Friday, August 25, 2006

Stop the Mayhem

Say what you will about reality TV, but last I checked nothing more than the boundaries of good taste had been assaulted on “Project Runway.” As opposed to “scripted” programming, that gold standard of critics, where murder and mayhem rule the airwaves.

Because it’s summer and we don’t have cable and there are only so many shows I’m willing to purchase on iTunes, we found ourselves watching “CSI: Miami” the other night. These procedural programs are all the rage and I can see why—the whodunit aspect grabs the viewer’s interest and won’t let go until the case is solved, which it always is in an hour flat.

But these shows give me nightmares. Once I tuned into “Without a Trace” and was treated to a storyline featuring a pervert in night vision goggles who kidnapped women, stripped them, set them loose in the forest and then hunted them like prey. It was sickening. I couldn’t sleep that night.

Over on “CSI: Miami” we had a serial killer whose methods became increasingly brutal, progressing from baseball bat to knifing to hatchet. I used to debate which would be worse—drowning or burning in a fire. I’m now going with being hatcheted to death. It was gruesome. That is, I assume it was gruesome because I couldn’t stand to watch.

Dave asked, “When did TV get so gory?” I know we all tend to hearken back to the good old days, but really I don’t recall The Hatchet Man being sandwiched in between “Happy Days” and “The Love Boat.”

I’m guessing we can lay the blame on cable, and its anything-goes policy. The broadcast networks are competing the only way they know how—they can’t drop “F” bombs, they can’t show full-on nudity, so they give us the hatchet.

And to that I say, bring on “Dancing with the Stars.”


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