All crime dramas that aren’t gritty or depressing are to be dropped from television stations as of this week.
Shows like Inspector Morse, Frost and Midsomer Murders will remain a thing of the past as their quaint, likeable protagonists do not fit well with the modern idea of what a crime drama should be.
Patricia Fairenough from the Institute of Television Studies explains: “Crime dramas were once a Sunday night staple and mostly watched by your grandma. As such, they were expected to be warm and familiar, set in cozy villages where everyone knows each other’s names, speaks BBC English and drives a vintage Jaguar.
“As tastes have progressed, people now want something that makes their terrible lives look idyllic by comparison; a grizzled lead character with an alcohol dependency or a turbulent home life, ugly council estates, dark, unlit houses, mumbling, everything shot with a cold blue filter and a female sidekick who looks malnourished and possibly hasn’t slept in two days.”
Barrenmoor, the new offering from ITV, debuts this weekend and their head of programming has high hopes: “Our marketing guys have made sure we stand out from all the other gritty crime dramas out there. We have posters showing the lead characters looking sternly out over a bleak coastal landscape, to show how serious and conflicted they are about all the complicated, harrowing stuff going on.
“There are absolutely no characters in this show who are happy or enjoying life. The DI is going through a divorce, the chief inspector lost her daughter and the witnesses are all living in varying levels of decrepitude and ill health. Even the shop assistant gets stabbed and contracts a sexually transmitted disease at least three times and she’s only on screen for twenty seconds!”