Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The "Professionals" of Crime Fighting

Now that I have gone through the roster of “Private Eyes” on TV, I think it is time to recap the “Professional Wiis Eyes” (Note to self: This is 'eye', not I. So the plural is 'eyes' not 'we'). The professionals on (at least Marathi) television have a glorious tradition, which has names like “Hello Inspector”, “Ek Shoonya Shoonya” in the list. Even in the current scene, “professionals” score better than amateurs, given CID is perhaps the most famous show in this genre currently (of course, new Karamchand will soon amend that).

So, here goes:


The Name: Anti – Superstition Wing
The Men (and The Women): (can somebody help me here?)

OK, I have cheated a bit here. “Lekin Woh Sach Tha” was not exactly a detective show. This was the show which introduced us to such paranormal topics like “limbic system”, “astral projection” and investigated phenomena like ghosts.

Of course, being a DD show and as you can get from the name of the organisation, the main objective desi jodi of Scully and Mulder wants to fight superstitions prevailing in the public conscience. This they did by exposing babas and other assorted villains. But even they did investigate some crimes like murder as a part of their job, and so I feel justified in including them in the series. (And of course, I like paranormal).


The Name: Criminal Investigations Department (at least, that's what it officially menns)
The Men (and The Women): ACP Pradyuman, Senior Inspector Abhijit, Daya, and company
This is the show which started the series. This is perhaps the most famous detective show an Indian television today. Led by ACP Pradyuman, this team of brave, intelligent, weird and sometimes bumbling officers tries to solve cases from all across Mumbai, with the help of the latest technology and forensics.

Of course, don't be misled by the name of the organisation. They seem to reach each and every crime in the city, many times without the normal police being called in. On the other hand, if they are supposed to reach only most perplexing and difficult cases, it bodes pretty ill for Mumbai given the sheer number of cases.

But don't get discouraged. Once you get past the obvious “influences” from foreign shows and detective stories, the show makes for a quite a nice entertainment, if only to see if you can solve the case easily.

CID Special Bureau:

The Name: Criminal Investigations Department, Special Bureau
The Men (and The Women): ACP Pradyuman, ACP Abhimanyu and company
A “spin-off” of CID. This show follows the exploits of a group of select officers of CID who try to solve more complex and sometimes “file closed” cases. The officers are supposedly selected because each one is an expert in one of the fields like forensics, ballistics and so on.

What it essentially means to the viewers is that the cases are definitely different and more entertaining (I could not find any direct influences on any other stories I have watched, and the show does involve some comedy). Though that makes this show better than the original, the original CID scores better for acting.

Did I mention that the female officers on CID are worth watching out for?

Did I miss any shows? Hopefully not. So now I can take a sabbatical from the series, as I have covered all the desi detectives I could remember. If I have missed any, or any improvements to the series, commenced are welcome...

Quote of The Day:

"We have in our police reports realism pushed to its extreme limits, and yet the result is, it must be confessed, neither fascinating nor artistic."
- Watson, in "A Case of Identity"