Metal. Monsters. Mayhem.

Hunting monsters: Criminal Minds as Beowulf

Modern cop drama investigative teams: for when you need someone to metaphorically rip a monster’s arm off.

We never get tired of hearing about Beowulf.

No, I’m not talking about the actual Geatish hero or the eponymous poem in Anglo-Saxon, or even the attempts at movie versions in recent years (I haven’t seen the one with Angelina Jolie, though if that’s the only one you know, check out Sturla Gunnarsson‘s original take on the story in Beowulf & Grendel with Gerard Butler and Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson).  I’m mainly interested in the basic trope of Specialist Warriors From Away Swoop in to Deal With Monster.

It’s the basis for most of the hunting-the-psycho cop shows out there, in particular Criminal Minds.

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2 responses

  1. I like this post! It is true: we tend to demonise television killers in order to justify playing ‘hard ball’. Perhaps because we view the real life legal system is becoming too weak?

    March 11, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    • I think narratively it just ties up the “everyone gets their just desserts” storyline, which rarely seems to happen in real life. I suspect a series like Criminal Minds in which the bad guy got away more often than not would not last long. Not saying I want the monsters to win, literally or figuratively; just that since the idea of trolls doesn’t really scare us anymore, we need entertainment/stories that target those whom we fear most.

      March 11, 2012 at 1:47 pm

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