I tend to avoid serious pop culture critiques because, good lord, we’re talking about television and movies and music and … it’s entertainment, people. You’re over thinking it.
But somehow this NPR essay, which certainly tiptoes along pretentiousness as some NPR things do, didn’t make me dry heave. I don’t necessarily agree with all of it — i.e. we really must do something about all the gore and violence in our “good” television shows — but it did get me thinking about a different type of gore and violence that sneaks in where it doesn’t belong.
I’m talking about the horrific commercials for the likes of “CSI” and “Criminal Minds” that air during sporting events.
Now, I can forgive an extended take of slimy entrails on “The Walking Dead” because: 1. That show is on cable late at night and 2. It’s a damn good drama that just happens to be set amidst a zombie apocalypse, so slimy entrails make sense from a contextual perspective.
More importantly: No one is showing those entrails when the network goes to commercial at the two-minute warning and my kids are in the room.
There is absolutely no reason — none — why CBS, NBC and Fox should be showing gunplay and violence and crime porn in their promos. Not during the day / early evening. Not when it’s entirely likely that sports fans with families are watching sports with their families.
Put another way: If I show my kids “The Walking Dead,” I’m the asshole. But if you sucker-punch my kids with violence and horror tucked within the promos for shows I would never show them, then you’re the asshole.
So knock it off.
What’s 6’5″ and 165 pounds?
“When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years. It’s an area of intense interest. I can’t say more than that.”
Apple, you better get this right. The disruption is upon us, but we need a catalytic event (something like this) to spur a mutant leap in the television experience.