British cop shows > American cop shows*

*exception: The Wire. “The cumulative effect on British police shows can’t be overstated. Everyone weaned on American cop dramas, for instance, knows the right way to approach a door behind which a suspect might be waiting: His gun drawn, an officer stands to one side before knocking and declaring himself loudly. The anticipation of violence is so primal that it dominates almost every interaction that involves the police. In your typical British police show, by contrast, a visit to a suspect can resemble a social errand, as unarmed detectives wait patiently in front of a door after ringing the bell. The absence of gunfire—and, more important, of concern about the possibility of gunfire—almost invariably leads to more actual detective work.”

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