Through Criminal Minds: Police Procedural & Medical Crime Drama

A few days ago my friends and I decided to catch a film together on Skype (since you know, quarantine, social distancing *heh*) and we were trying to figure what film to watch. “Can we watch Lost Girls?” and immediately two of them: “Is that some kind of crime films again?”

Yes! I’ve always had this little burning fervour in me that sparks whenever there are any criminological-related topics mentioned, or films released, or cases discovered. I notice there is a lack of interest because  people would tend to neglect this genre within the cinematic world. Or sometimes there’s an absence of awareness in crime films that people do not even realise it is another form of portrayal for the crime fiction literary genre. Often, terms such as “thriller”, “mystery” or “action” come up first when describing a crime film, but in fact, crime films come in a broader sense, embedded with its own range of varieties and approaches!

Police Procedural

You’ve probably heard of NCIS or CSI or even Brooklyn Nine Nine. Yes, they all fall under the category. The shows have lived up to its title, Naval Criminal Investigative Service and Crime Scene Investigation, with a character-driven storyline including forensic entomologists, lab technicians, material analysts, DNA specialists. The sophistication of the involvement in a case investigation portrayed in these dramas is definitely a starter pack for someone who’s interested in criminology-related productions.   

Hulu captures exclusive streaming rights to every season of CSI ...
Taken from American TV series, Crime Scene Investigation (CSI)
(Source: The Verge)

Police procedural falls under the procedural and detective fiction that outline and put focus on the process of investigation. They come in a number of episodes, sometimes telling a complete story of one case, or they  could also have  different plots for every episode. Most of the time, a crime drama majorly involves a particular police officer, detective or a police department starring as the protagonists.

Third Watch

Taken from American TV Series, Third Watch
(Source: TV Tonight)

Set and filmed in New York City, the television series focuses on the lives of police officers of the NYC Police Department (NYPD) as well as the fire-fighters and paramedics of the NYC Fire Department (FCNY). The film name ‘third watch’ resembles the period between 3PM to 11PM, the working shift of the two departments in the show.

While the drama holds a six-season of an exhilarating ride, the show’s production on the September 11 attacks in the first episode of Season Three has gained itself some supplementary attention in which the series’ regulars brought in interviews with the NYPD and FDNY real life members who were directly involved in resolving  the attack on the World Trade Center. 

Taiyō ni Hoero!

Taken from Japanese TV series, Taiyō ni Hoero!
(Source: CD and LP)

Introducing one of the most popular and remarkable detective dramas in the Japanese television history, this show  is also the longest running prime-time detective TV series in Japan, airing from 1972 to 1986, summing up a total of 718 episodes. Taking place in a fictional police station, namely Nanamagari, an investigating team is established by a group of detectives to carry out various eventful jurisdictions. The Nanamagari detective squad are also often assigned to investigating tasks for cases that occur in different places across Japan, sometimes to prosecute fugitives, they would even go abroad to places like Canada, Australia, and Hawaii. 

Medical Crime Drama

There’s also an important element that comes beneath the police investigation drama – the medical aspect. The participation of medical knowledge is essentially required in a crime investigation as it helps provide evidence or traces of the crime scenes and the criminal’s particulars. The medical team might consist of several departments such as forensic experts, surgeons, cardiologists, human biology specialists, and psychiatrists. These people place a major piece to the investigating puzzle by providing legitimate reviews of the crime scene, forensic examinations, and the implementation of certain biological researches. 

Quiz of God

Taken from Korean TV series, Quiz of God
(Source: Filecast)

If you’re a K-Pop lover and at the same time interested in the field of medication and criminology, this is the drama that exists specifically just for you! I remember watching the Quiz of God in the living room with my mum when it first aired in 2010, and now the show has already achieved a five-season long airing time, not to mention that it was the first ever medical/forensic crime investigation drama to be produced in South Korea.

The most compelling part of the show would be the main lead, Han Jin-woo, a genius doctor in neurosurgery and forensic science. He teams up with a group of experts in conducting medical crime investigations, in which they’ve identified numerous rare diseases (such as phenylketonuria, Guillain–Barré syndrome, Savant syndrome, Fabry disease, and Kleine-Levin syndrome) in order to solve crime by understanding the criminal’s mind and body in a deeper sense.

Diagnosis: Murder

Taken from American TV series, Diagnosis: Murder
(Source: Fanpop)

Starring the legendary Dick Van Dyke (playing Dr. Mark Sloan) and his son Barry (playing Detective Steve Sloan), Diagnosis: Murder is definitely the best pick of crime drama where you can sit down to watch with your family on a Sunday night. The show is comprehensively embedded with action, comedies, mysterious elements, and even medical features.

With that, the storyline centres on Dr. Sloan, who’s a former United States Army doctor who works as a physician and consultant in the local police department, in which he often works hand in hand with Detective Sloan to solve crime mysteries. The show does cover a broad scope in the medical segment but it holds a good reference and has relevantly depicts its significance in the criminal sphere.

Written by Vicki Lai Yee Tong

Cover photo credits: Fanpop