Some tips for watching OCD Channel

watch television to relax. The trouble is, it’s not always so relaxing. Especially if you’re even the slightest bit obsessive-compulsive.

Take police procedurals.

Officers go into a house, guns drawn, looking for a bad guy (it’s always a guy). T

hey sneak around, checking closets, finding dead bodies and smoking guns, but the entire time, I can’t pay a scrap of attention, because I’m too busy shouting at them: “Shut the door! Close it behind you! How do you know that the bad guy isn’t coming back?”

But they never shut the door. And by the way, what does it mean when they yell “Clear”? Apparently one thing it does not mean is, “There’s nobody here,” because half the time, as soon as they’ve said it, some criminal springs out of the closet or out from under the bed., and attacks them; so I’m thinking it means “I’m all alone here!” Instead of “clear,” I think they should just yell “Marco!”

Then whoever’s hiding in the closet could yell “Polo!” and we could be getting somewhere.

When the police aren’t entering homes with guns drawn, they’re sneaking up on bad guys holed up in buildings… and yet the officers are always jabbering, in loud conversational tones, about who they’re sneaking up on, and who’s going to sneak to which window… not to mention where they’re all going for drinks after the arrests are made.

Does nobody hear this? Does no one bolt out the back? And how can the criminals possibly get any of their criminal work done, with all that blather going on outside?

As for the arrests, I’m no expert on the Constitution, but there seems to be some kind of requirement that when police tell their suspects to “Stop! Police!” they must shout it from a city block away. T

here is obviously some rule against getting close enough to actually arrest people… or else why don’t they?

So there’s always a foot-race, complete with shots ringing out and property being ruined. It used to be just piles of oranges spilling on the ground, but lately it’s gotten more expensive: mountain bikes; gourmet pots and pans; pyramids of Waterford crystal.

Alas, no one ever seems to learn from these rookie mistakes…even though I have, and keep trying to tell them: “Get closer first!” But they never listen.

Every show seems to feature a magic camera, which can take grainy surveillance photos and blow them up into perfect Technicolor stills.

My computer never does that. And only once did I hear a criminologist complain: “We can’t do that! We aren’t CSI!” I’m thinking of asking CSI for their software, so I can make my class reunion photos presentable.

Even the best show reaches a point where some explaining must be done. “We have to run this sting/find this laptop/sink this lifeboat in order to catch the mastermind/stop the terrorist/save the day” someone in authority explains. And everybody in the show nods, getting it all on the first try, with no need for PowerPoint or handouts. Which is more than I can do.

“But why do they have to sink the lifeboat?” I ask whoever’s watching with me. “Never mind that,” they reply. We have reached the “Whatever!” point; whether it makes sense or not, from here on, we’re just along for the ride.

And what a ride! I suspect the real reason for this part is just to make life interesting for directors and camera crews. Now we’re zooming around in boats, or motorcycles, or Lamborghinis.

When the fugitives escape in a vehicle, the officers jump in their cars and give chase. But who had the keys? Did they leave them in the ignition?

Most unwise. Or is everyone driving those newfangled cars that “know” if the key is in your pocket? I rented one of those things recently, and had to call my son to find out how to start the car!

Of course, no one ever fastens their seatbelt.

And I’m sure I needn’t tell you how distracted I get when the driver turns around, for an animated conversation with somebody in the back seat, and never runs off the road or into another car.

After an hour of all this “relaxation,” I am exhausted and must continue my research in the prone position. I’ll resume tomorrow… if Marco and Polo from the closet don’t get me first!

About the author

Judy Epstein

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