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  1. #1
    BEB
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    'Cops' entering its 20th season

    'Cops' entering its 20th season
    http://www.philly.com/dailynews/feat...th_season.html

    When discussing his series, "Cops" mastermind John Langley can't help mentioning a few of its 700-plus episodes.

    Like the one where an overweight woman lunged at an officer with a butcher knife. "She falls down and the knife goes all the way in her gut! I mean, to the hilt! And she lived!" He's clearly still amazed.

    "And then we had the naked burglar in Philadelphia. The cops answer the call, and the guy's on PCP, which for some reason makes people take their clothes off. It takes about seven cops to subdue him.

    "Then, a year or two later in Pittsburgh, the same thing: a naked burglar coming out of a school." Langley chuckled. "Ver-r-ry bizarre."

    Not every episode of "Cops" is ver-r-ry bizarre. Even so, the prospect of seeing something unexpected, unhinged or simply true-to-life has kept viewers - more than 6 million on average last season - tuning to "Cops" each Saturday since March 1989. (Two half-hours air back-to-back on Fox at 8 p.m.)

    But you don't have to watch "Cops" to have felt its cultural impact. Countless scripted and reality series have borrowed its "video verite" storytelling style.

    It also inspired the Comedy Central spoof "Reno 911," and its reggae-flavored theme song ("Bad boys, bad boys") was memorably borrowed by "The Simpsons."

    "Cops" is an institution, however unlikely. And lodged off the beaten path on TV's least-watched night. Which suits Langley fine.

    "Each new Fox exec comes in and has a lot of other issues to take care of every other night," Langley said. "Then he gets to Saturday and goes, 'Oh, we got "Cops," let's just leave that alone.' So we're very happy, just plugging along."

    Come fall, "Cops" will be plugging along for its 20th season, its nimble camera crews (10 of them) continuing to patrol the nation gathering 400 hours of footage per week to whittle into each episode.

    It was in the early 1980s that Langley, an academic-turned-documentary filmmaker, had the idea for "Cops." He envisioned a no-frills cinematic ride-along with police.

    But when he pitched it to the networks, he couldn't get arrested.

    "Nobody thought you could do a series without a host, without a narrator, without a script or without actors," explained Langley. "I kept insisting, and they kept saying no, until finally there was a writer's strike in 1988, and there was about to be an actor's strike in sympathy. Suddenly a show with no actors, host, script or writers sounded pretty good."

    Especially to Fox. And when "Cops" premiered on the struggling new network, it made a splash. "It had a big 'wow factor,' " Langley recalled. " 'Documentary in extremis' . . . 'existential variety show' . . . things that people weren't used to seeing."

    It also seemed to put cops in a highly favorable light.

    "It's told from the point of view of police officers," said Morgan Langley, John's 33-year-old son and vice president of his production company. "Because of that, people assume that the show has a very pro-law-enforcement message."

    "But we're not editorializing about what we show you," the 64-year-old John Langley cautioned. "We don't say it's THE truth, but we're saying it's certainly A truth."

    And no one is playing to the camera, he said. "When a cop is chasing a guy in a stolen car, the viewer can say, 'Well, the camera's there, it must really alter things because of the Heisenberg Principle of Uncertainty.' " Langley laughed. "That's a crock! They don't know the camera's even there - trust me!"

    "I think 'Cops' has a purity that scripted shows and 'managed reality' shows don't have," said his son. "You're not getting kids drunk and telling them to live together." *

  2. #2
    phoenixrose's Avatar
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    It's a good show...I usually watch it. I like seeing the actual officers, hearing their coments and thoughts, and seeing how they handle situations. Because of the writing I do, I've found that very helpful. Sort of like a ride-a-long from your recliner...sort of.
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  3. #3
    phantasm is offline Corporal
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    I can't watch it before I go to work, especially the ones with the resisting perps.

  4. #4
    Ianl6's Avatar
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    It is a good programe just to see how dumb some of these criminals can be.
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  5. #5
    Illiy is offline Corporal
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    You know, I think I have been watching it almost as long as it has been on....

    Its funny the ones he quoted, I remember....

  6. #6
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    One of my favorte episodes from back in the early nineties. I think it was Philly, and they were going to some kind of in progress call. It was a two man car, and the passenger yanks the shotgun out of the mount, racks it IN THE CAR, and yells "Get on it, Mel!"

    "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970

    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "121Traffic" on O/R.

  7. #7
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    There is a certain episode...featuring a certain agency....

    They arrest a guy with cocaine, but the evidence spills on the trunk as they are sorting it out. As the deputy is scraping it back up with a credit card, he comments "This might not look so good!"
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

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  8. #8
    10-42Adam's Avatar
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    "Cops" is great entertainment, I love it!

    One of the most funny clips to me is when two Officers are responding to a call with full lights and sirens, but the siren cuts out for some reason. The passenger decided to turn on the P.A. system with the radio and starts imitating the siren with his voice! It was great!
    Calm Like A Bomb...

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10-42Adam View Post
    "Cops" is great entertainment, I love it!

    One of the most funny clips to me is when two Officers are responding to a call with full lights and sirens, but the siren cuts out for some reason. The passenger decided to turn on the P.A. system with the radio and starts imitating the siren with his voice! It was great!
    You sure you wern't watching one of the police acadamy movies
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  10. #10
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    If nothing else, it shows people what it is really like out there to some extent. They don't cover the less dramatic calls and traffic stops, which is kinda misleading sometimes...not always flying from hot call to hot call.

  11. #11
    SaraJ is offline Banned
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    We can't get it here in Mexico but I've seen some clips and I love it. I don't think the general public is ready for the boring stuff officers do, like traffic stops, writing reports, meeting other officers in parking lots at 3:00 in the morning and talking because there's nothing else to do, etc. If you want that you can go to "Life on the Beat". This guy's a cop and he writes "Last Night's Shift" where he does talk about all those things and a lot of other stuff, like how he feels about things, his views and such. It really gives non-LEOs a feel for the job.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaraJ View Post
    I don't think the general public is ready for the boring stuff officers do, like traffic stops, writing reports, meeting other officers in parking lots at 3:00 in the morning and talking because there's nothing else to do, etc.
    I wouldn't call any of those "boring."


    Report writing is VITAL, and one of the most important things we do.

    Traffic stops always present a certain level of risk.

    And meeting with other officers give us an outlet to relieve stress, and build comraderie.

    Also, there's never "nothing else to do". You could work in a town of 25 residents, and you can always be doing something.

    And yes, it's a good show. First thing that comes to mind is the episode where they responded to a residential structure fire (Kansas City maybe?) and the officer with the camera crew broke out like....6 panes on the front window of the wrong house.

    Or the episode in....I think Minneapolis when two squads TC'ed going to the same call.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmur5074 View Post
    I wouldn't call any of those "boring."


    Report writing is VITAL, and one of the most important things we do.
    Vital or not... the day that there is a 10 minute segment on COPS of an officer writing a stolen property report for a shoplift... is probably going to be the day I stop watching COPS.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmur5074 View Post
    And yes, it's a good show. First thing that comes to mind is the episode where they responded to a residential structure fire (Kansas City maybe?) and the officer with the camera crew broke out like....6 panes on the front window of the wrong house.
    I remember that one! I actually do watch it before work on Saturday night...It helps me relax

  15. #15
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    I have watched the show since it started and still love it. I find that I watch it for the sheer entertainment value and not as a training tool.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmur5074 View Post
    And yes, it's a good show. First thing that comes to mind is the episode where they responded to a residential structure fire (Kansas City maybe?) and the officer with the camera crew broke out like....6 panes on the front window of the wrong house.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9734Wn56i4A


    here is that video!
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  17. #17
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BxnXnPOfZ0


    Who can forget this lovely young lady.
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    Capt. Ocativo "OX" Gonzalez
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    Always remember that a casket is hotter than your vest.

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BEB View Post
    "But we're not editorializing about what we show you," the 64-year-old John Langley cautioned.

    And no one is playing to the camera, he said.

    "They don't know the camera's even there - trust me!"
    Sorry, I have to call bullshit on the above statements. I like Cops just as much as the next LEO, but anyone who is familiar with the show, and what happens when they come to your agency knows this is bullshit.

  19. #19
    SaraJ is offline Banned
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    Yeah. Agreed. How can a cop do his job when he's got a videocam hanging over his shoulder? If I say this, they might think that. If I do it this way they might think that. It seems to me that it would be a little dangerous too. I mean, not being focused, being distracted. As exciting as it is for the audience, I don't think the camera crew should be allowed around dangerous or possibly dangerous situations. It could get a cop hurt.

  20. #20
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    Best show on TV. Wish I had time to watch it more often. Reruns are all I get. They're new to me.
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