Ratcheting Up the Violence on Television

FOR DOWNLOAD MORE GALLERY At the same time that fleeting obscenities and images of nudity are heavily fined by the remnants of the Bush-era FCC, violence on television is escalating, as evidenced by this one critic's disgust:
Speaking of SVU (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), which has taken a significant hit since NBC pushed it out of the 10 p.m. time period in which it belongs to make way for the curiously dull Jay Leno Show (which might benefit from an appearance by the lively cast of Glee), I thought the opening sequence of this week's episode (with guest stars Scott Foley and Christine Lahti) was one of the most disturbing things I have seen on a broadcast network at 9 p.m. in a long time. Foley's character woke up naked, disoriented and a bit bloodied in the bathroom of his apartment, with blood smeared on the white tiled walls around him. He then stumbled into his living room, where a dead, semi-nude woman lay on the floor in a pool of blood, the side of her skull bashed in, with blood splatters all over the walls. The camera repeatedly returned to and lingered on the goop and guts surrounding the woman's massive head wound. This is hardly the first time that SVU has presented the awful aftermath of a violent crime (without showing the violence that came first), and such messy displays are par for the course on many of CBS' hugely popular crime series. But for some reason I found this scene hard to look at.