Violence on Television


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about violence on television. Does it affect us? Does it numb us in our daily lives? Does it normalize violence in real-time? I feel I’m still pretty sensitive to it. But I’ve loved The Walking Dead, Fargo, Broadchurch, Happy Valley, and many other shows with violence. When does violence crossover from necessary to gratuitous? I’m sure there are mountains of research out in the world. But I’m more interested in my personal exposure and feelings. Has it changed the way I view our world?

What about you? Can you answer any of these questions? Do you think it’s just fiction and doesn’t matter? Do you worry about where our society is heading?



2 Responses to “Violence on Television”

  1. Uncle Barb Says:

    One of my favorite Lani stories goes like this. Her second grade teacher called me quite concerned because Lani said “I’m not allowed to watch violence on TV, but I can watch all the sex I want.” The teacher wanted reassurance that “Elana wasn’t watching all the sex she wanted.” My explanation was that my children were not allowed to watch violence and Lani had probably heard me say that ‘it was obscene that violence was everywhere when sex was forbidden’.
    As you probably already know, I thought the mix of sex and violence in The Fall was deplorable. Anderson in a hot sex scene inter-cut with a brutal, sexual murder. Current days there is a lot of talk about normalizing. Our video culture has normalized violence since its inception. Bettelheim says that we need to fight the fictionalized monsters (fairy tales) in order to develop healthy adult personas. Ehhhh, I don’t know.
    I do think that film should reflect our world and violence is real, but its sensational overuse has seeped into culture as ‘normal’. Films that could be fascinating statements on society like the Matrix turn into a chase scene followed by a shoot out. Maybe it is the lowest common denominator.


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