Laura Groeneveld

Laura Groeneveld

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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Societal issues represented through fiction

How does fiction represent the fears and talking points of society at a certain time? Why do certain topics appear inflationary in popular culture in a short time span? (E.g. dystopian literature in the past few years). How are adaptations/remakes of older stories changed to fit the needs of the current audience? (E.g. Sherlock Holmes – Hound of the Baskervilles (film) from 1939 in comparison to Sherlock – Hounds of Baskerville (BBC episode) from 2012). Just a few approaches to the topic of societal issues in fiction.

  • Could Orwell's 1984 have a part in this topic? After all, people refer to 1984 today as in relation to current political policies, etc – Ryan Errington 6 years ago

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Latest Comments

Laura Groeneveld

I like that your article is so thoughful and balanced. Thank you for mentioning the character dynamics and -developments of the show, which have so far been mostly disregarded in the comments.
I admit to being a huge fan of Criminal Minds, but I fully understand why people might be put off by the violence depicted in the show. Personally, I keep watching because of the brilliant characters and rather unique team dynamics of the BAU. While the crimes shown in CM can be exceptionally brutal and repulsive, the protagonists are just as exceptionally loving, trusting, and shown to have a much deeper relationship precisely because of the nature of their job and the things they have to face together. This aspect of love, essentially family and humanity is what makes the show worth watching to me.

I agree that the show could be less explicit in its depiction of violence, but then again, I also think that its graphicness might not be the worst approach to the subject matter. Other crime shows often seem to be sugarcoating the crimes, which I think is more conductive to desensitization, because crime is shown as something that “just happens” and is dealt with in the aftermath. You don’t really get to feel compassion for the victims, because you only get to know them as the subject of the investgation, a catalyst of sorts for the plot.
Take Castle, for example. I’m a fan of that show as well, but they tend to make light of murder by showing crime scenes to cheerful pop music, as well as Castle’s misplaced enthusiasm for murder. Is that really any better than showing crimes in all seriousness? Just a thought.

I do skip parts of Criminal Minds episodes. I flinch and look away when things get too graphic and horrible. I certainly don’t re-watch episodes that solely focus on the crimes, and not on the characters. But I still appreciate the way they handle it all. In the end, I think it all depends on the people who are watching it, and there’s no general answer to whether it desensitizes us or not. I agree that the show shouldn’t be aired during the day and thus made too accessible for a younger audience, but that decision isn’t down to the creators of the show, so we shouldn’t hold them accountable for it.

'Criminal Minds': Television's Violent Crime and its Impact on Audiences and Reality
Laura Groeneveld

I have successfully used this article to convince people of listening to WTNV, thank you for that!

10 Reasons to Listen to Welcome to Night Vale
Laura Groeneveld

I was thinking the same thing… I never put much thought into whether Cecil was a hero or not, but reading this made me realise that his role is really quite unusual. Recently he seemed to become more of an active hero, but then again he is controlled by someone else, so does that actually count as heroism?

Welcome to Night Vale: When the Protagonist Isn't the Hero