Monday, March 10, 2008

Unrealistic Police TV

I've started watching The Shield on DVD. I'm nearly at the end of series 1 (yeah, I know that puts me about twenty seasons behind America) and I'm lovin' it so far.

But I had an issue with episode 3.

It features a (possible) rapist who is a bit mental and keeps jars of his own man-juice in his padlocked fridge. He thinks he is a great guy and needs to preserve his seed to be able to impregnate women in the future after he becomes infertile due to some disease he's got. He ends up being caught after slashing a night-lady a little bit in her neck.

So the cops take him in and in their questioning/research it turns out he's an ex-actuary. The actuaryness doesn't impact the plot of the episode at all. The guy doesn't reference mortality tables at any point. He fails to build any financial models. He's an actuary purely to flesh out his character a little bit.

Now I think this is portrayed really unrealistically. Not because they make out that actuaries are the kind of people who store jars of love-honey in their kitchens. We all do that.

No, it's unrealistic because not one of the police, NOT ONE, asks the obvious question: "Um, what's an actuary?". No way that some lumphead LA policemen would know what an actuary was. It's ridiculous. Lazy scriptwriting.

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