Staci here. I miss 70s and 80s television. More specifically, I miss the crime shows of those decades. Rockford Files, Hawaii 5-0, Magnum P.I., Simon and Simon: What is it about these shows that made them so enjoyable? The witty dialogue? The upstanding, reliable characters?
Just a few weeks ago, I was watching Hawaii 5-0 as part of a station’s retro night. This episode dealt with a copy-cat killer plotline, and Steve McGarrett had his usual focus and grim determination when faced with this particularly wily killer. But one of the best aspects of the show was studying the old-fashioned technology and realizing how advanced modern day television science is (I say television science, not actual science, since the response times for DNA samples are ridiculously fast).
Steve’s first big break came from hairs found in the victim’s hand at the crime scene. The lab technician had studied the hairs under a microscope and noticed one hair still had the shaft attached, which implied the victim pulled the hair from the killer’s head during the struggle. From this discovery, the tech could determine that the killer had dark brown hair. In Hawaii. Where most of the population has dark brown hair. Had this been an episode of CSI, they could have extracted a DNA sample, entered it into the database, and had the killer’s address in five minutes.
The next clue was that a pawn shop owner remembered selling the murder weapon to a white guy. But he remembered little else. So now McGarrett knew they were dealing with a white man with dark brown hair. In this day and age, most pawn shop dealers have security cameras installed inside the store, covering the parking lot, and near the cash register, providing several pictures of the culprit to post on the news or for use on a wanted poster. But all McGarrett had was a store owner with a sketchy memory and little interest in helping the police.
But this lack of technology ultimately didn’t matter. Centrifuge? We don’t need no stinkin’ centrifuge. Through solid police work and clever deductions, McGarrett and his crew caught the killer and I got to hear those glorious words, “Book ‘em, Dano Murder One.”
Oh all right, McGarrett didn’t really say that in this episode, but I just love that line. Am I the only one who misses these shows?