The reason many adults are upset about this ep... : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

can be understood by reading many of the comments here.

A 16 year old girl in this forum says how the last scene was tastefully done. Is she already so desensitized to death that Lucy's "death gaze" is considered tasteful? This was not a villan we saw dying, it was a sweet, young lady that we've "known" for quite some time.

Another young man in this forum says parents should trust their teenagers' judgement--this kind of show isn't going to make them want to go out and shoot up their classmates. Maybe not, but if you can watch that scene and not be affected by viewing such a violent act taking place, you're already on that slippery slope of a reason people don't want this kind of "shock entertainment" in the first place. You've separated the violence from the humanity. Just as I'm sure the boys at Columbine separated their violence from the humanity around them.

THAT'S why this episode is upsetting. It's one more push at that separation.

-- (, February 12, 2000


That's funny. I was thinking the same thing. Some guy referred to a woman who wrote in as a "wimp" for being traumatized by this past episode (stabbing). I see those of us who are disturbed by this episode as conscientious viewers- we choose not to watch overly violent programs, so we are taken aback when we see it on our favorite programs. I for one have never taken to watching violent films or tv (friends are shocked that I have never seen Jason), so that last scene on ER stuck with me for awhile.

I personally do not want my child to become desensitized to violence, so I don't let him watch anything remotely violent either. There is enough violence in the world. Also, I have seen more than enough sound research in my studying of psychology that links watching violent programming as a child to violent and criminal behavior as a young adult. Parents have to make their own decisions on their childrens' viewing, but come on. Do we want to raise generations of future criminals or compassionate children? I think the answer to that is obvious. My rant is over... Thanks for reading. sarah

-- sarah (, February 12, 2000.

I'm not 'desensitized to voilence' as you put it, just because I can stomach this. I don't blame people who think it was horrible, Lucy's face still haunts me, but we do see much more graphic and horrible stuff every week, like the shooting in the ER, and just because it's a main character, you all think it's so much more voilent and horrible. What about Dean Rollins? Nobody was complaining about him!

-- Lisa (, February 12, 2000.

sad that this episode is getting so much heat, because it was tasteful and was well done. it's the connection to the characters that makes it so upsetting that something happened bad to them. But this show has always been very graphic and has not pulled any punches describing things or showing injuries. so if you watch the show and are disturbed by this stabbing, you should have been upset about all kinds of things much earlier than this. Like the rape and murder of that lady earlier in this season (the one that came in at the same time as her killer, the serial killer). violence is a part of this show. If you are watching this show, expect violence. If you do not want to see violence and people die and very, very sad things happen, don't watch. The ratings they post on the upper corner say that.

Now that being said, I don't think anyone watching this show that has seen this show for any amount of time is not effected by seeing this violent act and is not sad and upset. Myself, I cried. I absolutely love both of those characters. I don't want anything bad to happen to them. But I don't want anyone I know to get in a car wreck or get cancer or get stabbed. But it happens. And medical people who sometimes have to deal with mentally unstable patients are at a risk of danger sometimes.

As far as lucy's "death gaze" sure it's a haunting image, however hardly distasteful.

-- chris (, February 12, 2000.

Everyone has a valid opinion as to how this episode affected them. I personally thought is was wonderfully done and portrayed. I do find though, that the people that didn't like it are in the minority.

-- Paula (, February 12, 2000.

I did enjoy this episode. It mad me cry and laugh and, well, almost faint. But I am a little concerned because ER is on at 9:00 wher I live and that is really not that late. It is very accessible to younger viewers. That final scene scared me so bad that for the last two nights I run to bed as soon as the light is out and I check behind all of the doors in the dark! I am a little concerned that this could be too much for a younger viewer and Er is not on at 11:00 everywhere.

-- 2222 (, February 12, 2000.

I didn't intend to offend anyone when I wrote. Lisa seemed a bit defensive. Though you were able to "stomach" the episode, you still seemed shocked by it. That doesn't make you desensitized (a good thing). Also, I was just as disturbed by the elderly rape episodes that someone mentioned. I imagine most of the people who were shocked by last night's episode were upset by some of the other tragedies portrayed as well. I don't think that all of us who were shocked would say that we didn't like the episode or appreciate the talent that went into creating it. (I will certainly be watching it next week.) Shock often leads to awareness and deep feelings, which are good things. It's not all bad, but I still don't want my kid to see it. sarah

-- sarah (, February 12, 2000.

>>>A 16 year old girl in this forum says how the last scene was tastefully done. Is she already so desensitized to death that Lucy's "death gaze" is considered tasteful? >>>

Excuse me, but if you are talking about *my* earlier post I feel you must have falsely assumed my response to this eppy. I didn't really go into what I felt at the end because it had already been said numerous times before. However, now I feel I must defend myself in response to what you decided to write about me.

I must be blatant in the fact (not the assumption) that I am *not* desensitized. The first time I watched the scene I was crying; it wasn't Lucy's infamous death stare which affected me as much as Carters vain attempts @ trying to get the help of the other ER staff. What finally brought on the tears was when the camera closed in on John's face when he saw Lucy; he went from "Somebody help me! it hurts..." to "Oh god what have I done to her?" when he realized she could have been lying there for the past long while because he had neglected her. On the second viewing (yes, I watched it twice - does that make me a bad person?) the lump in my throat and the pit of my stomach grew as the eppy went on. Its hard to eavesdrop in on the innocent lives of two beautiful people knowing their fate has dealt them such terrible cards.

So in closing, and mostly because Im just getting tired of the debate, is that I AM HUMAN, I DO FEEL. I am cynical of most of what I see on TV and disregard it as what it is - entertainment. I am not so easily swayed by this very disturbing, but tasteful, scene that I would go out and act violently. I would hope you think that young people are smart enough to decide for themselves what is wrong. If you have any doubts, re-read my post, aside from being a tad sarcastic, I hope it will be intelligent enough to sway you.

PS- Here in Calgary (where, by the way, there have been no school shootings) ER airs @ 8:00. Its been that way for a long time, and I have yet to hear a single complaint.

-- Anna (, February 12, 2000.

When NBC originally aired the "Homicide" two-parter "Fallen Heroes," they apparently attached a warning to the effect of "This episode has a level of violence unusual for the series. Parental discretion is advised." I wasn't watching "Homicide" at the time so I don't know whether or not it had any real effect on the outcry that probably followed the graphic murder of three police officers and injury of two others (plus the requisite killing of the shooter).

Could NBC have avoided this? I suppose, but people would have still have watched the episode and been just as irate. They couldn't win. That last scene was tasteful, by the way, because it wasn't graphic -- you didn't see Lucy get stabbed; you saw *Carter* get stabbed, and even then it wasn't clearly shown. It was way less graphic than what happened in "Fallen Heroes," which ran in the same timeslot on Friday evenings. Not even close.

And, for the love of Eris, let's not drag Columbine into this, huh? I'm a little sick of seeing things done in the name of "protecting the children" -- parents have an obligation to keep an eye on their kids, and "ER" is not what I'd consider family viewing. It never has been. Why adults are suddenly incensed by this kind of stuff is a bit puzzeling, since kids shouldn't be seeing it *anyway*.

FYI, there has never been a positive causal relationship established between violence in media and violence in the real world. People who assume the two are linked are looking for an overly simplistic solution to a very complicated problem that has far too many elements to understand easily. Ms. Leary, you may claim "sound research," but I direct your attention to both Eron & Huesmann (1984) and Milavsky et al (1982), two studies that examined the same thing and found dramatically different results. (And, if that weren't enough, you could also look at Huseman & Eron (1986), where they find significant differences from their 1984 conclusions.) There *is* no "sound research" on the subject because all of it conflicts. If there were to be agreement, then you might be able to claim there is "sound research," but in the absence of overwhelming positive correlations (and I mean overwhelming, as in "lots of researchers getting the same results"), it's simply not true.

-- Mike Sugimoto (, February 13, 2000.

I'm 23 and I had no problems with it, I'm not going to retype my whole posts to response to this point again(dont' want to bore ya all) :) But just because people watch horror movies, does not mean they are desensitzied, just as the fact that someone liked this episode does not mean they are vil. I loved it becaue orf the suprub acting, the direction, the foreshadowing, writing, choice of music etc... The element of surprise, the look on Lucy's face-which was sooo wonderuflly acted. That is right, ACTED, it is acting. I loved how the show managed to surprise us, I did not read any spoilers but a lot of people knew or had heard that Lucy would be attacked in an episode, but Carter's attack was a surprise. I was totally in shock, since he is my favorite charactar. I realy don't thik i was orverly gory, there was not that much blood, I think the worst part was the look on Lucy's face(which they did not dwell on too long) I can assure you just because I watch horror movies or I saw this ep of ER does not mean i'm gong to go kill anyone. I am very sensitive and caring, I volunteer at an animal shelter and at the hospital where I work mainly in the pediatrics unit. I want to get a master's in Social Work and work with hospitalized children, I"ve never been in a fight(unless you count stupid little fights that all friends get in where you argue back and forth and then make up 10 min later) I cry if I see a wedding or a baby being born(on tv, never seen it in real life) so I really take offense to you saying that just because I happened to like this episode and to recognize the amazing theatrical aspects(and I do know a lot about theatre, I"Ve been invovled in theatre, acting, writing and backstage work for 7yrs, as well as dance and singing) I realized that it was just a tv show. I do agree that young kids should not have been watching, and it prob would have been a good idea for NBC to put on a warning(tonits episode is more graphic than usual etc..) but I do not think it is going to lead to a rash of school shooting or anything, or to lead teens or 20 somethings to turn into evil beings. Thanks, and sorry for any typing or spelling mistakes(i typed this really fast, and i'm sure I made some) :)

-- Alex (, February 13, 2000.


I was really affected by the show this week and I am very happy that this show is aired at 10:00pm. It's the second time I get that sort of buzz while watching one of the few shows I watch on TV. The last time was when Dr. Green got attacked. However, this time was a Hitchcok liked scare and I really was troubled in a way I don't like.

Anyway, I still think ER is one of the most intelligent American dramas today and I will keep watching it, but if someone was able to watch that scene without being affected at all, one of two things is possible:

They are not an ER fan and had no connections to the caracters


They should get their heads examined

Robert Sergent Ottawa, Canada

-- Robert Sergent (, February 13, 2000.

I appreciate your opinion Mike. But, after all, yours is also just an opinion. (And, by the way, why does yours get to come before everyone else's in the list?) I am more than willing to look at the studies you posted. I am not familiar with the particualar researchers you have mentioned, so I am not aware of their findings. I must say, however, that I can't imagine that you have gone through EVERY study done on the subject, so I can't imagine that you have tallied up all of the evidence for or against a correlation between media and violence. If you have done this research, I apologize for underestimating you. To set the record straight, I never stated there was a causal link- the most one can really be hopeful for is a significant positive correlation, really. The research I was presented by my professors and that which I read on my own time indicated a positive correlation, but I have not had a chance to read everything on the subject. I appreciate your reading list and opinion, but try not to be so self-righteous about it next time. sarah

-- sarah (, February 13, 2000.

My answers come first because I'm the publisher, administrator, and moderator of this forum and the site it's attached to, and that's my prerogative. I can put them more or less wherever I want.

To answer your question -- no, I haven't read every study. But I have read most of them, including the ones that are the most frequently cited, involving the possibility of a link between exposure to media violence and violence in the real world. I've also taken the liberty of reading the results of the studies investigating the link between pornography and sex offenses in the real world. I have lots of hobbies and lots of research interests, and I'm enough of a scientists to read just about everything I can get my hands on about a particular topic, and TV violence was a big one a few years ago. I wanted to be able to discuss the subject intelligently and with reference to current research thinking, so I read.

The overall result from both fields is ambiguous at best and downright confusing at worst. Beyond the problems of experimental design, many of these studies cannot be replicated by other investigators, which is a fundamental component of scientific research -- making their results suspect at best. Inter-rater reliability has pretty much gone down the tubes with these studies. There are other problems (bad or no randomization, over-generalization of results, bad subject selection criteria), but they're pretty minor compared to the inability to duplicate the results.

The best you could say amongst true scientists (and not most of the hacks that make up modern psychology departments) is that there is insufficient evidence to support the hypothesis that violence on television causes violence in the real world, but that there isn't enough evidence to disprove it either. Alternatively, you could say that for the study population your results are valid, but asserting any position beyond that (or over-extending your results) is, IMHO, intellectually dishonest and asking to have your head handed to you on a plate.

-- Mike Sugimoto (, February 14, 2000.

I don't think anyone calling the final sequence 'tastefully done' is implying- even remotely- that death is tasteful. F'heaven's sakes!! It's a commentary on the directing/cinematography of the scene itself. In an entertainment factory that presents slasher films, car explosions, and gunshot victims at a dime a dozen, this sequence from a TELEVISION show proved to be something special- because of what it DIDN'T show. You never see the knife actually meet flesh, but Carter's body convulsions (and later head convulsions) make the scene more horrible than it is. That's real directorial and acting genius, IMO.

-- Chris A. (, February 14, 2000.

Sometimes the things that disturb us the most are what we don't see. We didn't see Lucy getting stabbed, yet it was knowing she was that was most chilling.

-- Lily (, February 14, 2000.

If you have a problem with your kids watching it, then don't allow them to. Do not allow the government or censors decide what we should watch. You should police your own children. Whether you think it is appropriate for all kids or not is not your business. This is not an attack on one person, this is a gerneralized comment. i believe in raising my own children.

-- Mary (, February 17, 2000.

whomever said there should have been a warning on the show that this episode is more graphic than usual?? anyhow i disagree. i thought it was more graphic when the crack addict gave birth to her dead baby on the floor!!! does anyone agree with this? i also have to agre with the statement "raise your own kids". dont let them watch it! just because the show is on at 9pm, does not mean that you have to watch it, LOL!!

-- Alexis (, February 18, 2000.

Oh.... I forgot about the crack baby one. There are so many intense episodes of ER that I sometimes forget one. Nevertheless, they are all very emotion and thought provoking.

As for children watching this or any other graphic (although often true to life) show, I think I was motivated to write before because of something I saw in Parents magazine. It was related to things parents were embarrassed that they did to get their child to sleep. One woman admitted that she would let her daughter stay up late with her and watch tv until she went to sleep. She said that she "really hoped" her toddler would not be scarred from watching ER and similar shows. I hope that this person is not the norm- I would like to think that more parents are responsible with their children's viewing.

-- sarah (, February 18, 2000.

i think that all this is not a good reason to bann tv shows what net comunisum (iknow i spelled the wrong ) but relly if i watch wrestling does the mean i am going to hit a kid in the head with a chear no it doesn't i think we are rasing a genaration of week kid the army can't get ppl to join and must resort to adds that just look goood and make no sence if u ask me we a little blood and gutt's never hirt anyone

-- mike phillips (, February 06, 2001.

There have been more graphic episodes than this. Such as the ariel veiw of the thoracotomy in (I think) The Peace Of Wild Things where Gabe was showing Dave how to close the wound to the heart. (The reason they had to open the guy's chest to begin with was MULTIPLE STAB WOUNDS TO THE CHEST) and nobody complained like this when Mark was beaten in the bathroom which showed more actual violence than BSMH. ER here is on at 10:00 PM on NBC, but at 9:00 and 10:00 in the morning and 6:00 at night on TNT. I was 11 when BSMH aired and I thoroughly enjoyed the episode. (icluding the shock factor) But does that make me want to go out and stab or shoot someone? No it most definitely does NOT!!!

-- Teddy (, June 26, 2001.

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