A recent post about Law & Order, writers and reality at Poe's Deadly Daughters got me thinking about the continuing fascination with "reality TV."
I don't mean fun "reality" shows like "Dancing With the Stars." (Love it!) I mean shows like Law & Order," "NCIS" and other cop/crime shows where the realistic or "reality based" stories seem to be getting, well, too real.
I can't remember who it was, but I thought I'd heard that one star had quit Law & Order because the crimes were getting "too" real. I was a L&O fan, watching most of the spin-off's until the five-day-a-week shows got to be too much. And the one thing that I've noticed from not watching it regularly now is the increasing amount of gore.
The old TV news adage, "if it bleeds, it leads," seems to have become the byword for all the crime shows. L&O has its bloody closeups, or worse, it seems to have crossed into an almost perverse delight in re-enacting a crime. One show I watched had me thinking how attractive the killers could look to someone who was off-balanced or mentally unstable. Not a good thing. It creeped me out.
That show, of course, isn't the only one guilty of overdoing the blood. Other shows I liked like "Criminal Minds" or NCIS with its gruesome autopsies (and never mind CSI's scenes as well) have me cringing, looking away, closing my eyes, or sometimes just switching channels. Not what the stations wanted, is it? And I admit being a horror and Stephen King fan.
As I enjoy writing mysteries, I like crime shows. I like the twists and turns as the case is solved. But I guess I'd prefer a little more Agatha Christie instead of "Nightmare on Elm Street."
The other side effect, I fear, is that all that blood day and night, has desensitized a lot of people to the true horrors of crime, or made it seem "not real." (Like kids who think they can fly because they saw Superman or whoever do it?) Or is that the intention?
** Your Turn: Is TV becoming too gory? Is the constant stream of crime and murder on TV shows and the news desensitizing?