Image B- Sound B- Extras C
"Scavenger Hunt," "Homeland Security, Pt. 1," "Homeland Security, Pt. 2," "Reverend Gigg LeCarp," "Officer Smiley," "Reading Ron," "Rick from Citizen's Patrol"
by Ian Pugh As often as "COPS" is used to validate political arguments regarding the police (on one side as a constant reminder of heroism, on the other as a constant reminder of excessive force), the show is rather useless in serious discussion because it filters out the mundanities in a cop's line of work in favour of only the most titillating footage--which is exactly what's kept it on the air for twenty years. As appalling as it is that "COPS"' lowest-common-denominator brand of entertainment has integrated itself into pop culture, if it is truly "guilty" of anything, it's not that it has outright created a new generation of John Waynes and Harry Callahans (or William Kunstlers and Ron Kubys), it's that it pares down the idea of the police into something that's up for easy generalization. The attempt to throw them in a positive light is obvious, but it all depends on your own worldview: cops are either infallibly virtuous or infallibly corrupt.