Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Television Damsels In Distress

Television damsels in distress are a common theme used in action shows. For example consider some of the following scenes from recent television shows: a stay at home stripper has her throat cut while performing via web cam (NCIS), a women is killed by a nail gun (CSI Miami), an unseen force holds a women on a ceiling and then she bursts spontaneously into flame (Supernatural), a women�s severed head is found inside a newspaper box on a street corner with a snake in her mouth (CSI), a girl is found murdered in a packing trunk (Crossing Jordan). Television damsels in distress in combination with all of this violence and sex sell products and draws viewers to the shows.

Television damsels in distress have a strong appeal to both men and women. They appeal to a normal, healthy man�s hard wired natural instinct to protect women and children and they appeal to women in the same way that horror movies appeal to us by making us confront our fears. Also in all of these programs, the bad guys do get caught and punished and that is reassuring to everyone.

It is hard to believe that back in the 1960s, the A Team was considered too violent. Television damsels in distress have always been a part of storytelling but it does seem that the violence is getting more gruesome and even more excessive.

I think everyone would like to be able to save someone�s life. We all would like to be considered heroes and we all would like to think that we would do the right thing if we were put into the kind of situations we see regularly on these TV shows that use television damsels in distress to get our attention. Of course, the majority of us will never be in these kinds of situations. Most will never get the opportunity to save someone�s life through our direct actions. So watching programs that use television damsels in distress is a way for us to vicariously do all of these things. Who knows, watching all of these programs may help someone actually do the right thing if they ever do find themselves in one of these situations in real life?

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