did it contain illegal material like CP).

    This makes me wonder, how much detail TV crime dramas are actually allowed to go into, when describing/depicting any given crime. If it's too much detail they run the risk of a criminal using the info (and therefore getting sued, or in a worst case scenario actually being criminally charged with "aiding and abetting" the commission of a crime). Using too little detail may result in viewers finding the show uninteresting, and thus a loss of ratings and profit for the show's producer and the TV station airing the show. I don't think there's any law that explicitly states what can and cannot be described or depicted in such a show. So what I'm wondering is where to show producers "draw the line" regarding this issue, and how do they decide where to draw it?
    What you fail to incorporate into your criticism is the fact that more often than not, the writers are embellishing reality. Both in regards to the forensic capabilities of law enforcement, and the plausibility of the methods used by the criminals.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Too much detail in crime drama TV shows?

    Not enough detail. I want to see elaborate plots and see/hear of bones being ripped from sinew. I want to see a more real representation of the human body and crimes that you don't hear about everyday on the news.


    The courts are the ones to blame for lawsuits. Someone shouldn't be able to win a case because something is detailed in a book. The person could just as easilt google the information. For example, I know how to make a one use suppressor out of a baby bottle nipple. CNN did a report on the Boston Bomber detailing exactly how the bombs were made. You can't blame a tragedy on an authors creativity.
    Last edited by ZombieWolf2508; 07-21-2013 at 06:47 PM.
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    Default Re: Too much detail in crime drama TV shows?

    Quote Originally Posted by Animedude5555 View Post
    What moral or ethical obligations (if any) do you think that a writer of a crime drama show had?
    If the show is designed to look serious and be reflective of society then they have the obligation of showing the murder in as realistic a way as possible with an unflinching look at it's effect on both criminal, victim and victims extended family and peer group. Whitewashing something as heinous as murder is quite simply irresponsible as it lessens the crime.
    Comedies and the like that are made purposefully unrealistic are obviously not expected to be held to this standard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Animedude5555 View Post
    Do you think that they should post the least amount of detail about the crime as possible?
    They should post whatever serves the plot and character development. Criminals can find out these details without the show.

    Quote Originally Posted by Animedude5555 View Post
    Should they be held civilly or criminally liable under the law if someone becomes the victim of a crime that was committed by a criminal using tactics (used by the criminal, who likely had seen that show) which were similar to what was in an actual episode of a show? If so, how far should this liability extend?
    No. That's ridiculous. The only person responsible for murder is the murderer. I refuse to allow a murderer to scapegoat a TV show for his actions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Animedude5555 View Post
    Should it cover kids action shows like Power Rangers, if a kid tries a stunt seen in the show, and ends up injuring or killing himself/herself or someone else when the kid's attempt to perform the stunt fails?
    TV shows involving martial arts or stunts should include a warning (as they all do now) about the nature of the stunts. A percentage of kids will always injure or kill themselves doing dumb things, with or without the shows.

    Quote Originally Posted by Animedude5555 View Post
    Should the makers of GTA (or other similar games) be held responsible under the law, of someone rehearses and practices a crime they plan to commit for real, by first simulating the events in the game?
    No.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Too much detail in crime drama TV shows?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rylingo View Post
    TV shows involving martial arts or stunts should include a warning (as they all do now)...
    I've seen some episodes of recent Power Rangers series like PR:Samurai and Super Samurai. And I don't see a message either at the beginning or ending of any episode that contains any warning about not trying to do dangerous stunts, even though the show is filled with dangerous stunts, and is aimed at kids of an age who are likely to attempt to imitate what they see in shows that they like or think are look "cool".
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Too much detail in crime drama TV shows?

    Quote Originally Posted by Animedude5555 View Post
    I've seen some episodes of recent Power Rangers series like PR:Samurai and Super Samurai. And I don't see a message either at the beginning or ending of any episode that contains any warning about not trying to do dangerous stunts, even though the show is filled with dangerous stunts, and is aimed at kids of an age who are likely to attempt to imitate what they see in shows that they like or think are look "cool".


    What the hell kind of dangerous stunta and martial arts are present in Power Ranger? It's just a bunch of idiots flailing about like kids do when they play fight anyway. No one cares about warning anyway. All that the warnin is there for is to prevent lawsuits. Kids will still try it if they want to. I can't count how many times I watched WWE and beat the crap out of my stuffed animals. All the dangerous stuff I did was the product of my own mind, not some television influence. If someone commits a crime, it's their fault. Not the fault of TV, books, or games. If I had a kid and they got hurt replicating something on tv, I'd tell them to vet over it because it's there fault for being stupid enough to try it. I'd make sure they were okay, but I wouldn't baby them and blame the tv. Blaming television and other entertainment is just pathetic.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Too much detail in crime drama TV shows?

    Quote Originally Posted by Animedude5555 View Post
    I've seen some episodes of recent Power Rangers series like PR:Samurai and Super Samurai. And I don't see a message either at the beginning or ending of any episode that contains any warning about not trying to do dangerous stunts, even though the show is filled with dangerous stunts, and is aimed at kids of an age who are likely to attempt to imitate what they see in shows that they like or think are look "cool".
    Really? Must be a UK only thing then. Any show like Power Rangers has a warning.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Too much detail in crime drama TV shows?

    But if they don't go into detail about the crime and how the good guys figure it out, how will I...

    A) Learn to commit the prefect murder and get away with it?
    B) Solve the murder of someone else and become a world renown detective?
    C) Fully immerse myself into the crime world to write my own murder mystery?
    D) Get knowledgeable to cosplay as Gil Grissom, from CSI?
    E) All of the above.
    Last edited by DeathBlade/13.666; 07-22-2013 at 03:32 PM.
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    Default Re: Too much detail in crime drama TV shows?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rylingo View Post
    Really? Must be a UK only thing then. Any show like Power Rangers has a warning.
    Nope, I remember on the original (aka the best) Power Rangers series there were warnings that the stunts were performed by trained professional actors and should not be imitated or repeated at home. Now, I can't remember if this warning was aired before or after the episode, but they were.

    ... Not that it stopped any of us from fighting over who was going to be Jason when we went running down the street with our toys.
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    Default Re: Too much detail in crime drama TV shows?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranshiin View Post
    Nope, I remember on the original (aka the best) Power Rangers series there were warnings that the stunts were performed by trained professional actors and should not be imitated or repeated at home. Now, I can't remember if this warning was aired before or after the episode, but they were.

    ... Not that it stopped any of us from fighting over who was going to be Jason when we went running down the street with our toys.
    That was called "a message from the power rangers". It only was used on the original Mighty Morphin series. Also it was only aired on few episodes. But neither it, nor any other similar warning, was used in any other Power Rangers series nor in any other live action kids superhero show (VR Troopers, Masked Rider, Big Bad Beetle Borgs, etc).
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Too much detail in crime drama TV shows?

    Quote Originally Posted by Animedude5555 View Post
    That was called "a message from the power rangers". It only was used on the original Mighty Morphin series. Also it was only aired on few episodes. But neither it, nor any other similar warning, was used in any other Power Rangers series nor in any other live action kids superhero show (VR Troopers, Masked Rider, Big Bad Beetle Borgs, etc).
    Why does a message matter? What kid actualpy reads those?
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    Default Re: Too much detail in crime drama TV shows?

    Doesn't Fight Club (the book) begin with a detailed plan on how they made the explosives?

    I don't think there should really be any censoring of any kind of details because most people wouldn't be smart enough to pull it off. Like those robbers that burned themselves after trying to make explosives with etch n sketch powder like in the Breaking Bad episode.
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    Default Re: Too much detail in crime drama TV shows?

    Organize crime already knows all the tricks. It doesn't really matter though, because even if you know the tricks you still have to have the tactical mind to know when to use them and pull them off.

    If you consider the show Burn Notice... just about everything he does involves a lot of risk and all the dice seem to land on the right place. Even the most skilled person is going to be caught by episode 4 assuming they have slightly above average luck.

    Also, cops learn a lot too. Like how to stalk IRC for pedophiles and cyber criminals and also zoom enhance zoom enhance, zoom enhance zoom enhance, zoom enhance zoom enhance, zoom enhance zoom enhance.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Too much detail in crime drama TV shows?

    It doesn't really teach you how to get away with it.

    I guess if you really wanted to get away with it you need to commit the crime against a stranger you have no connection too and in an area with an underfunded/staffed police department.

    Even then you'll probably make a mistake just because it would be your first time.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Too much detail in crime drama TV shows?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wio View Post
    Organize crime already knows all the tricks. It doesn't really matter though, because even if you know the tricks you still have to have the tactical mind to know when to use them and pull them off.

    If you consider the show Burn Notice... just about everything he does involves a lot of risk and all the dice seem to land on the right place. Even the most skilled person is going to be caught by episode 4 assuming they have slightly above average luck.

    Also, cops learn a lot too. Like how to stalk IRC for pedophiles and cyber criminals and also zoom enhance zoom enhance, zoom enhance zoom enhance, zoom enhance zoom enhance, zoom enhance zoom enhance.
    That zoom enhancing stuff on the TV shows is impossible. An image is composed of the data in the pixels as you see them on the screen. When you enlarge an image, all you do is spread the pixels out on the screen, and then to fill in the gaps between pixels an interpolation algorithm is used. This can be as simple as repeating the reference pixel or it can be linear interpolation (using a brightness gradient between pixels), or involve more advanced algorithms to reduce the amount of lost image quality. However what no interpolation can do is actually "know" what should be between any two pixels. The pixels you've got in the picture are the data from the camera, nothing more. You can try to GUESS what should be between the pixels, but there's no way of actually getting that data, short of taking the photo again but more zoomed in the next time.

    The image enhancer software in these crime dramas literally "knows" what should be between the pixels, and can generate a zoomed in image of the same quality that in REAL LIFE would require retaking the photo after zooming in with the telephoto lens of a camera, by what seems like magically pulling the new and completely correct pixel data out of thin air. In real life, this is 100% impossible.
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Too much detail in crime drama TV shows?

    Quote Originally Posted by Animedude5555 View Post
    That zoom enhancing stuff on the TV shows is impossible. An image is composed of the data in the pixels as you see them on the screen. When you enlarge an image, all you do is spread the pixels out on the screen, and then to fill in the gaps between pixels an interpolation algorithm is used. This can be as simple as repeating the reference pixel or it can be linear interpolation (using a brightness gradient between pixels), or involve more advanced algorithms to reduce the amount of lost image quality. However what no interpolation can do is actually "know" what should be between any two pixels. The pixels you've got in the picture are the data from the camera, nothing more. You can try to GUESS what should be between the pixels, but there's no way of actually getting that data, short of taking the photo again but more zoomed in the next time.

    The image enhancer software in these crime dramas literally "knows" what should be between the pixels, and can generate a zoomed in image of the same quality that in REAL LIFE would require retaking the photo after zooming in with the telephoto lens of a camera, by what seems like magically pulling the new and completely correct pixel data out of thin air. In real life, this is 100% impossible.

    No it isn't. My phone does it constantly. It can't be done with the accuracy that television has, but it's entirely possible. As the image become bigger, smaller pixels fill in different areas and textures. The smaller pixels provide more detail and make the image clearer. It's difficult to explain,but it is possible.
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