Monday, June 4, 2012

It's a Fair Cop

A Brief Guide to British TV Detective Shows

The detective will be moody, irascible, and/or conflicted over family issues.

The detective’s boss will be a paper-pushing dolt.

At some point the paper-pushing dolt will take the moody, irascible, and/or conflicted-over-family-issues detective off the case.

All houses and flats in Britain seem to be furnished with a mail flap in the front door whose purpose is not to receive mail (the victims never get any) but (a) to allow villains to pour petrol through it and set fire to the house or flat or (b) to allow some nosy person to peer into the dwelling and discover a body in the hallway.

If the house or flat is not burned down or has no body inside but needs to be investigated, a spare key will be found (for a house) underneath a flowerpot to the left of the door or (for a flat) on the lintel above the door. Amazingly, no thief ever has figured this out.

If the detective decides that the key to the case is locked in someone’s computer, the detective will secretly access the machine and on the fifth try will successfully guess the owner’s password.

If the location of the action is either Scotland or Yorkshire, no subtitles will be available.

Note: None of the above holds true for Agatha Christie stories. Instead, substitute lots of drinking of tea (for the Miss Marples) or tisanes (for the Hercule Poirots).  


Bonus Mini-Guide to Danish TV Detective Stories:

At some point everybody will have been thrown into jail.