4 Major Things That Crime TV Shows Get Wrong

Many of us love a good Netflix binge, and, for me, that usually means a crime drama binge. I started wondering, though, how accurate is the television portrayal of police officers or agents and their real-life day-to-day? As it turns out, not close at all. Here are four ways in which the TV does the justice system, well, an injustice.

  1. 1. It's not that sensational.

    TV shows are for entertainment. Criminal proceedings and investigations, however, follow a strict set of procedures backed by departments and laws. TV shows often sensationalize and over-dramatize aspects of police work just a little bit.

  2. 2. It's not that simple. 

    Many criminal investigations don’t simply wrap up with a neat little bow at the end of an hour. Many investigations take weeks, months, or even years - that is, if they are solved at all.

  3. 3. There's a TON of paperwork

    One element of police work that TV shows hardly emphasize is the monumental amount of paperwork. Pretty much anything that an officer does on duty requires some paperwork.

  4. 4. The day-to-day is pretty routine...and boring.

    The day-to-day of a typical police job involves a lot of paperwork and mundane office duties. On a typical police shift, an assault or shooting is the exception, not the norm.

Now, this isn’t all to say that policing is a boring job overall, it’s just not filled with action every second of every day, and is typically a lot more complicated than many crime TV shows let on. Most of what is portrayed on TV tends to be a bit over-dramatized, but don’t let that stop you from still binging 14 seasons of Criminal Minds... twice.