I watch a lot of crime and mystery shows on television. I mean, I don't watch every program of the genre, but enough. One thing that's happened over the years though is that I've developed a rather decent ability to figure out who the killer/criminal/whatever is just by looking at them. Whether it's CSI, Law & Order, Castle or Elementary - nine times out of ten I know who did it.
I don't need to hear the characters even speak. I don't need to know the "facts" or motives. I can just look at them, and I have a pretty decent idea.
You may ask, "Trae, how does this (wholly useless in any real world capacity) trick work?" Well the answer is simple: Who they cast in the part.
I jokingly refer to it as "Trae's Casting Theory" and the principle behind it is pretty easy. The more recognizable the actor playing the suspect, the more likely they are the "killer."
The part of the "killer" is usually one of the more challenging acting roles a guest star will end up with on one of these shows. Because of this, you often need a more experienced performer - by definition someone who works more. When you watch as much television as I do, you recognize a lot of the actors who work regularly. Once a familiar face walks on screen, I know they're probably the bad guy.
Now this isn't right 100% of the time - sometimes the part requires a person of low experience to be cast. If a show calls for a child actor or a young person, the performer obviously may not have a lot of experience. Likewise, if a special skill is needed (dancers, musicians), a less notable performer may end up in the part.
But as I said, nine times out of ten, I know who did it.
This reminds me of when I watched Scooby Doo as a kid, it was easy to know who the villain was under the mask. However I used a different theory there by how much screen time the villain got outside their costume. But still you have that same kind of mind set of finding out who the killer is with a distinct pattern.
I remember reading a review of Sherlock that mentioned that British readers would have figured out Jim was Moriarty right away just because he's a big-ish name over there, and he probably wouldn't be case as some random dude.
That's why I was so glad that they put up Sherlock Holmes again. I liked Jerry Brett but Jonny Miller's not bad in this 21st century version. I'm curious as to how they portray Jim Moriarty and how Holmes'll defeat him. What about his buddy (probably some brit Iraq war vet who's a colonel) and of course, Holmes' older brother, Mycroft, ("Crafty Crofty" or "Croft"). Just sayin'.... Ahhh....you all can tell I'm a big fan of Art Doyle's characters! JIM