A Million Little Cop Shows

Giulia Imholte

Eyes glued to the television in my family room, I found myself wrapped up in yet another episode of “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.” This was my fifth episode of the day, and my fourth marathon in a week. Yes, I was aware that it was a beautiful day outside, and that I could be doing much more productive things with my time; but, I didn’t care so long as Detectives Benson and Stabler found the “perp” in the given hour time-slot.

Earlier in the summer I had self-diagnosed myself as a cop show addict…

I entered my summer vacation believing that I would be seeing my friends every day, hanging out by Lake Minnetonka, and soaking up the beautiful sunshine. Only a week later did I realize that my summer agenda would be spent in a much different way. Aside from the three camps I attended throughout July, I often found myself cooped up at home due to two working parents and a lack of a driver’s license.

I wasted hours upon hours of time watching the likes of “Law & Order: SVU,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “NCIS,” “Covert Affairs,” “Psych,” “CSI,” “Bones,” “The Mentalist” and “Criminal Minds.” It was impossible for me to only watch one episode. The second the next one started, I would have to continue watching so I could find out who the criminal was. By the end of the summer, I had seen so many cop show marathons that half of the episodes I watched in a day were ones I had already seen.

My addiction had taken over my summer, if I didn’t have plans, and my parents were out of the house, I would park myself on the couch and soak up hours upon hours of scripted crime solving. When I got up in the morning, not only was I craving a bowl of cereal, but I also raced to get downstairs right on the hour so that I wouldn’t miss any part of the mysteries that would then mesmerize me for the rest of the day. Everything I needed to accomplish that day was done during commercial breaks.

The school year started, and the loyal hours I had been able to devote to my cop show addiction vanished. The TV in my family room is no longer constantly tuned into USA. I am on a cop show withdrawal. In fact, I didn’t even turn on the TV within the first week of school. But, I’ve been finding it hard to focus on any one thing for a long period of time; it’s hard to be enthralled by my pre-calc homework the same way I was watching Gibbs interrogate a suspect on NCIS. For now, I miss Benson, Stabler, Gibbs, Patrick Jane, Horatio, Annie Walker, and “Bones,” but I know that there will be a day when I am home sick when I may just slip and my addiction to cop shows will resurface. Then again, there’s always next summer…