I am quite addicted to true crime shows on television. My favorite is Snapped, but I also enjoy the quality documentaries like 20/20, 48 Hours, and On The Case with Paula Zahn.
What I am not so fond of are what I call the re-enactment-fests. The narrator tells the story, interspersed with commentary by true-crime writers, investigators and sometimes even the participants in the drama. During the narration, actors portray the story, with or without dialogue.
Now, to me, re-enactments are always cheesy. In theory they can be helpful, for example showing a complicated action that is difficult to picture from mere description. In reality, things are often re-enacted that I can perfectly well imagine and would in fact prefer to. Snapped is a terrible offender in this respect: sometimes they will talk about how this woman is talking to the police and they show somebody’s mouth saying words. I KNOW what talking to the police looks like! I don’t need to see it!
Still, I don’t consider Snapped a re-enactment-fest. A real re-enactment-fest shows you the ENTIRE story with actors. Snapped: Killer Couples is a re-enactment-fest. There are many others. Sometimes I watch them to laugh at them. Sometimes I will come across one that shows a case I have seen in a “real” show. Then I watch it and roll my eyes at how much prettier the re-enactors are than the original participants.
Right now I cannot find a true crime show on the television. So I will publish this blog post talking about them. It is, after all, Wuss-out Wednesday.