I had to stop watching Game of Thrones, in spite of many friends telling me that it was the best thing ever. I stopped because it was filled with psychological violence.
I’m just not very good with psychological violence, people being cruel to each other, stealing away their dignity or even their souls. I appreciate the attraction of Grand Guignol — the psychic spit take on the human condition that is just so awful you cannot look away.
But I can’t seem to sit through it for purposes of mere entertainment. I’m not saying that others are wrong to do so. Everyone’s entitled to their own brand of enjoyment, and this one is certainly very well done for what it is.
On the other hand, I have absolutely no problem with the violence in Gotham. Lots of killing, maiming, severed hands and heads aplenty. The show portrays all sorts of violence that is completely beyond the pale.
But it’s all cartoon violence. There is no psychological depth to it. The show is written in such a way that you know none of the violence is even remotely real. It telegraphs its fakery.
So I guess for me it’s not about the level of violence. It’s about the kind of violence. Cartoon violence is ok. Depiction of real psychological harm, just for the purpose of entertainment, is not.