Brandy Pettigrew talks about CBS’s newest show and the rising risk of being victimized by a real Stalker.
Producer Kevin Williamson, who brought us the Scream franchise and The Following has brought us a spine-tingling new TV series. Stalker premiered Wednesday, October 1st on CBS and brought with it very negative reviews. However, my experience with the show is quite different from what other reviewers had to say.
Several reviewers called into question the show’s opening statement “Over 6 million people are stalked each year in the United States.” In fact, Robin Hattersley Gray (a Security Specialist for universities, schools, and hospitals) says that those statistics are correct. 1 in 6 women and 1 in 19 men have experienced stalking victimization during their lifetime. This number is currently on the rise, in part, because of social media such as; Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. That is why CBS’s new show Stalker has such relevance and should earn a place on your TV screen.
This show isn’t just base entertainment value. It has a decidedly realistic bent. Anyone can be stalked anywhere at anytime, by anyone. In the first few minutes of the show the talented, Maggie Q, who plays Lt. Beth Davis explains that it’s not just celebrities and politicians who are stalked, and that the Threat Assessment Unit, which she oversees, deals mainly with the average citizen.
The premiere involves a stalker who has killed a woman by dowsing her in gasoline and setting her ablaze. The crime is referred to Davis’ department where she and Det. Jack Larsen (Dylan McDermott) must find the stalker before he strikes again. McDermott is exceptional in his role. He isn’t just the overly cocky police detective with striking good looks, but is a stalker himself. His character shows both sides of what can make the average person become a stalker. He’s following his ex-wife and son, in an attempt to be a part of their lives after, what we can only imagine was a nasty divorce.
The first episode also involves a case where a college student is being stalked by his former roommate. The fear that this young man has endured is etched on his face. The anger and frustration of not being helped by those in authority is felt in every scene. This is a terror that too many high school and college students know. More than half of female and one-third of male victims of stalking say they were stalked before age 25.
Stalker has provoked disgust and derision among critics, however, instead of calling the show “exploitative, misogynist trash,” we should all take a moment to watch an episode and bring awareness to those who have been or could be stalked. As Q’s character shows, even those who are in positions of power and authority can be stalked.
For those who enjoy a shocking, suspenseful TV show, this can be the answer. The viewers who are looking for something like Criminal Minds, you will enjoy the focus on one specific type of criminal and what makes their minds tick. However, for the rest of us, give Stalker an hour of your time and do your best to remind yourself and your loved ones of the real danger of stalkers in their lives. Whatever your reason, you’ll be glad you watched.