Procedurals feels like part of a dying breed. These TV shows that are dedicated to one story per episode are becoming rarer. Usually these are detective shows or cop shows, because there is a weekly mystery to solve. They can be, say, medical shows though. To be a procedural, you just need to be dedicated to showing us the, well, procedure for a group every given week, with a self-contained story in almost every episode. Two parters are acceptable. There can be some ongoing storytelling. Mostly, though, the point of procedurals is to let you get a case of the week. There is a formula. You’re in and you’re out. You can miss an episode and not really miss much. You’ll catch up. It’s relaxing in some ways.
This was perfect for the days when you have to watch television live. These days, it feels like every show is dropped all at once for bingeing. If a show isn’t released in one batch, a lot of people will wait until they can binge them all. That allows for ongoing storytelling. You don’t have to worry about people forgetting things that they saw like two hours ago. It’s what people want. Me? I still enjoy procedurals. I watch them a lot. In fact, I even binge them. So what I want to know is this: What’s your favorite procedural?
Mine is a tossup between Rockford Files and Psych. A few years ago, I would have definitely said Psych. Then, a couple of things happened. One, I started rewatching Psych and found myself not liking it quite as much. Two, I also started to rewatch Rockford Files and it was better than I remembered. They are moving toward each other on my personal scale.
That being said, the “comfort food” nature of procedurals probably means in my heart I need to lean toward Psych. There are a lot of times when I don’t know what to watch and just need something to throw on. Invariable, it feels like I throw on Psych. It can be a little corny, but usually it’s a lot of fun and can be quite funny. The way I would phrase it is that, when an episode ends, there is usually a smile on my face. That makes Psych my favorite procedural. What’s yours?