Detective drama The Killing is part of a new wave of "grimdark" TV shows.
In 2006, something bloody came to Showtime. Dexterexploded into the popular consciousness with a splat, giving us a lovable serial killer—the old trope of the antihero taken to an extreme—as the main protagonist of a strangely beautiful series that showed his violence in stark, nearly cinematic composition.
In 1967 movie Wait Until Dark, a sadistic criminal, played by Alan Arkin, traps housewife Susy (Audrey Hepburn) in her New York apartment, forcing her to fight him to the death. Watching the film recently, my mind toggled back and forth between critiquing its ludicrous plot and surrendering to the terror it depicts. What lends such an absurd movie such real power over my mind?
Women have comprised almost half of law school enrollments in the last three decades. But in terms of the federal judiciary, the numbers haven't risen a bit. Currently, fewer than one in three of the judges on the federal courts of appeal are female. But you wouldn't know that based on TV portrayals of judges.
Give yourself the gift of an L&O:SVU marathon. In a TV landscape where women are routinely shown as hyperemotional and unprofessional, watching the no-nonsense Detective Olivia Benson is a cool, calm drink of water.