Arresting Looks

THE SHOW: "America's Most Wanted," 8 p.m. Sundays on Fox, Channel 11.

THE SETUP: Violent crimes are re-created with actors. Real-life witnesses, lawyers and law enforcement people are interviewed. The video finger points to the most likely suspect. There's a number to call if you've seen the fugitive.

THE CLOTHES: The show does an excellent job in the authenticity department. The re-created footage has actors who really dress the part. In one segment about a fisherman gone bad, the fisher folk were watertight: rain slickers, coarse wool sweaters and all. A punker accused of killing his parents was perfectly dated for the crime: He had a Mohawk, not the long locks the dissidents now favor. Re-created footage of a suspect's youth in the late '50s/early '60s could have passed on "Ozzie and Harriet." A lot of research goes into the re-creations, according to executive producer Lance Heflin. For each segment, the show uses free-lance directors who go to the scene of the crime. Police officers and family members are interviewed. Heflin says their aim is authenticity, "even down to the types of cars they drive." Score two points for law and order.

THE HOST: John Walsh (pictured) announces the crimes with a strait-laced conservative look, down to a gray suit and white pocket square. Efrem Zimbalist Jr. must be smiling.

THE PAYOFF: They seem to frequently get leads or catch suspects (victories are announced on the show), although the disregard for "presumed innocence" may give the more liberal or libel-wary pause.

THE ONE IFFY PART: When photos of the actual suspects are shown after the re-creations, it makes you realize why some people are actors: They're a lot better looking than the rest of us and a whole lot better looking than your average violent felon.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World