Ken Levine reveals on his blog today the tired formula behind most of today’s procedural crime dramas. Here’s an excerpt:
[The hero] must have some supernatural power. He or she can read minds, has an amazing photographic memory, can remember every lunch he/she ever had, is a math whiz, or the most common – can see Fairy Tale characters.
But with this gift must come a curse. They must be tortured emotionally. They must have a dark past. Their wife/sibling/child/imaginary friend has been killed and they’re still haunted by it.
They’re only helping the police solve crimes as a way to better get in touch with resolving the unsolved circumstances of their dark past. The killer is still out there! But only week one and the season finale. Otherwise, it’s business as usual. Solving crimes and tossing off zingers…
For the rest, check out his blog.
4 thoughts on “The Tired Procedural”
Oh, corks. There goes my last 5 pitches.
I must have missed something along the way. I recognize every trait but the most common. Fairy tale characters?
A slew of “fairy tale” twists on the procedural are coming this season… GRIMM and ONCE UPON A TIME, to name two.
Everything you said is so damn true and in way so sad!
Why, as readers, do we seem to need this in a character? Why can’t the character just be good at what he does, work hard, have a nice family and isn’t tormented and still get the job done? I mean really isn’t that what real police officers and investigators are like? They aren’t super hero’s nor do they have super powers — they live and work much the same as the rest of us. I wonder if an author out there that is building their next super cop will let him shine on his real merit again one day? If so, will their book sell as well as the ones with the super duper hopped up robo cop?