The value in making you uncomfortable

Posted: July 31, 2013 in TV Shows

Hemlock Grove PosterI just recently got into Hemlock Grove at the suggestion of a few friends, and I’m really enjoying it so far. But it is weird. Like, really weird. And kind of disturbing.

Okay, a lot disturbing.

If you’ve got a weak stomach, this show isn’t for you. Within the first episode you see a girl being torn apart by something, and in the next episode you see a man turn into a wolf. And this is not your grandmother’s werewolf change. If you want a peek, check out the video below.



But this isn’t the only part of the show that’s disturbing. Some of it is a bit more subtle (anything would be more subtle than that transformation), but no less uncomfortable. I won’t spoil it for you, but there’s a part with Roman and a girl he sees in class that, well, is pretty strange.

But is there value in this? Is there a purpose to making the audience uncomfortable and grossed out? I’m not even just talking about the horror element of it, but also the taboos we have as a society. The kinks and fetishes that no one talks about but everyone knows exists.

Is there a point to putting that on television?

I would absolutely argue yes to that. I would like to think that a writer — a good writer — would put these elements into their story for a reason. While there is value in the horror elements simply for the scare, these should, ideally, have a second layer to them, something more significant. Otherwise you’re pretty much left with Paranormal Activity 1-63 (or whatever number we’re on now).

So, what’s the significance of these elements in Hemlock Grove? I honestly don’t know. I’ve only seen three episodes, and I’m not quite sure what’s going on just yet. I think a lot of it has to do with establishing the personalities of the main characters, as well as taking a realistic approach to the world of the supernatural (as seen in the above video).

I’ll probably revisit this topic when I finish the first season.

Have you seen Hemlock Grove? What do you think about it? Do you think they’re just going for the gross factor, or do you think making the audience uncomfortable has more than just a superficial value? (Please, no spoilers!)


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