Law Enforcement Professional who chose said line of work after family member’s unsolved/unpunished murder/disappearance.
The fact that I know this is cliche and I don’t even watch procedurals is a clear indication of how cliche it is. Seriously, I can’t watch crime shows, they creep me out. Keep me up at night. Working with extremely limited knowledge, I can name off the top of my head the following:
Fox Mulder (X-Files, Sister abducted by aliens)
Bruce Wayne/Batman (um… Batman, parents killed in mugging)
Peter Parker/Spiderman (Spiderman, Uncle killed)(I’m a little unclear on continuity, but this one may not count as unsolved)
Kate Beckett (Castle, Mother murdered)
Temperance Brennan (Bones, parents disappeared)
John McBain (One Life to Live, father murdered, fiancee murdered)
Veronica Mars (Veronica Mars, best friend murdered) (okay, that one might be a stretch)
Okay, they aren’t all television characters, but they’ve all appeared on TV at some point. I’m sure many of you can add a whole host of others. And I do get why writers fall back on this cliche. Not only does it work well for motivation, it provides built in plot lines for future episodes. And I’m sure there really are people who go into law enforcement for this reason. But I’m done with it. I’m over it. I want something a little more creative.
Real life if often more random than that. I want to watch the story about the cop that turned to the law because he couldn’t get into physical therapy school. I want to see the anthropologist who’s just a big Indiana Jones fan. The Vampire Hunter who just really like Brad Pitt movies. There’s no reason any of these things couldn’t further the plot. Come on writers, you can do better.