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Thread: TV Violence in 1976

  1. #1
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    http://web.asc.upenn.edu/Gerbner/Asset.aspx?assetID=257

    The "most violent" television programs of 1976, according to the National Citizens Committee for Broadcasting:

    1. Quest (NBC)
    2. Starsky & Hutch (ABC)
    3. Baretta (ABC)
    4. Ba Ba Black Sheep (NBC)
    5. Hawaii Five-O (CBS)
    6. Six Million Dollar Man (ABC)
    7. Kojak (CBS)
    8. Police Story (NBC)
    9. Delvecchio (CBS)
    10. Serpico (NBC)
    11. Most Wanted (ABC)
    12. Charlie's Angels (ABC)

    ==========

    At CBS, an official states that his network "has been reducing the violence quotient for the past four years in response to public opinion," CBS will not be dropping Kojak or Hawaii Five-O, but the plot lines of these programs "will be a little more imaginative," The spokesman adds that "action-adventure shows will be sharply reduced, as will police-type shows. Most of the new shows being considered are the fun-and-games kind of thing."

  2. #2
    I wondered what it looked like in 1978-1979. Interesting...

  3. #3
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    George Gerbner (1919-2005) was a communications perfesser who was very interested in violence on TV.

    (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Gerbner)

    He was particularly interested in Starsky and Hutch, according to one WWW page!

    There is an archive of Gerbner's writings, and this page breaks down things he wrote by year.

    http://web.asc.upenn.edu/gerbner/arc...x?sectionID=39

    You might find something of interest there.

    The H50 episode "Nightmare in Blue" provoked an op-ed in The New York Times about violence. You can read it included with my review:

    http://fiveohomepage.com/5-0log6.htm#141

  4. #4
    I'm aware of that op-ed - weird. I read it and thought, "what did you watch?" Now, that could be because of the filter of about 40 years. Karen Rhodes broke down the op-ed too and I agree with Karen's assessment. It's a tough episode to watch but I like that the guy meets a nasty end. I have no sympathy for anyone like that. The victims, however, I have sympathy for them. The op-ed just seems so left field to me, but maybe it's because of the timing. I was girl growing up in the country when this all happened.

    The other links are interesting too - is it me or did Gerbner and CBS go a few rounds during the late 1970s?

  5. #5
    Interesting that SWAT didn't make the list.

  6. #6
    Feminist/columnist Caryl Rivers wrote that ridiculous "Nighmare in Blue" analysis 45 years ago, but it easily could have been written by some of today's wacky third wave feminists. Here's the most egregious paragraph:

    Glamour' is the only word I can use to describe the aura created by the manner in which the rapist was photographed. There were, for example, numerous low-angle shots of his police car, sleek as a jungle cat on the prowl. The blue light atop the car twirled, phallic, and restless. Given the clear relationship between the automobile and male sexuality in our society, the symbolism was obvious, even if unintended by the producers of 'Hawaii Five-0.' The effect was sexy and glamorous, not horrifying. The rapist was slim, handsome and virile. The camera's treatment of him was so blatantly machismo in tone, granting him so much of the swagger and force that All-American boys are supposed to covet, that I had a funny feeling that a lot of viewers weren't identifying with the victim but with the villain. Sure, he got his just desserts in the end, but while it lasted -- ah, what fun it was!
    Ugh. What garbage.

    This was written by someone trying to find victimhood where none existed.

    At no point was the rapist glorified or presented as a likable or "fun" character. He was presented as cold, scary, and heartless.

    The entire episode was spent with the heroes pursuing him, and he was by no means a charming villain. (Five-O did have its share of charming villains, especially in the nonviolent scam-type episodes, but this guy was the opposite.)

    Yes, the victims were mostly attractive women dressed in sexy clothing, but the show did not attempt to imply that they deserved it. Instead, the viewer was left to see them as pretty-but-helpless damsels in distress. Perhaps some of the point of this was for the male viewers to enjoy ogling the actresses, but Rivers wasn't even making that point. Instead, she opined that the show was presenting the rape spree as "fun" because of how the women looked.

    The blue police light and the automobile were supposed to represent male sexuality? Huh?

    Really dumb.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same...

    BTW, Caryl Rivers, who was 37 at the time of that piece, is now 81 and still alive.

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