Why are serial killer dramas so attractive?

Beware — serial killers loose on broadcast TV, LA Times, January 19, 2013

One of the most amazing aspects of serial killer thrillers is how common they have become. As this article clarifies, every channel seems to need a serial killer on the loose to be competitive.

He specifically cites “The Cult” and “The Following.”

Why the attraction to the serial killer? The shows get out blood pumping, our hearts racing; they keep our eyes glued to the set in horror, in fear. On a chemical level, our dopamine levels spike. Our adrenalin skyrockets. A real high.

While the author of this article tends to believe that heavy immersion in media violence does not lead to real life violence, he also makes no mention of how many professional organizations, like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association, see things differently, namely at least a correlation and even a causal connection between media violence and real life violence.

But even this author is dismayed to realize that the psyches of our children are seriously splattered in bloody imagery. He sees this as appalling and calls for the media industry to voluntarily diminish its resorting so heavily to blood baths to make a buck.