The detective is a potent archetype, and the flexibility of that archetype is perhaps why it has continued to appear throughout the television landscape for years. Although television has never had a lack of great and conflicted characters that carry a badge, a gun, and a ton of baggage, the last decade has offered up the widest variety of crime solvers.
The modern detective can move through science fiction, neo-noir, fantasy, comedy, and the literary-tinged dramas of prestige shows with ease. They can be emotionally removed or incredibly empathetic, obsessive or nonchalant. Detectives can be used to tap into the darker parts of the human condition, a window into rape culture, or just a vehicle for pure visceral pleasure. The continued desire to see detectives speaks to audiences obsession with true crime and the lasting power of noir. The last decade has proven to be a golden age for detective characters in terms of the incredible diversity seen in the archetype, and there are but a few of the fascinating detectives seen recently.
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