When does a TV show or movie or even a book for that matter go too far? I read about this teenager who killed his 10 year old brother because he wanted to be like Dexter, a character he idolised. Dexter is a TV show (based on a series of books I think) where the protagonist, Dexter, is a serial killer. I watched the first episode and couldn’t watch any more of the show. Why? Because to me, in some ways, the show was glorifying a serial killer.
This news story about 17 year old Andrew Conley killing his 10 year old younger brother by strangling him only strengthens my viewpoint about the show glorifying serial killers. Until recently, most shows will depict a murderer or a serial killer or even a thief facing consequences. Getting caught. Being busted. Unfortunately, in Dexter, he has a professional job during the day and doesn’t seem to be anywhere near having the expected consequences. He seems to be able to justify his serial killing. But then, in the real world, when a young man whose decision making abilities are not well-developed and who possibly has a mental health disorder gets influenced by this character, who has an answer to that? Given that it’s the real world, this young man is not going to be glorified like Dexter. Instead, he is now sentenced to life.
We all know that TV shows and movies have been showing a lot more violence and a lot more sexually explicit material now as compared to before. But where should producers and writers draw a line? What happens when young people with other mental health problems believe these fictional shows to be true? When they think that violence is okay. Or killing someone is acceptable. I know there is supposedly a rating such as 15 years and over or mature audiences or parental guidance required. But no one follows that! Especially when these shows are at a time when kids or teens are still awake. And with the internet, who even cares about the time a show is aired!
Personally, my stance is that there shouldn’t be shows or movies or books where the protagonist is a murderer or a serial killer and gets away with it. It’s not that I don’t watch shows about murder. But they usually have the consequences they deserve. Again, I know the real world is not a fair place and not every killer gets caught. But the television world creates a fantasy world for some people and seems to be taking things really too far. What next? Actually seeing someone behead or stab or rape a victim? Scene by scene?
Call me cynical…but things probably will only get worse. The television and movie world is not going to be policed when it comes to what they put out there. And people like Andrew will continue to get entangled in it’s clutches.
Until next time,