Violent TV

[deleted account] ( 10 moms have responded )

No, this is not a debate about whether violent things should be on TV. Or I don't intend it to be, anyway. I figure that's probably already been debated at some point. I also figure that people have a right to produce, and to watch, whatever they so desire.

I'm more interested in people's reactions to violent TV. I used to absolutely love shows like Law and Order, CSI, Cold Case, and Criminal Minds. Now, however, I find myself less and less able to watch them without cringing, crying, or turning the station. The very idea that someone could do such things as we witness on TV shows frightens the living hell out of me and makes me extremely sad.

I can still watch action movies without feeling the slighest twinge when characters die.

What is this? Why the sudden reaction to TV shows but not to movies? Or most movies, I should say. I tried watching both In Bruge and I'll Sleep when I'm Dead recently and couldn't make it through either-and after I watched American History X several years ago, I swore I'd never see it again. It was good, but oh so brutal.

My only theory is that TV shows, particularly crime shows, impose a greater degree of reality than most films. Action films are usually quite unrealistic-car chases in which clearly everyone would've died, yet the car is still in one piece and all the characters are fine, static characters that seem less than real, huge explosions that only kill the bad guys...But dramatic movies and shows tend to have more realistic characters and more realistic scenarios.


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Sarah - posted on 03/16/2012




II can watch those shows and movies easier than I can watch the news. My husband likes to watch the 10 o'clock news and I leave the room. The shows I can chalk up to artistic license, the news is real and often more violent than any TV show.

Charlie - posted on 11/14/2009




Quoting Laura:

The more graphic the better...Dexter's awesome!! ;P

  I agree !

Krista - posted on 11/13/2009




I used to love CSI, but I can't handle that sort of show anymore either. I remember the episode that turned me off - it was about some teenagers who were hallucinating on drugs and one of them was eaten by the others on the football field. For the longest time, I couldn't close my eyes without picturing disturbing!

I used to watch horror movies too, but I just found that I hated that "disturbed" feeling that I always got. I'd rather be entertained than grossed out.

Since I had my son, I'm even worse. I never watch crime shows anymore. My absolute favorite show is Grey's Anatomy, even though I usually bawl my eyes out every week. I can handle the fictional medical shows, but real life medical shows involving children, I can't watch. I was at my mom's the other day and she was watching a show called Little Miracles and a baby had a heart defect and was being put in a tube in order take a chest x-ray. She was so young and tiny and had no idea what was being done to her and her parents were crying while trying to comfort her, so I was crying too! I can't bear to see babies and children upset and in pain! It's amazing what being a mother can do to a person's emotional stability!

JL - posted on 11/13/2009




I have no problem with the tv shows and movies depending upon the realistic nature of the subject matter and how far it goes. Movies like An American Crime, Bastard Out of Carolina, Mississippi Burning, Boys Don't Cry really get to me because they are based on real events and real people. Even that movie Alpha Dog with Justin Timberlake bothered me because during the scene where he is shooting that kid I kept thinking that really happened to some poor kid who thought he was just hanging out with some new freinds but instead he was executed by some teens because his older brother owned money for the drugs he bought.

When tv crime shows have plots based on real life incidents about hateful social crimes or something having to do with children they really get to me and I have a hard time watching them. I cry uncontrollably, wondering how people can be so hateful and I just cannot deal with it. I also have a hard time watching movies that depict some of the most atrocious social crimes that have happened in history especially ones that deal with racism, lynchings, rape, beatings, and murder of children.

The generalized themes about crime like the ones that Criminal minds, the Law and Orders, and NCIS deal with most of the time that are not too detailed and extreme with the depictions and subject matter I can deal with and I enjoy watching. I love Dexter.

[deleted account]

Well, now for some reason I love Dexter. It's mostly things with drawn out beating, rape, or torture scenes. I just can't handle it.

ME - posted on 11/13/2009




I really don't watch the crime shows, but I have and continue to watch the HBO shows when the seasons come out on DVD...I LOVED the Sopranos, and I am SO addicted to Dexter it's not funny...This is strange for me, because I don't like the horror genre, and I can't sit through crime/legal dramas either...Violence is not my thing, so I'm not sure what it is about these two shows that got me hooked...perhaps the psychological and philosophical issues...who knows...

Shannon Cassidy- - posted on 11/13/2009




I think alot of those violent shows are way to graphic and I will not watch them.

[deleted account]

I used to be able to watch criminal shows but I can't anymore, I can't watch medical shows (like ER) either. Especially if the story centers around a child, I have to watch something else.

I know when I started having this reaction, it was when my son was born. He was a preeemie and in hospital for a long time. Everytime I watched something like that I'd end up thinking "what if it happened to him" and then I'd start bawling. As for the medical dramas, reminds me too much of our hospital stay. He's home and doing fine but the memories are still fresh.

Hubby won't watch them either. He was involved in a bad accident when he was younger and some of those shows hit too close to home for his liking.

Sharon - posted on 11/02/2009




To me the crime shows mimic my news so closely they hardly bother me. Especially as (to me) the shows focus on the science (CSI, BONES, NCIS) rather than on the crime. Law & Order shows focus on the crime, the person, etc.

You're right they are much closer to reality. Law & Order freely admits they get their shows from news headlines. But I read the news every day so the shows don't take me by surprise.

I dunno - I think being a mom affects you. I can't get away from the news. Its slammed into you every day. When I log on the headlines blare out at you. I think watching the crime shows brings a small measure of comfort because - they always get the bad guys.

However, I'm the opposite. I can't watch horror movies any more.

I'm totally distracted - hubby is watching a news story about the freak rapist in Ohio who had 6 decomposing bodies in his house. He is a violent rapist, served 15 years for choking & raping a 21 yr old woman - got out of prison and set up a website asking for "submissive women to be tamed by him" .... UGH

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