Most people agree that homicide is one of the most serious crimes a person can commit. The act of taking someone else’s life, especially when it is premeditated, is condemned by American society. Our law system and culture proves that we have no mercy for coldblooded murderers, and do everything in our power to condone this behavior. If this is the case, why then do entertainment productions continue to create films that portray these killers as relatable people? Why do we romanticize these characters who commit homicides when we criticize the same behavior in our society?
The entertainment industry has created a vast variety of productions that portray murderers, for example “Law and Order” is one of the well known series that give a general introduction to how our justice system works. “Law and Order” follows lawyers and prosecutors in the discovery of crimes, as well as other legal processes. On the other hand, “Criminal Minds” takes a different take and focuses on the criminal’s psychological backgrounds and behaviors. Both series have not received much backlash, although they incorporate drama, the public can refer to these productions as educational for how much they correlate with our current criminal law system.
Why is the show “You”, starring Penn Badgley, so different from the ones mentioned above? Is it that bad to show a different side of the killer? As season 4 premiered last week, it got me thinking how much we condemn killers but were romanticizing Joe, the main character. With people expressing how they would love to have a Joe in their life, to go as far as to kill someone in the name of love. We begin to sympathize with the murderer of this series, Joe, by learning of his childhood trauma. As the audience justifies his actions due to the lack of relationship with his parents and the lack of love growing up. Joe demonstrates that there is more to a murderer than just the event of the actual killing taking place, we get to understand everything that goes through his mind during the murder. For the most part this is something that is not easily understood, as we are trained to take a murder as someone who has full intention of actually killing someone. Through Joe we are able to experience a different side, the struggles he faced each time before actually engaging in murder.
Is the entertainment industry slowly introducing us to feel sympathy and compassion for murderers like Joe? Arguably it is just a series for entertainment purposes, but this show definitely displays striking ways to get away with murder. Can this be encouraging murder or even be considered as promoting acts of violence in the name of love?