Series of Tubes: “Castle” Reaction -Worst... cops... ever...

If you look at my weekly TV lineup, you’ll find it nearly devoid of “procedurals” -- the CSIs, NCISs, Law and Orders and such that seem to fill so many hours of primetime television these days. The only two I watch weekly are “Bones” and “Castle”, and it’s no coincidence that both of them star former Whedon-verse leading men.

I realized last night, while watching “Castle”, why I’m not a huge fan of these shows: most of the characters suck at their jobs. Yes, in the end, they usually do get their man (or woman, or if it’s sweeps week, some hybrid). But on the way to the satisfying conclusion, there’s a series of missteps, accusations and policy violations that would get any real cop suspended.

Now, I understand that some of that is what makes these shows fun to watch, but last night’s episode of “Castle” featured four interrogated suspects for a single murder -- that’s people who were actually brought in to the station and accused of the murder.

Being a sports guy, and more specifically a sports stats guy, I wondered why there wasn’t a web site that tracks stats for all these various procedural shows. For example, last night’s “Castle” had a 4.0 SIPC (suspects interrogated per case), and a 2.0 SPIR (suspects/person of interest ratio). There are all kinds of other stats you could track too:

Win Pct - very simply, the number of cases that result in an arrest (or a conviction/plea agreement for lawyer shows).

SIPC - suspects interrogated per case

SPIR - suspcts/person of interest ratio (basically, how many people does the show treat as suspects versus witnesses)

RHR - red herring rate - what percentage of clues turn out to be false leads

SPW - stories per witness - how many different accounts/alibis/etc do they get from each person

WPS - “What did you just say”s per show - this one is a little more complicated. A common thread with shows like this is the case will seem to have reached a dead end, until a random line in a conversation sparks an idea in one of the main characters. This results in the character saying “What did you just say” or something like that. The higher this rating, the worse the show’s writing staff is.

CMC - Computer Magic Count - a sum of every time the show has a computer do something that real computers aren’t capable of doing.

I might start tracking these numbers for “Castle” and “Bones” -- then again, I might also decide to continue having a life. But if you want to chip in with your favorite procedural, feel free (also, all of this can be turned into a drinking game, so enjoy that too).

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