Monday, February 2, 2009

COPS: does it crop crime culture?

It may be shocking to some people that COPS, the American documentary television series, is actually considered to be a reality television program; certainly, I, myself, had no idea that this is the case until very recently when I began my “journey” through finding some topics for my PWR research project. This is the one of the first television program that I began to watch when I first came to the United States about seven years ago; as I began to watch this television series, I began to understand a little bit better about the distinctive culture that I had no idea about before. Some scenes were quite shocking at the time, probably because, firstly, I was a bit young then and, more so because I began to see a new culture.

COPS is, of course, a documentary, or reality, television series that follows police officers during patrol; it depicts criminal scenes, most of which involve some types of violence, drugs, and violation of law. It has been running since March 11, 1989 and, therefore, there are about 700 episodes up-to-date. Apparently, it is one of the longest-running television programs in the United States and the second longest-running show in Fox; correspondingly, it won the American Television Award in 1993 and earned four Emmy nominations.

Some critics have argued that COPS and other crime reality television program actually crop a crime culture by depicting crime scenes in public television. I would like to qualify this statement during my PWR research; my goal is to stand on this side or the opposite side by the end of the quarter.

Yongwhan Lim

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