Friday, July 21, 2006

TV Murder is SOOO played out.

Most true crime books and television series based around police work generally take the holy trinity of crime(murder, rape, and drug-related offenses) as their bread and butter. Sure, if profiling is needed to catch a serial suspect, that can be interesting, but to me, the kind of crimes that I was always interested in were your frauds, embezzlements, big cons and large scale thefts that required massive planning and multiple people working different grifts to get a larger payoff in the end. I guess that's why I liked Prison Break, Penn and Teller, Alias and Ocean's Eleven so much... because I like seeing people working the con. You see, crimes where duplicity and scheming were the hallmark, not fatal gunshots and horrifying disfigurements are all I am about really.

I've always admired a good con, ever since I saw Harry Anderson's little games on Cheers as Harry the Hat.

I always wanted to see a show where a really exceptional conman who, in reflecting on his life and his past misdeeds,decides that he was going to help people by using his bag of tricks to toast some people who truly deserved it. Sort of like a Robin Hood meets the Equalizer/A-Team thing, and the short lived Eyes had a little bit of that.

And it was unfortunately that NBC just dropped Heist in the crossfire of American Idol and Lost, but it seems that CBS is giving us fans of this kind of crime another chance to see some good robbery action in Smith, the most non-descript title for a show about such an entertaining and high-profile premise.

Basically you have Ray Liotta planning one last heist so he can get out of the business(it is always one last heist of course), and he needs help from other pros to accomplish this task, played by actors such as Amy Smart, Angelina Jolie's former husband Jonny Lee Miller, Simon Evans and even Shohreh Aghdashloo who played Dina Araz on Season 4 of 24 may be joining the cast on a more permanent basis. And having a cast member of 24 will probably be a good thing, as this series will be very dark and gritty.

Of course, if it succeeds, then the new golden age of the television criminal will be upon us, and if it fails, well, then I will have one more reason not to love television.


TJ said...

Hrm. .. I'll have to check this out. Thanks for the heads up. I don't watch much television, but I do try to keep an eye out for good series. The problem is, its usually halfway through a season before I hear about how good a series is. . .

Katili said...

Ocean's Eleven is a great movie!

MC said...

TJ: Reading about it makes me think that it should have been on HBO or Showtime... and this does seem like a serial television show rather than an episodic one.

Katie: Indeed it is, indeed it is. One of the few remakes that I actually think took the material to new heights.

Noot said...

I'm with you entirely. Nine out of ten cop shows go like this:

1) murderdeathkill
2) catch bad guy by either profiling, gory forensics or beating up hoodlums
3) win trial

Gimme a nice, tricksey heist any time. I wonder if the CBC import Hustle will be any good?

MC said...

I remember a Dane Cook joke saying that men only wanted two things in life(and it isn't what you think):

A monkey and to take part in a Heist

snackiepoo said...

I was ticked about Heist. Like you, I love the con.....there are not enough of those kinds of shows.

MC said...

Well, I know you like the con Hil, after all, you were a fan of Eyes too.

I loved that one where Harlan conned that kidnapper into becoming a client of the firm so he could set him up to get his just desserts in the end.

And surprisingly, the Eyes Website is still up.

Karl said...

Yep, love a good con/heist. Love "Hustle." "Eyes" was a great show, too. Bastard TV execs. I wish it was like the old days when you put a show on for an entire season, no matter what. Make a freaking commitment, people.

MC said...

You would have thought Cheers, Seinfeld and Hill Street Blues would have taught execs those lessons eh. And considering this is the DVD age, seeing a show through to the end makes even more financial sense.

theothermichelle said...

I like the con/heists too. Forensics isn't bad either. Definitely with you on murder being played out.

Slightly OT: I watched Goodfellas on TV last week. They bleeped out all the swear words, but left in every scene where someone got killed. I guess it's okay to watch someone get shot in the head but hearing the F word...that's just going too far.

Oh yeah, Ocean's Eleven was awesome.

MC said...

Well, of course it is like that Michelle. With the new fines in place, for every reported swear word, it is possible that the station could get hit with a 375 thousand dollar fine.

But murder is okie-dokie because it won't cost the station money.