PxPixel
TCA: ‘Wicked City’ Producers Talk Importance of Avoiding ‘Violence Porn’ - Broadcasting & Cable

TCA: ‘Wicked City’ Producers Talk Importance of Avoiding ‘Violence Porn’

‘You’re not going to watch it from a place of nostalgia,’ EP says of 1980s-set ABC series
Author:
Publish date:

Related: Complete Coverage of TCA Summer Press Tour

Beverly Hills, Calif. — Wicked City, ABC’s crime anthology series debuting Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 10 p.m., takes place in the Los Angeles Sunset Strip in 1982. But the cast and producers said it won’t make audiences pine for that time of rock n’ roll in L.A.

“It’s inspired by the time and time period of Los Angeles ... it’s really a commentary on the time,” said creator and executive producer Steven Baigelman Tuesday during the show’s TCA summer press tour panel. “When you watch the show, you’re not going to watch it from a place of nostalgia.”

That’s because, Baigelman said, L.A. was both the murder capital and serial killer capital of country at the time. Wicked City centers around a serial murder case, involving Ed Westwick’s Kent Galloway and Erika Christensen’s Betty Smith. Executive producer Amy B. Harris described the pair as a Bonnie and Clyde-esque serial killer couple.

Facing questions from the press at the Beverly Hilton about depicting violence against women, the producers said they spent a lot of time in the writers’ room talking about it. "It was very important for us not to do violence porn," Baigelman said.

“For me, when the story is about violence and it tells you something about time and place, I understand it,” Harris said. “When it’s used just to titillate, I’m not particularly interested.”

Harris said they tried to keep the graphic violence to a minimum and their intent was not to “glorify” it, but it is afterall a show about a serial killer couple. “We are trying to walk that line,” she said. “I don’t think we can totally avoid the criticism.”

Baigelman noted that it was a time before consequences.

“I’m glad I didn’t live through that era,” said costar Jeremy Sisto, “but it makes for good TV.”

Other highlights from the panel included:

— Set amid rock n’ roll and punk on the Sunset Strip, music is itself an important character in Wicked City, Baigelman said. ABC has given the show “a healthy budget for music,” he said, adding that they might create a new band in the show and launch it out into world.

— The show is still planned as an anthology series, according to Baigelman, with one case per season. “Some of our characters will find their stories ending this season,” he said. “Some of our characters will be moving on to another time and another place.”

Related