Torture On TV – A Question

Just a question. How many TV shows have you seen lately that have one of the character using torture? I’m watching a Tivo’d episode of Surface now, and one of the main characters is torturing someone. I was just thinking I’ve been seeing a lot of torture on drama shows for a while now. Just asking.

13 thoughts on “Torture On TV – A Question

  1. Are you counting the torture perpetrated on us via television tonight when they introduced the Supreme Court justices or just the kewl Jack Bauer kind?

  2. I’m more used to watching SF shows like Stargate where only the evil characters use torture. There have been some fairly heinous episodes, like where one bad guy tortures the protagonist to death, then reanimates hiim just so he can torture him to death again, over and over.

  3. I’ve seen it too often on 24. Seeing it on these shows will change the peception of torture for many viewers who will start to believe it is normal.

  4. The whole purpose of “24” appears to be to desensitize the public to the use of torture by the “good guys”.

  5. I haven’t seen any because I avoid shows like “24” or Surface like the plague they are. Maybe I’d better start watching to get some idea of what the sociological effect is likely to be.

  6. We’re simply being conditioned to accept it. Why? Because our government loves it and it’s no secret that the CIA offer “advice” to TV and movie scriptwriters. “24” has “CIA” written all over it. Ain’t gonna watch!

  7. You may recall that even good-guy (in the movie and in “real life”) George Clooney tortured onfromation out of a guy who supplied infrastructure to “terrorists” in the film THE PEACEMAKER. This country is going to hell very, very rapdily.

  8. There was a torture theme in Stargate Atlantis 2 episodes ago. There was an explosion set to go off that was the work of a terrorist infiltrator and everyone suspected this one scientist whom no one liked at all. The base command discussed the torture option and a burly alien badass volunteered for the deed. Then, just at the last minute, a more careful analysis of the intelligence logs revealed that the perpetrator was a much-liked member of the command group who turned out to have come under alien influence. The torture victim-to-be came to no actual harm because he’d fainted before anything could happen. There was pause.
    Come to think of it, Battlestar Galactica has worked an anti-torture storyline into its last few episodes. My advice is, watch SciFi Fridays for carefully considered ethical conundrums.

  9. Natasha,
    Pro or Anti, actually it is presenting both sides. They justify torturing the Cyclons because of the terrible dangers they face (9/11) but they also show their … humanity and the pain they cause.
    But in my own humble opinion it’s still torture presented with ANY justification. So I think it has to have a desensitizing effect, no matter how much of an anti-torture statement they might think they are making.

  10. Dave: note that the torturers in Battlestar Galactica were clearly the “evil good guys” as the heroes stand up to them to stop the torture at the risk of execution.

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