Stalking victims are speaking out against CBS's new procedural 'Stalker', saying the series glorifies the crime.
The fictional series follows the Stalking unit of the LAPD and detectives who investigate stalking crimes, and it depicts those crimes. (Video via CBS)
Within a day of the series premiere, the National Center for Victims of Crime released a statement condemning the show, saying "In glorifying and normalizing a serious crime, the program demonstrates extremely poor judgment disrespecting the 7.5 million individuals who are victims of stalking each year in the U.S."
And that's the criticism that has at least partly landed the show on more than one outlet's "shows to miss" list for the fall.
Vox lists the show as the most missable of the fall crop, writing "Stalker is one of the worst new shows in years ... the show attempts to make stalking seem sort of edgy and sexy and cool..."
The Washington Post's Alyssa Rosenberg echoed that criticism, shooting down the show creator's claims that 'Stalker' aims to raise awareness. "The point is that there is something wildly insulting to viewers’ intelligence about trying to pass off an amoral stalking drama as sophisticated, socially conscious television."
The show's co-star Dylan McDermott, on the other hand, said he hoped the show wouldn't be a how-to guide.
DYLAN MCDERMOTT, VIA ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT: "I hope not, you know you never want that. This is entertainment, we're not trying to, you know, go out there and inform anybody about how to do this stuff."
And the show's creator Kevin Williamson says he's drawn from personal experience as someone who's been stalked.
KEVIN WILLIAMSON, VIA E!: "Obsession is all about mental illness, and I think mental illness and violence is something that is really truly out there right now so I think it's a really good, topical show."
Still, the graphic nature of the show's violence comes across as unjustified to one writer at The Huffington Post who argues, "...when there is violence it needs to be executed responsibly or those violent scenes will just serve to further perpetuate all of the evils they represent"
But on top of that criticism, the show has also been almost universally panned as simply bad television.
Rotten Tomatoes: "'Stalker' is rotten at 18 percent."
And that's only one percent better than Metacritic's aggregate rating of 17 percent, or "overwhelming dislike," with critics calling the show predictable, and full of cliches.
CBS hasn't yet commented on the National Center for Victims of Crime's statement.