The Bloody age of Television

Is television too gratuitous? Is it too violent? Is it over-sexualized? Over stimulating even? Right now we are living through the golden age of television, it is undisputable that right now the silver screen is king, and yet the furore surrounding everything from violence to sex on television very much exists.  Frankly, I find this moralizing of art to be abhorrent, restricting what can and cannot be made for our viewing pleasure based on the vitriolic reactions of an ostensibly right-wing media is farcical. Viva gore, viva sex, viva art, viva la revolución.

Now, to many I understand that the first episode of this current season of The Walking Dead (season seven) seemed excessive, that the violence portrayed was simply sickening, with no benefit other than shock. Now, I do agree that the violence was shocking, seeing two characters meet their untimely demise at the hands of Lucile was graphic, incredibly so; but the violence had a purpose, the furthering of plot and reconstruction of characters is important for (especially long running) shows to retain and attain relevance. What does this more than two characters being bludgeoned to death with a barbed wire-lined baseball bat?

Moralizing takes many forms; sex on our silver screen is also threatened by the encroaching Victorian values of institutions like the Daily Mail (whom, I imagine collectively frothing at the mouth, and screaming Pornography!!! Pornography!!! Somebody please think of the children). Whether it be Westworld or Versailles, the inevitable backlash against sex in art troubles me, I simply do not understand censoring sex in artistic works, even if that artistic work is on television.  I do not believe that art, within reason should shy away from any aspect of life, and sex is part of life! Why should we place art on a ridiculous moral pedestal?

We are living through the greatest television that has ever been produced. Period. No exceptions.  If we societally wish to continue to consume the great content we have to allow for the creation of unrestricted, unmolested content. Television is art, and it should be treated as such.  I do not believe in the creation of safe space content, or the bland censored content that many wish for us to consume. Television is art, it is expression, and it should be left to create whatever it wishes, no matter how violent or sexualized. It is your choice to watch, and that is all that matters. The subjectivity of personal choice should always reign over censorship and moralism.

 

About Joshua Willson
Lover of cinema, left-of-centre politics and an awful football team

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