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TV Shows/movies v. the real thing

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  • TV Shows/movies v. the real thing

    I hope this doesn't come off as a stupid question, but I was curious for some opinions from actual cops working in large cities (LA, Chicago, New York, etc.). How do the various police-related media compare to the real thing? I'm sure police work is pretty varied, but I'll just name a few movies and shows off the top of my head: The Shield, The Wire, Training Day, SWAT...

    Are there any movies or shows that seem like an accurate reflection of what you actually do? (There's Cops of course, though most episodes I've seen are in smaller towns and suburbs).

    Thanks

    EDIT: By the way, I'm not asking if cops are as shady as some of the main characters on The Shield...I'm curious if the portrayal of police work and the routine is pretty accurate.
    Last edited by chelovek; 04-28-2007, 09:28 PM.

  • #2
    yeah........Barney Miller...........
    retired, NOT retarded

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    • #3
      I watched the show High Incident was I was a kid. It was a short lived show about patrol cops in LA on ABC in the mid 90's. When I was first hired onto my first agency in the LA area, my first thought was "holy crap, this is just like high incident!" I wish they would put it out on DVD.

      My dad says Joseph Wambaugh's show from the 70's "police story" was very realistic for a cop show too. Though I've only seen a couple shows.

      Nothing else is realistic at all, save for maybe the wire (or so I've heard). CSI is the worst.
      Get low, get ground, get tactical! Sprawl! Sprawl! Sprawl!

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      • #4
        No. Nothing on TV is like real life. You know that.
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        • #5
          The Domestics on COPS are pretty spot on actually (ie-baby's daddy, 2X4's etc...).

          Other than that no, 90% of the job is actually "routine" in the sense that you do it every day (traffic stops, domestics, accidents, dui's etc...). All of the actors/actresses aren't as good looking as we are either .

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          • #6
            A lot of days go by with no "excitement" or car chases etc. Tv shows glorify somethings that are not very common or hardly ever done by most officers. How many people would watch a tv cop show where all you saw was the cop typing reports and trying to catch up on messages and such?
            "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything!"-Wyatt Earp

            "You never know when crazy will show up!"-Irishdep

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            • #7
              How often do you get an exciting call?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Freeze View Post
                How often do you get an exciting call?
                Not too often. You do get the calls that get your heart rate up before you get there, but I just used the term for the civilians that perceive some of the things we do as "exciting". Car chases, shootings, accidents etc. I don't consider them as exciting as much as much as I do dangerous.
                "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything!"-Wyatt Earp

                "You never know when crazy will show up!"-Irishdep

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by nobody33 View Post
                  I watched the show High Incident was I was a kid.
                  .

                  I saw the first season of this show. I believe it was the first episode when they did a DWI. When they did the HGN I knew this was going to be closer to real than most shows.
                  A Veteran is someone who at one point in their life wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America, for an amount up to, and including their life. That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country today, who no longer understand that fact!

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                  • #10
                    TV Shows

                    Police Story in the 1970s, when former LAPD Sgt, Joseph Wambaugh was in the creative loop. Great stories, great shows, pretty darned realistic. Lots of cops, me included, could relate to it.

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                    • #11
                      X2 for Barney Miller.

                      EDJ
                      "It's a game of cat and mouse. It's a game of hide and seek. Albeit games with deadly consequences. Like most games-the better you know the rules, the more likely you are to win."

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                      • #12
                        I still think "Hill Street Blues" was the best cop show ever. The characters were exaggerated, but every one represented someone I knew in real life, one way or another. They did a good job of showing how cops' personal and professional lives are inevitably blended.

                        I liked "High Incident," too, and wish it had gone on longer.

                        As for the worst cop show that wasn't intended as a comedy ("Reno 911," "Police Squad"), my vote goes to "T.J. Hooker." Police recruits that have to live at the academy despite working the street, a hottie female rookie working in her father's chain of command, and wearing a billowing skirt with her uniform while in the station, PR-24 batons that could be thrown like boomerangs and take down running suspects, and, best of all, a sergeant with hashmarks up to his elbow, who has apparently worked every job in the department, but is riding a patrol car and chasing the radio as an FTO. Whose special friend was THIS guy? And I won't even get into riding on the hoods of cars.
                        Tim Dees, now writing as a plain old forum member, his superpowers lost to an encounter with gold kryptonite.

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                        • #13
                          In real life there are no DO-OVERS. If you get shot, you can not say "hold it, lets do a re-take"
                          I got nothing for now

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                          • #14
                            Other than what was mentioned above, one of the biggest things to stand out with television and movies to me, is always tactics. I realize that these shows are for entertainment purposes only, but when you have a show that attempts to be true to life, and then you have guys running around like Charlie's Angles, it kind of ruins it. You know, the guys with the guns pointed up in the air and making overexaggerated movements with no concern for cover/concealment.

                            The other one I always see is during an armed standoff, it's made to sound as if the characters are chambering rounds. It may be me, but I think most LEO's have their weapons pre-chambered and at the ready.

                            Sorry, just a pet peeve of mine.

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                            • #15
                              I can't think of any t.v show or movie which has been real realistic, although I thought Third Watch wasn't bad. There are several shows I do like to watch though (CSI, Law and Order, Third Watch). I have several pet peeves about shows/movies, and my biggest is:

                              When the FBI/Cop/Deputy/Detective, male and female, holds the gun like they've never seen one before in their life. Or they clear a room or house with their gun in the air or pointed straight ahead. For gods sake, if you pay them $25,000 per episode or $2million per movie, spend a few bucks and send them to a class or a shooting range.

                              Plus, everyone confesses, cops shoot everyone and are back to work the next day and no one ever writes a report.

                              scrubb
                              “You sleep safe in your beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do you harm.”

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