Before I ask this on main, I wanted to find out if it would be on-topic since it could result in (and to some extent requires) lists to be made, but I'm more interested in the analysis of the lists.

I'm interested in the evolution and/or existence of the fictional police procedural television genre. Wikipedia provides a list for some English speaking countries (although it's also interesting to note they are also all common-law countries as well) but I'm interested in the genre in other countries.

The question may be overly broad if every non-English speaking country has them so I could pick a specific subset (European, former Soviet, communist, South American) but I'm not sure if there is a need for that either.

Let's take two subsets that I'm most interested in and look at just former Soviet countries and European countries:

  1. Are police procedurals common in non-English speaking countries;
  2. How has the genre evolved with changing political climate;
  3. Which shows showed the police positively and which showed them negatively?

So it can easily become a list but it requires some analysis. Thoughts on whether it's on-topic? Too broad or too specific?

To clarify a bit:

The second and third points sort of go hand-in-hand. Let's look at former-Soviet countries -- for 2, is there a change in portrayal pre- and post-collapse? And for 3, it is a list but using the Soviet example, maybe there are shows approaching the fall of the Berlin wall that shows police negatively, or maybe they were all produced by the ruling party and are all about how fair and great the system is. Or maybe recent shows are historical in nature and either revisionist/nostalgic or exposing the flaws of the old ways.

1 Answer 1


The first point opens up great opportunities for genre analysis, assuming it can be done right, which is a good thing to me.

The second point will have to be careful as "Too Localized" (only a certain point in time) can come into play unless the question itself has a lot of nice detail asking the same of it's answers (common sense, really).

The third, just from your wording, sounds more like list-y questions, which are a no-no, but I may be misinterpreting what you want to accomplish from that set.

Broadness is a good question if one realizes you can analyse a broad subject to a great degree, producing great quality questions and answers.

Specifics can obtain the same, taking a small piece of the puzzle and wondering WHY things are the way they are.

  • Thanks for answering -- I edited the question to reflect a little bit better what was intended in points 2 and 3, maybe that helps clarify? I could certainly use help wording it all so it is clear I'm not just looking for a list.
    – tpg2114
    Dec 27, 2012 at 17:02
  • 1
    If anything, I'd say 3 should be used as examples of 2. You use soviets so if someone said "My Dear Commrade" was made before the cold war and showed them with pink hats cause of w.e reason, that would be using it as a valid source, explaining so. Then after the Soviet collapse they wore brown hats because brown hats in "My Fair Ruskie" denote civility with violent police or what have you (notice I'm not historically accurate in anyway :]). But straight out asking "What movies depicted Soviet police in a good manner Pre-Cold War?" Will get shut down as listy.
    – Tablemaker
    Dec 27, 2012 at 17:05
  • Okay, I will work on how to word it to make it all clear and keep it from being list-y. Thanks for your help!
    – tpg2114
    Dec 27, 2012 at 17:08

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