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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/10/09

The opening scenes of NBC's "Southland", I faded it to black

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Message Mary MacElveen
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In reading this one article that deals with entertainment, The 10 Shows That Deserve to Return Next Fall (But Might Not), I noticed they mentioned “Southland”: The show which premiered Thursday night, and took the coveted 10 PM timeslot on NBC that had been held by “ER”, which ended its 15-year-run last week.


In this article, they noted, “Neither of these shows have even premiered yet, but while they both have promising pilots that have us hooked, it is unlikely that they'll actually last.” The other show being ABC’s “The Unusuals” which aired Wednesday night, but a show that I did not watch.  They went onto write of “Southland” that it “is twisted and gritty, but with NBC's new schedule next fall, there's not really a lot of space for this show that needs to be in the 10 PM hour. We like them, but we're worried that they're doomed before they started.”  Who is we?


I would like to say that this article appeared on the Internet right before “Southland” premiered, so how do they know that we the viewers would be hooked?  Worried? Still scratching my head on that one.  I worry about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the economy, but a show?  Nope.


With all the hype that “Southland” received as the replacement show for “ER”, I decided to give it a view on its premier night.  What a huge mistake on my part as I felt immediately assaulted.  I turned it off after a few minutes of viewing time and here is why.  We have enough bloody violence in our world, namely the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  In our own country, we also have so much blood spilling due the increase in gun violence.


Glaring at Glenn Beck at this point.  Oh he will get my wrath at some point.  Not now.


The opening scene showed corpses littering the street filled with bullet holes and blood and a young rookie police officer trying to make sense of it all.   Now here is where I turned it off: It was when I saw a car filled with gangland shooters take an innocent young teenager down on the streets of L.A. in a hail of bullets. At that point, I could not take one more minute of this show.


So, instead here I write of my feelings towards this one show and NBC in particular.  In my opinion, this is not entertainment.  Maybe it is a filler show until NBC airs the Jay Leno show starting in the fall in their 10 PM timeslot.  Yank it off now and put on repeats of “ER”, NBC and let we the viewers see the characters many of us (the loyal viewers) came to love and had to say goodbye to last week.


Unlike “ER” this show as I said assaulted the viewers with violence instead of drawing them in as “ER” did so we could get to know the characters and their mission statement.  To save lives.  Not that police officers do not save lives; but did we really have to see such a level of violence in this show’s opening scenes?


Yes, I love cop shows, but I do not like the explicit violence on television.  I do not like to see young teenagers gunned down in a hail of bullets.  We as a society have enough of that in real life, so why should we look for that in television shows?  One cop show that I do like is “Law and Order SVU” and while most of the issues they deal with are sensitive in nature, you do not see the  expressed of level of violence shown on “SVU” as one did in the opening scenes of “Southland”


I think the reason why I just had to turn this one show off is because I have had enough of gun violence in our society.


When I heard the reports of that deranged man walking into that civic center in Binghamton, NY taking the lives of 13 people including himself, Virginia Tech immediately came to mind.


Due to this economy we have seen instances of bread winners taking the lives of their children with the use of firearms, including themselves as they lose their jobs. 


Every morning, I read my newspaper which is Newsday with my breakfast and one story gripped me on Thursday morning.  In fact, I had to put down my spoon since it was hard to eat at that point.  It was a story where a deranged mom killed her son (20) at a shooting range.  It was so hard to believe that a mom would kill her own son by shooting him in the back of the head, then turning the gun on herself.  I was nauseous at that point.


As assaulted as I felt by the airing of “Southland” I felt doubly assaulted in reading of this real life event. Newsday reported, “that Marie Moore had a history of mental illness, had previously attempted suicide and been involuntarily committed to a mental hospital in 2002 under the Florida law known as the Baker Act.”  I still do not understand how she was allowed to own a gun much less open fire on her son at a shooting range.

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I am a writer who currently writes pieces for my own blog I have been published by, and I was a guest on the Jay Diamond Radio Show on WRKO in Boston and have (more...)
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