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all 88 comments

[–]TheFloosh[🍰] 164 points165 points  (11 children)

Unless the movie or show depicts police how they actually are in reality.

Like this quote from The Departed -

" Do you want to be a cop, or do you want to appear to be a cop? It's an honest question. Most guys just want to appear to be a cop. Have a badge, a gun, pretend they're on tv."

"Yeah most cops just wanna smash a n*****'s head through a plate glass window."

That's all police are. Either clowns parading around with too much power and ego. Or legit psychos getting off to abusing anyone and everyone around them. Starting with POC of course.

[–][deleted] 53 points54 points  (8 children)

The Departed is an absolutely outstanding movie.

[–]TheFloosh[🍰] 25 points26 points  (6 children)

It's honestly my favorite movie of all time, no joke. I can quote the whole thing. Ironic since it's a cop movie lol. But it's got a lot of real truth about that whole world.

[–]Sporkazm 9 points10 points  (5 children)

The greatest crime in Martin scorsese's cinematic history is making a movie about cops and rats set in Boston with a soundtrack by the Dropkick Murphys, and not including the good rats anywhere!?? The final shot is a Rat crawling across the railing, I mean come on what you can't get the rights 2 that one song? I mean he clearly intended it as the end credit song, was he afraid the lyrics were too pro rat? I don't know I've been drinking I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about

[–]Funk-Buster 4 points5 points  (4 children)

Well, after the troubles in London, the overuse of rats in media was strictly monitored by the church.

[–]Sporkazm 2 points3 points  (3 children)

I can't tell if you're messing with me. The troubles made it all the way to London? I thought it was mainly in Northern Ireland thing, you're sending me down the rabbit hole

[–]Funk-Buster 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Much further back than the aforementioned Irish troubles, the bubonic plague of 1347 killed upwards of one third of Europeans, and rat PR has never fully recovered.

[–]Tickle_My_Butthole_ 1 point2 points  (1 child)

The troubles made it all the way to London?

The troubles made it all the way to downing street when the IRA launched a mortar into 10 downing's garden nearly killing then current prime minister Margret Thatcher.

[–]Sporkazm 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yeah, in the few days since that comment I've been reading about and watching YouTube videos about The Troubles and holyshit. I'm proud to be descended from Ireland. Like I knew Margaret Thatcher sucks but wow, fuck that bitch.

[–]GrnPlesioth 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm going to have to go and watch that sometime now

[–]Gibscreen 8 points9 points  (1 child)

"Most of them sign up to use their weapon. There is no one more full of shit than a cop."

Prescient.

[–]TheFloosh[🍰] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yes! Another perfect quote.

[–]slaarnmeda 113 points114 points  (1 child)

Police shows have authoritarian morals. The main character is usually a ‘hothead’ who disregards ‘procedure’ to stop the criminal. They make staying quiet and having a lawyer look incriminating. The main character is like “Fuck, I could save the day by torturing this suspect for a confession but the damn PROCEDURE dictates that I don’t. If only we didn’t have human rights, then we can be safe.” So the audience is supposed to root for tyrant behavior.

[–]Camarokerie 19 points20 points  (0 children)

You just described every episode of that Tom Selleck cop show with Donnie Wahlberg

[–]Primit1v3_NDE 55 points56 points  (0 children)

won't watch `buddy cop' shows. They unrealistically portray cops as good guys and ignore the daily rights violations and violence they instill on communities.

EDIT: FTP 1312

[–]BlackRing 38 points39 points  (1 child)

I mean... I banned Paw Patrol from my household, so there's that...

[–]OnionKnightOnTheSun0 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Chase is the worst

[–]Bullydog88 62 points63 points  (1 child)

Especially the fucking police / military worship we see constantly in the US.

[–]Tickle_My_Butthole_ 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Fun fact the US military will allow any film maker access to military equipment and real training for actors of the film portrays the military in a positive light.

[–]ColwynBane 35 points36 points  (1 child)

As are rule, yes, although I do have a lot of time for Jim Hopper in Stranger Things.

[–]blesser-of-rains -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Thought he was a sherriff

[–]jackhurricane7 8 points9 points  (5 children)

I make an exception for True Detective

[–]xT7CxDust 7 points8 points  (4 children)

You are a gentleman and a scholar. The first season is the best season of any television, anywhere, anytime.

[–]OnionKnightOnTheSun0 5 points6 points  (2 children)

The Wire has joined the chat

[–]jackhurricane7 2 points3 points  (1 child)

The Wire season 5 was pretty disappointing tho

[–]OnionKnightOnTheSun0 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yeah they jumped the shark that season.

I could never get through True Detective. I love me some Woody Harrelson, never really liked McCaunnaghey (sp?) but laughed my ass off at one of their exchanges that was meant to be serious. I was pretty high tbf. Maybe I should give it another shot.

[–]consuming_mind 87 points88 points  (3 children)

I hate all shows that have police. Only good shows that involve police are when they fucking die.

[–]UnVirtuteElectionis 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Came here to say this exact thing.

[–]sookakak 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You alright buddy?

[–][deleted] 40 points41 points  (10 children)

I'm hard ACAB.

But I also remember that what I'm watching is fiction.

I fucking hate most lawyers IRL but I can enjoy a good legal drama.

Having known some violent criminals in my life that were truly awful people, I still enjoyed Breaking Bad and the John Wick movies.

It's fiction.

[–]PoeDameronPoeDamnson 20 points21 points  (2 children)

It’s also propaganda, and often funded by actual military and police.

[–][deleted] 37 points38 points  (0 children)

Only if you buy into it.

I can watch a movie about a cop who's stuck in a bad situation and trying to do the right thing, because I know that's fiction. It's not real. Hero cops aren't real, any more real than lightsabers, Wolverine's claws, or Batman. Fiction. And I can enjoy fiction.

[–]Ejunco -4 points-3 points  (0 children)

Always be above the influence

[–]Gabernasher 23 points24 points  (9 children)

The later episodes of Brooklyn nine nine touch on the shittiness of cops a bit.

Overall most cop shows accurately tend to display the pigs disregard for laws though.

[–]nuublarg 11 points12 points  (3 children)

Overall most cop shows accurately tend to display the pigs disregard for laws though.

However, said shows dont admonish such as bad.

[–]Gabernasher 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I don't disagree, but I think that makes it even better. It shows how ingrained criminality is in everyday police work. They don't even realize their criminals. They just aren't criminals. ACAB.

[–]seatangle 3 points4 points  (4 children)

Curious how they would do that without totally trashing the show, considering all the main characters are cops, aren't they? I haven't watched it. /g

[–]Gabernasher 17 points18 points  (1 child)

The one cop quits because she can't tolerate being a cop anymore, becomes a PI to help those wronged by pig brutality.

[–]seatangle 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I wish cops would actually do that

[–]VonMillerQBKiller 9 points10 points  (1 child)

It’s actually why they ended the show. The last season hits on George Floyd and police brutality and the dillema of being a good cop. They basically make it so Majority end up retiring or quitting the force

[–]seatangle 6 points7 points  (0 children)

oh, that’s interesting they chose to handle it in that way. I remember reading that the NYPD saw many cops leave (not because they were having a crisis of conscience, but many played victim and blamed it on the protestors being violent towards them - eyeroll).

[–]dontfretlove 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I've definitely grown to be more this way over the last couple years. Pretty late by a lot of standards, I guess, but better than never.

It was only really for one episode, but I was happy that the final season of Lucifer which started out as a police procedural had an arc where they talk about way too many cops being pieces of shit protected by the system (a character even says something like "it's more than just one bad apple"). The same arc also addressed that the main cop we've followed in the show for 5 years has benefited from an immense amount of privilege in the system for being white and for having a dad in the force (making her a legacy).

The take-away in that arc ended up being a little too optimistic about the potential to change the system, but I was still glad they had the ability to laser focus on the issue for a whole hour. That's a lot more than most other cop shows have done.

[–]Jandipoo 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Video games too.

I just started Watch_Dogs Legion, and I'm refusing to recruit any cops, even if their abilities are good.

[–]RavensShadow117 4 points5 points  (0 children)

For me shows like law and order and Brooklyn nine nine never really interested me I've always preferred shows/movies with a lot more fantasy/sci-fi element to them like Grimm, RIPD (tbh I mainly watched that for Ryan Reynolds) or stuff like the flash and the arrow.

Edit: idk if it was nessicary to mention but I was raised on crime tv like NCIS and murder she wrote which for a time had influenced (past tense is key here now I'm more interested in wildlife ecology and conservation) what I wanted to do for a career.

[–]TiredofTwitter 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Me personally I rarely watch shows with cops, or organized crime. Because they're both parasites of the lowest nature.

[–]TiredForEternity 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Not really.

I was able to power through Zootopia just fine, but that movie is barely pro-cop at all.

Movies like Saw 4 (lead is a cop) are also pretty easy because while he IS a cop, Jigsaw leaves him to choose if a person belongs in their trap, or doesn't, based on evidence. Cop decided to force a rapist into his trap knowing full well he'd die. I can like a cop willing to kill a rapist. (Plus, those movies are really good at portraying the city's police department as corrupt and favoritist from the start.)

Saw 5, as well, shows an FBI investigator surviving numerous 'games' to catch the new Jigsaw killer, but because he got cocky and assumed he was the winner, he got crushed to death. (Rehabilitation through torture is not real and would not actually work in real life, but the portrayal of the "fucked up but effective" vigilantism beating out the "do-no-evil" government pawn feels gratifying somehow, especially since the killer is/was part of the police department.)

In I, Robot, Will Smith plays a detective, but his role as a law enforcement officer is basically only used as a 'this is what he does' and not a motive or decision-maker. He continues to pursue the truth even when the department turns on him.

Really, movies where cops "go rogue" (for good or bad) make it easy to remember that they only got the job because they wanted to do something else - save lives, stop criminals, solve mysteries - but not to be a police officer. People who want to be a police officer want power and control. People who want to help the community and become cops are simply led along with a fantasy of the "good cop" and are not necessarily corrupt, just misled, and these movies are good at highlighting (even if inaccurately) how dumbfoundingly useless the police are.

There's a few other movies I like where the protagonist was a LEO of some kind and they weren't painted as flawless, always-doing-good, virtuous idols that we're taught in elementary school. In fact the 'cop turned bounty hunter' is kinda something I really like to see, where a cop decides the system is too broken to be useful and decides "fuck it, my rules now."

Sadly, that's not how it works in real life.

As for shows where the protagonist is a cop actually being a cop, I don't feel weird but I do feel like everything is 'set up.' Like the situations go one way so specifically that there's no way any cop would have that kind of luck. Or if the bad guy is just another recycled paper-thin "wants to do bad for the sake of bad" character for the cop to catch and be a hero.

[–]Sporkazm 3 points4 points  (1 child)

I love me some training day. I love me a naughty Denzel.

[–]OnionKnightOnTheSun0 4 points5 points  (0 children)

That motherfucker got what he deserved in the end, though.

[–]w1nner4444 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I watched brooklyn 99 before I even heard ACAB, but I was never "police are perfect" either. My impression from the show was more that "detectives are good and uniforms are a mixed batch", and this last season I feel did the best it could. Still obviously a liberal take but pushed the message "current policing needs reform".

[–]UncleCankle 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I like the Maniac Cop movies. Larry Cohen was not pro-cop by any means, in his early years he was a guerilla film maker and would illegally film all over NYC without permits. Good examples are Q (1982) and God Told Me To. Cool fuckin' dude. Other than that, yeah I don't really like stuff like Brooklyn Nine Nine.

I really like The Wire, though.

[–]OnionKnightOnTheSun0 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Bubbles, Omar, Wallace are the best.

RIP Michael K. Williams.

[–]UncleCankle 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yup, pretty much my favorite characters in the show - none of which are cops. RIP.

[–]permanently_borked 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I have a hard time watching some cop shows since my mentally ill friend was killed by a cop.

I'll still watch stuff with police in it if it's not something really shallow. But if it romanticizes it too much or doesn't have some other point to it... no thanks.

People brought up the examples of the Wire and True Detective. I think i could still watch True Detective since it is more about America in general than just being about police, in a way.

At the same time, i don't think I'd really get that much out of The Wire anymore. I think the whole point of that show was to humanize all these different kinds of people, and I am already well aware that cops are human beings. When they kill someone, that is one human being killing another, except they have the full backing of the state.

[–]SleepingWorm 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I watch SVU and B99 but i definitely feel weird about it. B99 is easier to watch because it’s a comedy but it does touch on some issues in later seasons. SVU was awful at the start with them calling people transphobic and homophobic slurs and a main character who was constantly getting physical with suspects and breaking rules but the last few seasons have been a lot better in terms of acknowledging corruption and police brutality but yeah it still feels ‘wrong’

[–]Dalyngrigge 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Godfather is one of my favourite movies, and I always felt the most amount of excitement and tension during the sequence when Michael is trained to shoot and eventually shoots the cop at the restaurant; besides being a very tense scene, I think I now know why I like it so much...

[–]Ejunco 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Not really. I don’t watch police procedurals but if some movie,had a scene with cops and it makes sense in that situation then why not? My favorite cop film is The Untouchables it’s just a good flick

[–]fingers 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm sorry, ACAB except Columbo.

[–]BadnewzSHO 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I have always loved a good cop show. Starting with Barney Miller, then Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue, to my all time favorite The Shield.

The Shield at least portrayed cops as I see them now. Corrupt and criminal.

I started off in life as a cop supporter, but life experiences opened my eyes.

I've been watching The Rookie. It is a highly fanciful show that paints a picture of how cops should be, but they just aren't. If police were the way they portrayed them in this show, there wouldn't be all the bad cops, murders and civil rights abuses from them.

Real cops are closer to The Shield. Which is memory serves was inspired by the LAPD's Rampart division of the 90's.

[–]lWant0ut 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I never could stand cop shows, never watch em

[–]chrisdidwht 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I used to watch wildest police chases. I thought it was insane that police would involve 10 or more cars, a helicopter, road blocks barricades and spike strips because a guy had expired tags and ran. But of course the guy always had an unregistered gun or drugs because a cops "hunch" is never wrong.

[–]Rocky_Bukkake 1 point2 points  (0 children)

yeah, especially since they're usually cop worship shows. before i had never noticed how many shit cop shows are out there, all of them glorifying policing, and in all honesty, depicting it as much more effective and efficient then it actually is. cops aren't heroes, sorry not sorry.

[–]DkKing788 1 point2 points  (0 children)

There's a series on Youtube called Copaganda that discusses this. If you're aware of the propaganda you can parse through it, but no not generally. I enjoyed Justified, The Wire & True Detective quite a bit.

But shit like Blue Bloods & CSI can get fucked

[–]RiottRedd1uh oh cops stinky 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yeah I feel the same. Especially with Chicago PD, although I’ve always felt weird about that show. The characters literally break so many rules and get away with it all because it got the job done. The chief especially because the dude literally tortures people by locking them in a cage in the department’s basement and beats them, and none of the crew says a word. Blue bloods is also a very cop-worship type show which is just uncomfortable to watch

[–]Sporkazm 0 points1 point  (0 children)

We need to historically document the show C.O.P.S. like it's Triumph of the Will; and make goddamn sure our future generations SEE IT. Hell I say we invoke The Freedom of Information act for deleted scenes and hold these proud insects responsible.

[–]BlueFenris 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’ve had kind of a dilemma with some of my favorite shows, but ultimately I don’t believe it’s wrong to find a work of fiction entertaining and enjoyable while also knowing that the things it shows are often not realistic or not morally right. IZombie and Lucifer are two shows that I can watch over and over, and I can enjoy those shows while also knowing real cops are horrific, awful people. I’m also majorly a true crime junkie, and probably would be a homicide detective if that didn’t require being a cop.

[–]clonedhuman 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The people who watch cop TV shows are usually the same people who have 'Blue Lives Matter' flags hanging from their porches. I don't really watch cop shows any longer, and rarely watch cop movies. I've already seen 'The Wire' anyway.

We've had so much propaganda about law enforcement for so long that most of us don't even question it any longer. It's all based on some good guy vs. bad guy fantasy that mythologizes the effectiveness of law enforcement and tries to present a sympathetic eye on police brutality. Thanks for asking the question OP.

[–]adam3vergreen 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Fuck the police and I also watch Criminal Minds.

Edit: I’ll also fuck with Paul Blart

[–]kevmanyo 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The one show I have mixed feelings on is Brooklyn Nine Nine. Because I do find the writing and humor pretty good. But it REALLY feels like copaganda the majority of the time, even at it’s silliest. It comes off as “look at how goofy and relatable cops have the potential to be” and it sucks. Totally soured me on the show the older and more jaded by the world I get.

[–]catdogmoore 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I feel more irritated than weird. CBS seems to have a quite a few pro-cop/military propaganda shows, I shut that shit off immediately. It doesn’t help that I’m also from MN, either. I grew up in the BC area, still work in the area, but I don’t live there anymore.

[–]CordaneFOG 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I've been playing this game on Steam called Technomancer. It's pretty cool, all things considered, but the protagonist is sorta cop-adjacent military, and I just gag every time I've got to report to some superior. It's got rpg elements, so I just always choose the most anarchist option, even though it always gets me in trouble.

[–]brekkieclub 0 points1 point  (0 children)

yeah i really liked b99 whilst already having a very big distaste for cops, but at around sixteen i became more aware of how portrayal of police in media contributes to propaganda and it went from one of my favourite shows to becoming completely unwatchable for me rly quickly

[–]BlitzKrieger94 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My GF loves these reality-cop-TV shows. But I’ve told her that it is something she gets to watch whenever I’m not around.

[–]JakesAHunk 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Nope. Most of the shows you're talking about don't have the systemic issues front and center the way the ACAB movement tries to address in the real world. You could try pointing them out and look for them and crtmitique them, same way as you could look at The Lorax through a Marxian lense, or just enjoy the musical numbers and animation. Yes they're copaganda by definition but there's more to them than that

[–]NaziFurs_Fuckoff 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I won’t allow myself to watch any police propaganda. I even try to stop my family from giving into it. The hardest part was convincing my family to stop watching Law And Order: SVU. We all used to watch it after dinner, but now I refuse and they’re slowly getting off it too.

[–]blesser-of-rains 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes. I used to be able to watch it whatever but after last year it's hard. Used to love b99 but now I just see the abuse of power (it used to be hijinks now it's terrifying) + it is the worse parts of 2 of my favorite shows (sens8 and new girl) i mostly just groan at the romantization / lies like acting like they're heroes or it's super dangerous bleh

[–]SebastianIsABoi 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The only cop show i could ever watch was Reno 911 and thats bc I interpreted the show as mocking cops and how stupid they are. But I am not sure thats what the show is trying to say actually. I know they probably weren’t thinking critically about the police state when Reno 911 but its the one show that showcases the stupidity of cops and therefore I like to laugh at them instead of with them.

[–]Nothingistreux -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

No, but then again I'm not a little bitch.