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‘Some violent moments’: does Midsomer Murders really need a trigger warning?
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‘Some violent moments’: does Midsomer Murders really need a trigger warning?

Name: Midsomer Murders.

Age: 27.

Appearance: Contains scenes of crime and violence.

Violence?! Since when? I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not, but yes, the long-running TV detective series Midsomer Murders does contain scenes of violence.

Of course I’m being sarcastic. Well, it bears repeating anyway. And this is why ITVX has slapped content warnings over the series, to make sure viewers know that episodes variously contain “some violent moments”, “crime scene images”, “sexual material” and, in one instance, “traditional dancing that might offend some viewers” (morris dancers in blackface, in case you were wondering).

But Midsomer Murders is a longstanding British institution! We know what we’re letting ourselves in for. But what if you have only just discovered the show and are watching it for the first time?

You’d hope a newcomer would see the title and determine that a show called Midsomer Murders might contain some violent moments. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Perhaps viewers will appreciate the warnings to avoid being triggered if a loved one had been murdered in a similar way.

Like if they’d been tied to a lawn and pelted with wine bottles shot from an antique catapult (Hidden Depths, 2005)? Yes, exactly. Maybe, as in the episode, their loved one’s last words were also: “My God! It’s a ’78 Margaux, you bloody maniac!”

Or if they’d been suffocated after drinking a bottle of drugged whisky after being sent to a private bunker by a hoax alert warning them of an impending nuclear attack (The Blacktrees Prophecy, 2022)? Oh please, every family has someone who drank a bottle of spiked booze and died of suffocation after an elaborate hoax.

Or if they’d been crushed by a gigantic wheel of cheese and were also Martine McCutcheon (Schooled in Murder, 2013)? Look, it could happen. Anyway, it’s too late to complain. Midsomer Murders has content warnings and there’s nothing you can do about it.

So it’s been universally accepted? Well, not universally. Anton Lesser, who appeared in two episodes, reacted to the news by telling the Mail on Sunday: “I do remember my character in Birds of Prey hurling a plate of sausages to the floor – perhaps there should be a disclaimer: ‘No sausages were hurt in this film.’”

Is this the “rampant wokery” the Daily Mail warned us to expect in Keir Starmer’s Britain? Maybe. But as any veteran Midsomer Murders viewer will tell you, the real danger with the show is watching all 423 deaths across its 140 episodes and becoming desensitised to violence of any kind.

It doesn’t matter. I’m going to complain. And that’s perfectly within your rights. But before you do, would you mind tying yourself to this lawn? I have an antique catapult to show you …

Do say: “Midsomer Murders contains scenes of murder.”

Don’t say: “And a maximum of three scenes that don’t.”

Source: theguardian.com