POLL: Have TV Shows Reached Your Gore Threshold?

Arrow, The Night Shift, The Walking Dead

As a long time TV viewer and a fan of sci-fi and fantasy shows including some types of horror shows, I tend to think I have a pretty high gore threshold. I also like some medical and crime shows. I say this to establish myself as definitely not the type of person swooning at the sight of blood and in some cases, human entrails.

What started me thinking about this subject, however, were two recent viewing events. The first one was when I decided to watch a little of the new Syfy channel program, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, and yes, the title is a clue! This program was first broadcast on Starz. In the premiere episode, I noted the use of a slow motion blood spray as people were killed or injured. Now, those of us that watch anything on Syfy are totally used to the blood spray, frequently shown to depict a death off camera. But this slow motion spray was different, and more graphic, in my opinion.

The second viewing event was while watching The Wil Wheaton Project. In that episode, he did a supercut from True Blood, a vampire program on HBO. Yes, I acknowledge that HBO and other premium channels do have more graphic programming than other networks, and yes, with a vampire program, of course there will be blood. But, this supercut was a montage of the almost continual spraying of massive amounts of blood.

It seems to me that there is a trend to give viewers more and more of the bloody bits during a program. I am not sure when this trend might have started, but I think I can identify some reasons why it is occurring. Then I must ask: has it become too much for your taste?


The Night Shift

A frequent complaint about TV programs is that they are not realistic. The main characters never get shot or die. The emergency room scenes are nothing like a real emergency room. Depicted events never happen in real life, or happen in a much different way.

I will freely admit that I am one of those complainers. But, I am now starting to think that perhaps I have been wrong to complain. Maybe if I want realism I should watch a documentary, and for my strictly entertainment shows a little less realism would be just fine. Or perhaps this is just the result of the pendulum swinging too far in the opposite direction. Maybe this is a “be careful what you wish for” situation! I mean, while watching a show if I have to look away because they are showing a very serious injury perhaps I don’t need to actually see that to understand the gravity of the situation!

Freak Out Factor

Myka - The Walking Dead

It seems that TV programs along with movies and other entertainment, feel the need to continually up the stakes. Perhaps we are becoming desensitized and thus require more to be affected. TV programs are therefore continually looking for new ways to gross us out, or possibly just to grab our attention.

I can imagine it being a result of the constant barrage of information and images we experience every day. TV shows, along with advertising and what seems like everything else in our lives are all competing for our attention, and like a small child calling “mommy, mommy, mommy” over and over again, the hope is to get us to look.

It is also my opinion that the upsurge in major characters being killed off is an offshoot of this effect. As my prime examples, consider The 100 and The Walking Dead. Not only have several major characters been killed off, but each show contained a gory killing committed by a child.

Action = Gore

Heir to the Demon

Then we have the concept that in order to have a program with a lot of action, copious gore must logically follow. There actually is a difference between the two, and it is not necessary to increase the gore on a program heavy with action. As a good example, let me point out Arrow on The CW as a show chock full of action that does not have a lot of gore. Note that I am not saying there is no gore; just not a large amount.

For people who like action but really are not fans of gore, I could see this kind of increase turning them off to the programs. And really, car chases, gun battles, and fist fights do not require copious amounts of blood to get their point across.


So now I come to the place where I need to vote. This is tough, since I have no intention of not watching shows such as The Walking Dead or The 100. And, really, I do not expect the programs I watch to change to satisfy me. If this is a trend, then there is not much I can do about it! But, that said, I think I will still wish for less gore and therefore vote for “Too Much Gore.” Please vote below and then tell me what you voted for and why in the comments section.