COPS: 20TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION
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"Cops: 20th Season," "Pilot," "Las Vegas Heat," "First Ten Seasons," "Second Ten Seasons"
THE SMURFS: SEASON ONE, VOLUME ONE
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"The Smurf's Apprentice/The Smurfette/Vanity Fare," "King Smurf/The Astrosmurf/Jokey's Medicine," "St. Smurf and the Dragon/Sorcerer Smurf," "The Smurfs and the Howlibird," "The Magical Meanie/Bewitched, Bothered and Besmurfed," "Smurf-Colored Glasses/Dreamy's Nightmare," "Fuzzle Trouble/Soup a la Smurf," "The Hundredth Smurf/Smurphony in 'C'"
by Ian Pugh Kevin Rubio's "COPS"-Star Wars mashup Troops is painfully predictable, but there's a little nugget of profundity in its twist on "COPS"' familiar narration: "Suspects are guilty, period--otherwise, they wouldn't be suspects, would they?" It's the most concise description and criticism of "COPS" one could muster, almost impossible to build on because it so handily defines the tacit agreement the show's producers have with its audience. I mentioned in my review of the parodic "Reno 911!" that Fox's long-running reality show is useless in any political debate about police conduct, and it is--but upon watching several hours' worth of the series in a new "20th Anniversary Edition" DVD set, I became more perturbed by how it attempts to forge an uncrossable distance between you and the suspect. "COPS" always poses itself as something completely external to the viewer: in the interests of entertainment, the vast, vast majority of scenarios involve idiots caught in the act or resisting arrest. You're therefore not only a rubbernecker looking for a visceral thrill--you also come to consider yourself exempt from police scrutiny because you don't break the law and certainly wouldn't do so as blatantly and stupidly as these criminals. It's the equivalent of the moron who has no problem with the government wiretapping his phone because he doesn't believe he does anything to warrant their attention.
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