Cruel and Unusual: A book about television, punishment and God – AMERICA review

cruel-and-unusual

I just got the May 4th online version of AMERICA (www.AmericaMagazine.org) and this book review of “Cruel and Unusual: the Culture of Punishment in America”  authored by Anne Marie Cusac, caught my eye. You usually have to be a subscriber to access the entire issue online, but during April and May anyone can – you just have to register and log in.

In view of how many crime and punishment shows populate (literally) television’s landscape, this could be an important book. I know I want to read it.

Have you seen THE UNUSUALS? I like it quite a bit; it’s quirky and you get to see inside the main characters more than “usual”. Or maybe it is called “The Unusuals” because these are not the usual police procedural suspects.

Amber Tamblyn (Joan of Arcadia) and Jeremy Renner (The Hurtlocker) and the cast of ABC's new police show THE UNUSUALS

Amber Tamblyn (Joan of Arcadia) and Jeremy Renner (The Hurtlocker) and the cast of ABC's new police show THE UNUSUALS - location: New York

Now there is NBC’s SOUTHLAND . Location: Los Angeles. It’s fiction dressed up like a reality show; they even bleep out the swear words. More intense than THE UNUSUALS. But for all that, both shows are usual. Crime andpunishment in America. There is no doubt, we are fascinated by wrong-doing – and punishment.

The question is: Why?

Cruel and Unusual Book Review

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