Parents Television Council TV violence study prompts question: Is TV more violent than ever?

Some call TV violence good storytelling

The issue of violence on TV has been stirring buzz  following a new study.

The study, by the Parents Television Council reports, "some of the most violent TV-14-rated shows on broadcast TV have similar levels and types of violence as TV-MA-rated cable TV shows."

Whether such violence is for shock value or just part of good storytelling depends on who you ask.

Last year on Salon.com, TV critic Willa Paskin said "Justified",  a modern-day Western in which characters are shot on a routine basis, had a "flip" approach to violence.

"I was bothered by how casually "Justified" wracked up a body count, even though I know 'Justified's' willingness to do violence in funny and casual ways reflects what's great and different about the series," says Paskin.

Fox's "The Following" was criticized by some last season for dwelling on violence.  Just before its second season premiere on Sunday, producers said they were going to scale it back.

"This year it's a different show, it's a different story," says Kevin Williamson, creator of The Following.

While those two shows have come under scrutiny, NBC's reboot of "Hannibal" has earned praise for its portrayal of violence.

One of critics' favorite shows of 2013, "Top of the Lake" also deals in extreme violence.

Even so, one critic pointed out on Grantland.com how stressful violence can be for viewers in an essay  last year on TV violence.
 

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