Is our culture suffering from an overdose?
Years ago, a sketch during Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update featured “head-shaking news.” It involved a reporter seated at the TV news desk reading news briefs whose irony or underlying absurdity left the reporter and news anchor shaking their heads.
Prepare to shake yours.
Wednesday, The Associated Press reported the network planning a TV series based on the movie “Heathers” would delay its premiere due to the high school shooting in Florida that killed 14 students and three teachers.
Paramount Network had planned to reboot the series next Wednesday. The 1988 movie and, hence, the TV show revolve around a plot to kill high school students.
To be clear, the delay is a good thing. And mature audiences could see the satire in the film and likely would see that in the series.
But not every TV viewer is mature, regardless of their age. A larger issue, then, is the aggregate impact of brutality and mayhem in video entertainment, be it televised, cinematic or interactive gaming.
It’s time for a national conversation about the volume of violence that permeates screens large and small — and, while we’re at it, question whether the sexual content contributes to a faulty sense of how intimacy figures into human relationships. Is there such a thing as “casual sex?”
More likely, though, we will pause for a respectful period, then return to our previously scheduled programs.
Cue the head shaking.