“I totally know what’s going to happen. I love knowing what’s going to happen! But they won’t do it – they can’t do it. They can’t just lose the “P” in SCDP. But could they? I guess they could. Paul Kinsey’s off the show. And so is Sal. Oh look, the car won’t start — I knew they wouldn’t kill him off. They can’t. Seriously, that actor has a contract! Uh oh, nothing good can come from going to the office in the middle of the night. So THAT’S how they are going to do it! He’ll jump out the window just like in the opening credits! I am so smart. Time for pudding! OK good, he made it to the next day. I guess they really won’t do it. BUT WAIT.. hmm… is.. is he IN his office? NO! Is he really in there? I can’t believe they did that. I wonder..no.. NO. They did NOT just show that body! Holy JEEZ, they did not just show that body! Too much. Eyes. Can’t. Handle. WHY IS IT STILL ON THE SCREEN! Cut! Cut Matthew Weiner, CUT! Oh man. How am I going to sleep now?”
So that my friends, was a little something I like to call my inner-Mad Men-ologue. For those who didn’t watch, an incredible episode of the AMC series aired on Sunday. For those who did watch, I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s probably the only program on TV that could smash a very sweet coming-of-age-story and an untimely suicide into one hour-long episode. I’m sure you’ll also agree that it’s probably the only program on TV that could show such a graphic, realistic portrayal of death – and get away with it. But am I alone in wondering why they needed to linger on a dead man’s body for such an extended period of time?
While one viewing was more than enough, I rewound to see how long the lingering actually lasted. Ready for this? It lasted thirty seconds. Thirty seconds! All or part of a very real, very dead looking dead man was shown on screen for a sloth-like 30 seconds. Yes, I know it was a dummy. But a dummy can still halt your sleep cycle and cause some very unfortunate nightmares. I certainly appreciate a little shock value as much as the next gal, but I firmly believe that the water cooler conversation would still be overflowing had the characters just alluded to the man hanging behind the door, while the camera was kept affixed on their ghost-white faces.
Of course it’s not the first time a popular show “went there.” Take drug (and fried chicken) kingpin Gus on Breaking Bad – the man was blown to bits and you better believe we saw every layer of skin, muscle and bone on his zombie-like face. And while I’m not a frequent Private Practice watcher, just the site of Amelia’s baby caused the following online outburst from a friend after the neurosurgeon gave birth, “THEY SHOWED THE BABY! THEY SHOWED THE BABY’S HEAD! I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY SHOWED THE HEAD. IT DIDN’T HAVE BRAIN. THEY SHOWED THE WHOLE HEAD!” The difference is that while those story lines could very well happen in real life, they simply aren’t as believable as Lane’s unfortunate turn of events, making it all the more devastating and intrusive to watch.
But enough about what I think — what do you think, Buzz Bloggers? Do you enjoy a little gore now and again on primetime TV? Or do you think it’s just a tad overkill? (Pun intended.)
Rita Morgan (Dexter)
Lane Pryce (Mad Men)
Susan Ross (Seinfeld)
Rosalind Shays (LA Law)