By Ken Tucker
Updated December 27, 2008 at 11:30 PM EST

We’re hitting the saggy part of the holiday season, that hammock between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, when as a TV watcher, even your favorite cable channel is starting to get tedious (all those marathons of Top Chef and Trading Spouses and Girlfriends). Me, I am happy it’s Saturday because that means Fox is forced to show back-to-back episodes of Cops. In recent years, Fox has tried to get a bit game-show-educational (Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?) and a bit foodie (Kitchen Nightmares), and ignoring its original core shows like Cops.

Cops is tops. Whether we’re in the squad car with law-enforcement officials in Palm Beach County, Florida, or in Portland, Oregon, as we are in tonight’s two reruns, you know there’s going to be a few dandy car chases, a couple of perps running like hell with their pants falling down, and more than one blasted-out-of-his-skull poor soul screaming something like, “Why’re you cuffing me? My skanky sister-in-law put that meth in my pocket!”

Cops is justice in action; it has been since 1989. Yes, I often have sympathy for the poor underclass that is pursued with greater vigor than white-collar criminals who are ripping off society for much more money. But I also have great admiration for the men and women in blue who have to drive into a crime scene with no idea what they’re going to confront, and do their best, most often using only their brains and some stern commands. And the occasional billyclub. I do like it when some bad guy makes a violent move and a billyclub must be applied with quick force. Does this make me a bad person?