Is there too much violence on TV?

Ruth Rendell has criticised the graphic portrayal of violence on television. She has said, in an interview with The Daily Telegraph that she believes that some scenes are too explicit.

Do you agree?

“The crime on television at the moment is over-violent,” she said. “I don’t think it’s necessary. I don’t like it, and many people, not necessarily of my age, don’t like it.”

She continued: “The more you pander to what is, presumably, the taste of young people, the more you corrupt. I don’t think they want it, really – they are told they want it.”

“Why do we have to have violence, torture, brutality in crime dramas every time we turn on television? Any new crime drama is going to have, sooner or later, a lot of torture and nasty things that make people flinch. Lots of young people I know shrink and flinch from that kind of thing on television, so I think showing it is a mistake.

“It corrupts people because if they see it they get used to it, and, sadly, they expect it.”

Is she right though?

The fact is, more than ever, young people realise the power of the ‘off button’ or the ability to switch channel. Granted, they haven’t worked out the same rule applies to unpopular opinions online, but still.

The simple fact is, violence on-screen is a moot point because thanks to a world of options opening up online, you can watch whatever level of violence you like or, indeed, easily avoid it by watching the myriad on non-violent TV shows that are currently airing.

There is indeed a market for brutal television. Dexter would lack the visceral punch without some of the more grisly scenes… but by the same token, it wouldn’t be very popular if it was just a gorefest.

The main thrill of the show is the psychological riddles that a peppered throughout. By the same token, there are shows that simply try too hard by littering scenes with ultra-violence… and these tend to be ignored by everyone except those that want to complain about the level of gore on television.

What do you think?

About the author

I'm Mof Gimmers.

I've been writing about TV for a long time. I love it and loathe it in equal measures. I'm pretty sure the TV feels the same away about me too.
More from this author »

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1