Sunday, August 28, 2011

Gory Dismemberment? That's OK, as Long as You Hide the Boobs

This past week I finished watching The Pacific, the "sequel" to Band of Brothers, both of which are amazing looks at the events of World War II. Most of the criticism of The Pacific said that it was a little more disjointed and less emotionally invested in its characters than Band of Brothers, which I agree with to a point, but the campaign in the Pacific theater seemed much more disjointed and darker than the battle raging in Europe. I loved it just as much as Band of Brothers and would wholeheartedly recommend both if you haven't seen them.

As I was going into my Netflix account to rate The Pacific, I glanced through the member reviews to see what others thought and ended up scratching my head as I read through many of them. A few of the reviews shared the same sentiments I mentioned above, but the overwhelming negative criticism of the mini-series was that there were a couple of scenes where we *gasp* see some boobs. Yes, there are 2-3 scenes where the relationships of our characters and their intimate moments are explored. In truth, there's probably a full total of 5 minutes of nudity in the entire 7-ish hours of the mini-series.

It was so odd to read reviews railing against the series, saying not to watch it, because there were a few scenes of female nudity (nothing overtly explicit even and most of the time things were obscured). It seems like such an odd criticism of a series that has a body count in the hundreds. The action is visceral with no punches pulled. Limbs are violently lost, men scream in their bloody death throes, bodies are utterly dismantled, and you are party to more than a few intense, prolonged, physical, hand-to-hand struggles as a life is slowly extinguished. These are all brutal, harrowing scenes of violence and death, some that will churn your stomach... yet so many people were up in arms over a nipple or two.

To this day, I have trouble understanding this odd disconnect in our culture. Violence, no matter how cringe-worthy, is no big deal, but as soon as you have one nipple on screen or even think about portraying an intimate moment, people want to turn their head or complain or make sure to protect their children from such filth. It's just so weird. Maybe it's the American fetish with violence. Maybe we're all to desensitized. Maybe there's something inherently nefarious about nipples that I don't realize. But if you ask me right now, I think too many people have their priorities mixed up when it comes to what is viewed as more damaging. I know I don't have kids yet, but I somehow imagine that when I do that if I have to pick between allowing my kids to watch brutal violence or a couple expressing their love, I'm going to let love take precedence.

1 comment:

John Nicholson said...

agreed. Sex is natural, violence is not. I'd rather have my daughter.see a naked breast in an art movie than see intestines chopped into on tv.