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24 and Violence

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Last night I was happily watching my favorite television show, 24, on FOX. Like every episode, I was at the edge of my seat for the entirety of the show. However, as the episode was coming to a close, a Parental Advisory warning was played before the last 10 minutes. For those of you who do not watch 24, the recent plot is that Jack Bauer is trying to expose a massive cover-up of Russian involvement in terrorist attacks, along with finding those responsible for the death of his romantically-involved partner. Those who know Jack Bauer would understand that he’ll stop at nothing to get the information he needs. Many look at 24 as glamorizing torture. In fact, this has been an issue since the beginning of the show. However, last nights episode would show how torture essentially leads into a path of darkness where there seems to be no escape.

The last ten minutes of the show were extremely graphic and intense. Jack finds the man responsible for his lover’s murder and after a series of torture techniques, realizes that the information needed is in the villain’s phone. (Let’s just say the torture scene involved a wrench, gasoline, a knife, and a blowtorch) Unfortunately, the villain swallowed the SIM card just before. This is the point where I noticed the boundaries upon which this show was stretching. Jack Bauer took out his knife, whispered “This is for my friend” in the villains ear, and cut open the stomach of the assassin to get the SIM card. This brutal scene was alarming in both the visuals and the emotions behind it. 24 has been the show that has consistently pushed the boundaries regarding how much violence is too much. I think I can finally say that after seeing that scene, I am not sure that the boundaries can be pushed much farther. From the writers point of view however, I see that they are trying to go out with a bang. One thing is for sure, the violence on TV has now been given a line that few will cross. It will be interesting to see if other similar shows follow in the footsteps of last night’s episode. Will they show discretion with these acts of violence? Or will they try to push the envelope even farther?

To see the episode go here.

Written by mikedepetris

May 21, 2010 at 2:53 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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