Film and Television

Spotlight: “Murder Porn,” Revisited

This is a somewhat-continuation of some points I already made in a past blog post.

But I feel like, in light of what I’m seeing online tonight, these sentiments must be echoed again. American entertainment has become very desensitized to both sex and violence. Meanwhile, the studios that create our entertainment need to hold the public interest to make money. So what do they do? They raise the bar. They make things more and more extreme, because they know that’s the only way to keep us interested. It alarms me just a little bit. Have our attention spans gotten so bad that the best way to “hook” people nowadays is to shock them? And, because that has gotten so hard to do, the creative powers-that-be will only succeed if they delve into the deepest and darkest parts of their brains to come up with new ways to push the envelope. I recall scenes like “the Red Wedding.” If the events of such a nuptial carnage had occurred in the real world, everyone would justifiably be disgusted and horrified. Then why- and I’m open to answers- does its occurrence on an (albeit fictional) television program keep viewers wanting more of it? We have become fascinated by the kinky and the macabre. You might have cried when they killed off so-and-so, or cringed at some awkwardly obscene sexual encounter. And yet if those things hadn’t happened, you’d have probably gotten “bored.” You can get as angry as you want at the writers of these shows- but in reality, they were just doing what they unfortunately must do to keep turning a profit these days.

So, to those of you mourning the latest big TV death: my sympathies. But let’s face it, if we hadn’t gotten here, most of you would have stopped watching ages ago.

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