20 Years of Bad Boys: Writer's Strike Helped Launch Cops
OK, I admit it. I like Cops, where the "bad boys" (and girls) --and the really stupid boys and girls--come face to face with reality. Although not a fan of most "reality" shows (which are actually pretty well scripted), every now and then I just need some episodes of Cops, a cultural vitamin.
One great thing about the show: it portrays the actual lives of cops, and shows the dangers they face, the stresses, and the care and concern they show for the people they serve. Here's a transparency note: I'm a graduate of my town's Citizens Police Academy, and I do ride-alongs with the local force when I can.
I've been on drug surveillance, at a death scene, in high speed responses, and oh yea--arresting a violent, drunk guy with a repeat history who was screaming in the street and attacking cars. It took three officers to arrest him safely, without violence to anyone. Their patience was extraordinary.
Our suspect taught me new bits of profanity I didn't know existed as he yelled at the officer all the way to jail, accusing him of everything but sodomy with a goat (although that may have been in there somewhere). Meanwhile, I prayed "Oh God, don't let him hurl" as he pressed his face to the grill on the back seat, screaming and cursing.
Yea, we got him to jail without hurling. But the car stunk so bad of booze even after booking him that we had to ride with the windows open for awhile.
Cops is a look at alternate realities, created by people on drugs, alcohol, commiting crimes, or in some kind of distress, anchored to "normal reality" only by the procedures, calmness and professionalism of police. A good cop's effect goes far beyond each incident; a bad cop's betrayal is far-reaching.
As the current writer's strike drags on, time to take a look back to the birth of the reality TV show Cops. Creator/producer John Langley spent seven long, hard years trying to sell his concept, with no luck.
Then came the 1988 writer's strike, the rise of Fox News,a dearth of scripts, and the unscripted Cops was on the streets and into your home. With multiple Emmy nominations, Cops is the longest-running reality TV show in history.
Take a quick look at Cops history and highlights. Don't miss the guy with the pot cigarette tucked behind his ear telling cops that he doesn't smoke weed. Priceless!