Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Evil Will Be Televised

I pay for the BBC - everyone with a TV set in the UK does.  Last night's BBC 9 pm show, Episode 2 of Series 2 of Luther, was more than a waste of money.  It was a criminal waste.  The first series of Luther was shocking and thrilling.  Last night plumbed the depths of evil enacted for entertainment - what is sometimes called "torture porn" - a genre more or less invented by the makers of the films Hostel and Saw; it is a cynical genre, that knew that eros and thanatos thicken and congeal in the human imagination, and that people will pay to see bad things happen to good-looking people.  Fine for cinema - but public TV need not follow such bottom-feeder trends.

The Luther episode featured a bound police officer being branded; a man's hand crucified with hammer and nail; and fourteen children kidnapped on a schoolbus, gassed liked during Nazi Germany, and graphic discussion of how their bodies could be destroyed by acid.  Each of these acts is repeatable, and no doubt some nutter will want to try and mimic the show.  It certainly puts ideas into sick and healthy heads alike.  Great drama has cathartic confrontations with evil, but it is also well-written and has deeper consequences.  This was just rubbish.  I want my money back.
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