I am hooked on those detective series, CSI and Law and Order. I watch with incredulity at the twists and turns of the lives that people in them live and the incredible lies that they tell. By comparison my life is so tame, I feel by the end of the show that I have to invent a few transgressions of my own. After watching them I feel that I have to “allocute” as they say. I tell my wife “Darling, I have something to tell you…I’m really a lesbian.” I know this could get me into trouble with the Lesbian, Gay and Transgender people, they might want to dismember me, although if I were a lesbian I might already be dismembered.
But, what I find worse is the gore that they show, it must be deliberate, do they think ordinary middle class viewers really like this stuff, do they think we need to be exposed to this degree of carnage. Frankly, I could take less of it. DNA is enough, its clean and gives a nice pattern of bands on a gel electrophoresis photograph (OK, if you don’t understand that you haven’t watched enough CSI episodes). But, on the other hand, maybe the makers know that it upsets us, they want us squirming in our seats, they want us near the vomit point, they want us to physically feel the experience of watching their damned shows.
I imagine someone who designs and produces their medical art saying, let’s give them a knife throught the carotid, with blood spurting out. Let’s give them splatter patterns on the wall, and drip directionality towards the dark basement. Let’s have a hatchet through the head showing the brain oozing out, let’s make them uncomfortable, let’s make it explicit, let’s disturb them. And the writers, each time they come up with more and more imaginative ways that people die or are murdered. So what if he falls on a railing and is impregnated by multiple spear-points. So what if she is garroted and flayed alive, its all good clean fun. They invent serial killers at the drop of a hat, they proliferate murders willy-nilly. The nearest thing I come to that in real life is eating too much breakfast, that’s right “Darling I have something to tell you…I’m a cereal killer.”