Given all the media attention around GOT’s botch attempt at dealing with a sensitive subject matter, I think its only right we reward and recognize the shows/films/video games etc that dealt with what some consider “dark & edgy” subjects correctly.
I haven’t seen any of the fifth season of GOT as I don’t like the UK’s coverage and I’m waiting for the series to get its iTunes release. However, it’s pretty hard not to figure out that GOT did another rape scene in poor taste. I wrote my feelings about this on Tohuwabohu’s article:
For me, if you’re going to cover a serious subject like torture, rape etc. Research it, read up interviews and get first hand knowledge. But most importantly, show the consequences and make sure the focus is on the victim. If your only goal is to be edgy or dark, then you’re doing it for all the wrong reasons.
We also have to remember that how something is depicted in our fiction can tell us a great deal about how we see the subject matter in real-life. Taking rape for example, It’s telling that only women are subjugated to rape in fiction. This despite 38% of rape victims being men, a number which increases up to 56% in the military. If these writers are really wanting to be dark & realistic, where is the depiction of male rape? Well the answers obvious. We don’t see it because pop culture doesn’t consider rape as something that happens to everyone, it considers it as a thing that only happens to women.
Of course, on the other end of the spectrum, you have shows that try to deal with a subject matter with seriousness and compassion. But then screw it up with poor writing, meddling from the executives or simply not understanding the subject. Star Trek The Next Generation’s Up The Long Ladder for example successfully botched rape, abortion, cloning and immigration in one successful swing. Hell, I cringe at the many times I’ve seen people screw up autism.
But that doesn’t mean that our fiction shouldn’t deal with murder, genocide, rape, incest, abortion etc. Just that you have to treat the subject matter with knowledge and understanding which many have been able to do. As such, which shows do you think dealt with serious subjects well and why they succeeded where others have failed?