The Reality of Murder

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I am painfully aware that I am extra sensitive when it comes to things that relate to death, murder, trauma, victimization, etc. I am also astute enough to know that not everyone shares (and nor should they), in my belief around the exploitation of violence and crime. And along these same lines, I strongly support freedom of speech and in my home, if I find myself in conflict with something that I see or hear, I just turn it off. But with that being said… Really ABC? “Whodunnit?” Of all the pitches you receive on a daily basis, this is what you choose to produce? A reality television series, where someone is murdered, and “everyday” people compete to solve the crime so that they don’t get killed themselves? And if you are the last one to escape a violent demise, then you win $250,000? Come on, really? Has it finally come to this? I had kind of reached my limit with the plethora of “whodunit” and crime solving shows in current line up: CSI, Law and Order, Cold Case, Psych, Bones, The Mentalist and just about every show on the ID Network: Dates from Hell, Blood, Lies and Alibis, Deadly Women, Blood Relatives but now… a murder game show? Eeeks.

Now, keep in mind, I started this article by saying I know I am extra sensitive to this kind of topic, but I am 100 percent confident that even without the tragedy that occurred in my life, I would be disgusted at this type of program. What is its purpose? What entertainment value is it providing? Is there a call to action? Are you partnering with law enforcement agencies for new recruits? Or is it purely sensationalizing murder?

In my humble opinion, we are already inundated with so much violence on TV (fiction and non-fiction), that I just don’t understand the need to add more, especially from a “reality TV” stand point, whose reviews include “Good bloody fun!” I know, naysayers are already telling me to “get over it,” “lighten up” or “stop being so dramatic” and the truth is, I usually roll my eyes at this type of nonsense and find something else to watch that has some educational component. But I guess I am just tired of always struggling to find decent shows that celebrate life and the human spirit. I might be in the minority on this, but I want a healthy balance when it comes to entertainment; I just feel that my choices are dwindling. The norm now has become to exploit tragedy and highlight violence wherever we can (TV, movies, social media, the news); when will we roll the tide and start producing more shows that are inspiring and motivating?

There are so many of us that are trying to do good work in the world especially as it pertains to overcoming adversity. We work hard at empowering victims and survivors to find balance, help them cope with their trauma, support people as they move through their process to a “New Normal.” We are committed to sensitizing the public about the devastation left behind after a major trauma occurs, and to teach people that murder is not entertainment. Unfortunately from that perspective alone, this type of programming only adds additional obstacles to an already difficult journey. But again, I realize I can’t expect everyone to share in my mission or my passion.

It’s no surprise, I won’t be watching, and I am sure thousands of people who are fascinated with crime solving shows and reality TV will tune in, to which I say, “to each his own.”

But in case anyone at ABC or any other network is looking to break away from the pack, and change the “norm” by investing in smart shows that make a difference, that add culture, character and are full of inspiration and hope, I’ve got a computer full of concepts that I would be happy to pitch!

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