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why i only watched one episode of “the americans.”

April 25, 2014

Strong, graphic content, both sexual and violent. Consensual sex, but also..

The rest of this post is from a comment I left for a review of “The Americans.”

There’s a rape scene in the first episode. In some shows and films, scenes of rape are not gratuitous, and are meant to show how horrible rape is (there’s such a scene in an episode of “Downton Abbey.”) I don’t like to see rape at all, but presenting rape in such a way in a movie or show is not nearly as bad as how it is presented within the context of “The Americans.”

With programs and movies like this, which are filled with gratuitous consensual sex and loads of violence, rape is presented to be entertainment, something to be enjoyed. The rape scene in the first episode of this program is, in my opinion, supposed to be part of the “fun,” for those who like a lot of strong, shocking content. It is likely those people who make up the majority of folks who mark this review as unhelpful. Such people don’t like reviewers taking a stand against graphic content.

It is my opinion that shows and movies with a high level of graphic violence and sex can be a sort of gateway drug to even worse things. I feel it is important to be at least somewhat selective in what one puts in one’s mind.

I watch an HBO program that has some graphic scenes in it. I might seem hypocritical in doing so, considering what I’ve just written. But, “The Wire” is the ONLY show I watch with graphic violence and sex scenes. And, there are many episodes of “The Wire” that have neither graphic violence nor sex (just tons of profanity). Also, in “The Wire,” the violence is, for the most part, not gratuitous. It is showing how life is really like in the ghetto neighborhoods of West Baltimore.

The violence shown in “The Wire” is similar to that which you might find in a well-made war film such as “We Were Soldiers,” or the urban drama “Boyz in the Hood,” in that the violence is showing truth. Eventually though, even in “The Wire,” by the 4th and 5th seasons, the violence starts to seem somewhat gratuitous. But, overall, the violence is presented more responsibly and with different intent than violence as shown in programs like “The Americans,” and “Justified,” for example.

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