A sanctimonious response to 'The Exorcist' (TV Series)
Good gravy I'm really going to come off as a total prude here and probably sound like Mattbo "Protector of the Women!" But here we go...
[Spoilers... sort of but not really]
In episode three of Fox's "The Exorcist", an episodic reboot of the film of the same name, the demonically possessed Casey Rance, a high school teenager is forced by her unnamed possessor, personified in the form of a middle aged door-to-door salesman, to pleasure herself with a hot curling iron.
Whew... ok... the google bots compiling search phrases are now going to point a lot of traffic my way to the amazing disappointment of many a late night weirdo.
Now I don't know about you. But I like my fictional or "based on true events" demons to be awful. No milquetoast white collar demons here, sir. Give the supernaturally inclined viewing public what they want -- a fiend worth exorcising! There may be demons out there whose sole existential purpose is to make you eat lots of butter. I personally am possessed by an entire legion of buttery flaky tormentors and exactly no one should worry about my saturated, glistening soul.
I'm talking about the real deals. The truly terrible. At least on par with what Jesus cast out in Luke, chapter eight. Sorry, that was the liturgical gospel reading for this morning which confirmed from on high that this bloggeth be writteneth.
The malevolent spirits in the original "Exorcist" film, "The Conjuring", "The Rite", "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" all hit the mark.
Zero of them. Zero of them depicted sexual violence visited upon women by male (at least in appearance to us) predators.
In the case of Fox's "The Exorcist", it's sexual violence by a mature male (demon) on a minor female. And our culture has decided that this depiction is okay. Maybe even bold. Maybe empowering. But to whom?
I gave up on GoT for somewhat of a similar reason. It got really rapey. Really really rapey. In a show packed full of gratuitous nudity, sex, and violence the writers tossed in multiple rapes and excused their "artistic" choice in a ridiculous burst of self-congratulation by supposedly joining the conversation on violence towards women while simultaneously reveling in their boosted ratings.
I'm not sure an already porny show can be taken seriously when it comes to addressing the issue of sexual violence towards women. It's like dancing to Pitbull at a frat party and then heading to your feminist studies class.
You all hate me now, don't you?
I'm not saying you can't go there as a screenwriter. There are a number of scenes in a number of films and shows I can point to that are extremely powerful and are executed in an artful sensitive way. The first season of "The Americans" comes to mind.
But if you're a show about things that go bump in the night, lingering in scenes of sexual violence towards women when there's seemingly almost no cultural conversation to be had in reference comes off as purely pornographic. And when that scene involves a minor, it's especially repugnant.
I really wanted to like this show... sigh...