It seems today, that all you see is violence in movies,
and sex on T.V.
-opening of Family Guy
I don’t watch as much Network TV as I used to, but the shows I do like tend to be on the tame side. Big Bang Theory, Heart of Dixie, Person of Interest, Blue Bloods, Forever, and Downton Abbey. True, there is a bit violence in these shows, but it’s usually pretty mild and often happens off screen. I’m not against violence, I watch R-Rated movies and Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones are two of the best shows of the past hundred years or so-but I don’t watch them on Broadcast TV.
Two shows in particular have pushed the envelope a bit too far for me recently. FOX’s Gotham and CW’s The 100.
Gotham is a blood soaked horror story. Even it’s comic relief moments show people with blood splattered across their face.The tipping point for me was when one of the main characters gouges her own eye out with a spoon. On screen. Then stomps on it. In the same episode people calmly murder each other for a ski mask. Blood packs explode at every turn. Maybe this is supposed to be Monty Python style over the top blood gags, but it doesn’t work for me. In another odd bit of business, young Bruce Wayne is encouraged to bloody a man’s nose.
On to CW’s The 100, the story of Earth after the fall of civilization where we have three or four factions fighting over the control of some tiny part of the planet. Like Gotham it has been violent from the start, but a scene where a man telling bad jokes is blow to bits and bloody remains fall from the sky was pretty much enough of this show for me. The main plotline of this episode was one group of people wanting to kill off hundreds of members of another group by melting them with some kind of acid. Nice.
TV has always been violent, all Westerns were about good guys shooting bad guys and my beloved Star Trek is famous for killing off anyone dumb enough to wear a red shirt. But it was always clear who the good guys were and why they were doing what they did. Shows like Gotham and The 100 doen’t seem to have any good guys and throwing buckets blood into the mix doesn’t make it any better.