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The Rookie Fans Spit At S5 Episode 18 For Its Disappointing Documentary Attempt

"The Rookie" returned after a brief hiatus and the episode was a departure from the show's typical procedural format. The installment, titled "Double Trouble," was done documentary-style, though this isn't the first time the series has employed this formula. The Season 3 episode "True Crime" sees the characters partake in interviews about a case that's being covered for a true crime documentary, while the Season 4 installment "Real Crime" is about the officers drawing the attention of a reality film crew as they investigate the death of the project's director. 

The "Rookie" is based on a true story, so it makes sense why the minds behind the show continue to produce documentary episodes. It's a format that allows room to play with story structure and shake up the narrative, but after last night's episode fans have had enough. "OK... No more documentary episodes. They are so BORING. My God, why do the showrunners think they're a good idea? Is it just an easy day at the office for them with these things? I'd rather they do a 'clip episode' where the characters remember back to past events," said Reddit user u/Kwilly462 in a discussion thread about the episode.

Overall, viewers are tired of this presentation style. "These documentary episodes are way old and when I find out that it is one, I get way less invested in the episode," wrote another user. In fact, not even a guest appearance from former NSYNC member Lance Bass could save this one.

The Rookie fans hope to never see another documentary episode

"The Rookie" isn't the only ABC show to take advantage of the storytelling opportunities that a documentary format presents. "Modern Family" employs a mockumentary style, "Grey's Anatomy" once tried their hand at it, and "Castle" even did a documentary episode back in the day. "The Rookie" is far from the first show to use this method, but if fans were flat-out unimpressed with other Season 5 episodes, then they were absolutely fed up with the most recent installment. "One of the worst episodes ever! It's all over the place. I [hate] documentary episodes," said Reddit user u/Southern_Tangerine_7.

Viewers are tired of watching documentary episodes, which they see as clumsy attempts to take advantage of a genre that doesn't mesh with the tone of the series. Reddit user u/TheBlackSwarm couldn't help but wonder about the decision, writing, "I don't know why this show would do another documentary episode when the last one was one of the worst-rated episodes of the entire series. ABC made us wait three weeks for this?"

Fans were disappointed across the board. "I am tired of documentary episodes. Too many already. The Feds got one and it hasn't been a season yet. No reason to wait three weeks just for a documentary episode. Didn't expect anything big, just not this," commented Reddit user u/EMPIREVSREBLES.

The documentary episodes may be few and far between, but it sounds like "The Rookie" viewers wouldn't mind if they stopped altogether.