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  • monologum interruptus

    Many, many moons ago, there was this lovely but preachy show about a coroner on the cutting edge of forensic science. In the midst of determining that yet another suspicious death was in fact a murder, he'd monologue a bit, explaining the whyfors and the whatnots as well as occasionally making us all feel bad for generally not being better people.

    During the next two decades, multi-lead formats were developed for dramas and the monologue/diatribe took a back seat to edgy dramatics. At least, until Homicide, Life On The Street. It was a multi-lead drama that where the detective pairs would sound off ideas with each other in order to solve the crime. This was an excellent plot device, and was utilized to the best effect on this show.

    Crossing Jordan expanded on that as Jordan, a coroner, would reenact the suspicous death with her retired-detective dad. Later, CJ expanded again to include other members of the cast in her reenactments and soundings. Because the others were coroners or a very high-strung but not clever FBI agent, it didn't work as well. That did not deter writers on that show or in the future.

    The current crop of dramas has strongly suggested that the monologue requires the services of a coroner, too.

    I enjoy watching dramas, especially when they are not so formulaic. Numb3rs is an excellent choice for me because it blends geeks and detectives. I also enjoy Criminal Minds, mostly because of the excellent cast and gripping plots, but because it's far enough from the CSIs and Law&Orders to be unique. House is formulaic, but not of other shows, only of itself. But they all have the same drawback, and it's one that has gradually grown into a serious peeve with me.

    None of the characters in any of the new crop of dramas seems to get to finish an explanation all by themselves. One will start explaining something, and within a sentence or two a colleague will butt in with the next one or two sentences, and then another will butt in, and so on until the situation has been explained. Oh, and they all seem really pleased that the others chimed in. The thing is, generally, the characters are speaking to each other and they are all experts in the same field. The explanations are obviously for the audience, but bouncing from one to another is downright annoying.

    Please, will someone cast a Resurrection spell on the monologue?


    keith said...

    I am guessing that the show mentioned in the opening statement was a show back in the late 70's possibly the early 80's called Quincy. Yes it was a great show back in the day. The day where video games were much simpler, had only one button and very pixelated.
    So bring back Quincy and the Atari 2600. Long live SPACE INVADERS!!!

    Soo Mi said...

    I'll see your Space Invaders and raise you one Asteroids!