CNN.com has an interesting take on violence on TV
"The popularity of CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," its spinoffs, imitators and other crime or supernatural shows has made network TV home to an astonishing amount of blood 'n' guts, which has attracted little notice due to a preoccupation with sex."
I'm astonished that crime drama is now considered blood and guts, but this is true. A recent episode of CSI: Miami showed a nail imbedded in the orbit of a human being. The shot was close-up and pretty gruesome. That being said, I don't see crime drama on the same level as the gratuitous violence in many video games, movies and TV shows. Violence is almost pivotal to murder mysteries. Without a murder (usually violent) there is no mystery.
"The lead character in Fox's "Bones" discovering a badly decomposed body hanging in a tree, crows picking on the remains. The maggot-covered head falls off and lands in Bones' hands."
This is an example of unacceptable blood and guts? You can see half decomposed bodies every day if you drive on country roads. They're called road-kill. This hardly qualifies as a "body" any way. Decomposition distorts the body in such a way that it doesn't really look human, so I hardly think Bones finding a decomposing body is on the same level as gunshot victims or even the Discovery Health's real life surgery shows.
Here's my nomination for least accurate quote:
"Gore is not a goal in and of itself," said Peter Liguori, Fox entertainment president. Accurate storytelling is. When you look at a show like 'Bones,' Bones is a real-life orensic psychologist. This is what she sees on a daily basis when she's called in to solve a case."
Last time I checked Bones was a forensic anthropologist!
While accuracy may be their stated goal, I find it difficult to believe this statement. How many forensic anthropologists do you know that routinely beat the crap out of suspects or security gaurds? Probably none. I have seen Kathy Reichs in true to life shows on forensics and she doesn't act anything like the Bones character. In fact, I don't think the show bears any resemblance to reality. (BTW anyone catch that hologram machine she's got on the show? Boy would I love to have one of those for the lab!) "Bones" is simply an example of how Kathy Reichs has sold her integrity to the media.
And then there's this
"The most difficult issue here is desensitization," said Whitney Vanderwerff, former head of the National Alliance for Non-Violent Programming. "People have become so accustomed to this that it no longer registers.
How does seeing the people who commit violence being punished for that violence as in CSI and Bones and numerous other shows add up to desensitization? Personally, I watch CSI (it's a guilty pleasure), but I don't feel inclined to commit violent acts, nor am I indifferent when real violent acts are commited. The problem doesn't appear to be one of violence on TV, but rather the ability to distinguish reality from fantasy.
Don't let your kids watch these shows if you're worried!