In the comments of streaming services like Netflix and Youtube a true pandemic rises. It’s not a computer virus. It’s not a terrorist group. It’s not a new meme. It’s not a threat. It’s a new breed of the human. The I-only-watch-for-the-violence or I-enjoy-the-death-scenes people have began to take over the actual enjoyment of action dramas.
I first encountered this phenomenon when watching probably one of my favorite TV miniseries ever: Band of Brothers. However, when I looked online about reviews, I saw a few unusual things. A review had stated, “It is very exciting when a German dies, and the show also gets your blood pumping when a character gets wounded.” I stared at that review confused by what it meant, so I continued to scroll through the sea of words to see if something similar reached the surface. And sure enough, another review very similar to the other one stood there in plain sight.
I guess you could call me an elitist, but I have an abundant amount of hatred for those types of people. For me, movies and TV shows are a form of art. Though it seems like directors and other staff members of a production team are throwing random scenes of senseless violence, these scenes of violence are usually used to develop a character's personality, setup the environment, or add more significance to the plot. To say that you really like the violence in a TV show or movie is to truly disrespect the goal that the director or script writer wanted the viewer to understand. No other genre displays this better than the crime genre.
When we often think of a crime TV shows or movies, we’d think of the constant showcase of blood and gore and steel and sweat and tears (in some cases, if the production team is really bad at their job, it is a showcase of blood and gore). However, much of this violence contributes to the development of the characters. TV shows like The Sopranos displays violence through the actions of the characters. With the constant violence, the plot moves forward and kills off characters that have had their influences and time. Violence is also implemented to show the personality of the characters. A constant string of homicides shows that the character is psychopathic while a well planned assassination displays a character’s logical thinking. This type of violence also goes for TV shows like Boardwalk Empire who use most of its violence to move the plot forward. Deaths usually revolve around revenge, justice, or more logical reasons. These deaths usually contribute to events afterwards which makes the story more interesting. Movies like The Godfather use violence to maintain the setting of the story. The deaths build character and improve the storyline, but the deaths also send a grim reminder of what the movie’s setting is. Violence in movies isn’t implemented just to entertain the savage side of a viewer but to make the characters, storyline, and environment more interesting than before. People who just watch movies and TV shows for the death and destruction are just like people who enjoy the frame of a piece of art rather than the actual art piece itself.
What’s even more enraging is the fact that people laugh at the violence that happens in movies and TV shows that are based off of reality. It is truly disrespectful when people laugh at the deaths of people who have lived before. I had watched Band of Brothers and The Pacific and had really enjoyed the stories of old veterans and brave men. But when I looked at the comments revolving around the show, a large piece of my hope in humanity was lost forever. A couple, by that I mean a lot, of comments were saying that the violence in the TV shows were “amazingly hilarious”. I glared at the comments in sheer disappointment.
Not only those who loved violence but those who hated it also rose to the occasion. In the sea of comments, another majority of the words were screaming that the violence in Band of Brothers and The Pacific was too much and disrespectful. Hypocrites. Absolute hypocrites. Those people screamed disrespectful, yet they couldn’t admit that the violence happening inside the TV shows were all real. The violence in those TV shows are events that the real people really experienced.
“Ha! The guy was blown to smithereens!” laughed my friend.
I pull out my phone and say, “I’m calling the hit.”