Everything is so violent now on the TV. I enjoy procedural detective dramas and have been looking for a good one to watch now Endeavour has reached its conclusion.
For those who aren’t aware, Endeavour is part of the Inspector Morse series of TV shows.
Inspector Morse ran from the 80’s until the early 00’s and followed the life and times of Endeavour Morse as a middle-aged man and genius detective with his sidekick Lewis. Then there was Lewis which featured Lewis and his sidekick, a Sergeant Hathaway. Then came Endeavour which showed a young Morse as he discovers his genius for detective work and portrayed him as a young man from the mid 1960’s and through to the 1970’s.
Colin Dexter wrote the books on which the Inspector Morse shows were based. He would often feature briefly in each episode in a Hitchcockesque cameo. He approved of both of the follow-on shows, Lewis and Endeavour and although he passed away in 2017, he has featured in some ways in Endeavour, through a painting on a wall, or a photograph discreetly placed into a scene within the show.
The backdrop to all the shows has been the glorious city of Oxford.
So, I have been looking for something I can watch now Endeavour has finished. So for a while, I watched Criminal Minds. I enjoyed the interplay between the characters in the BAU (Behavioural Analysis Unit) and how they go about solving the crimes however the violence is frankly off-the-chart, in each episode. So much so that I have had to stop watching.
Last night, I discovered a show called Ransom where a special unit catch perpetrators through negotiation and psychological profiling. In this episode, a young boy was taken by someone the unit knew from years before. They had got the boy back however the kidnapper had cut off one of his fingers and been allowed to remain free as part of the deal. The boy had subsequently become a recluse and feared everybody and everything.
I watched it until the scene whereby the chief negotiator had to tell the couple whose son it was that had been kidnapped this time, that they could pay the ransom and have their son back in an hour minus a finger or not pay and he die. It showed them agreeing to pay and then as the negotiator walked out of the scene, them bawling their eyes out at the prospect of a destroyed child upon his return and the realisation they in essence agreed to his disfigurement for him to be ‘free.’
I turned it off.
Someone has sat down and come up with this frankly disgusting and disturbing scenario, run it past whoever produces this show, got the green light and the end result being, it gets beamed into people’s minds through the medium of a high definition TV screen. No real storyline. Just straight into the unpleasantness, which continued as the show progressed. The entire kidnapping aspect was played out in a couple of minutes at the beginning of the episode and then just a relentless journey down into base depravity.
With the Inspector Morse franchise, sure there were murders which needed to be solved however there was an intelligence to the plots, a sense you had a window into the world of an actual policeman using his ingenuity to find the culprit or culprits and solving crime(s). The violence was in many ways underplayed. It was more implied.
I flicked through the TV channels last night and out of 75 available channels, 14 of them were about murders, crimes, violent behaviours. Is this what it has come to? Is this what people want? Same with the TV news. Never a feelgood story. Murders, rapes, muggings, burglaries, vandalism etc
Violence for violence’s sake and I’m sick of it.