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Charleston ‘Reckless’ TV drama opens with she-likes-it rape scene

Posted on June 28, 2014 by in Place

'Reckless.' Charleston police officer prepares to rape women he stopped on Ravenel Bridge. Premiere, 06.29.14The new CBS legal drama “Reckless,” which is set in Charleston, premiered Sunday night with the provocative proposition that maybe women can enjoy be raped if they’re sexually cool and get into the violence.

In the opening scene, after a stunning nighttime shot of the Ravenel Bridge, a Charleston police officer pulls over a woman driver for speeding. He takes her underneath the bridge and tells her to put her hands up on the chain-link fence. After handcuffing her, he begins a body search (illegal because there’s no suspicion the driver has a weapon) that turns into a grope, that becomes a clear-cut sexual assault…except the woman’s apprehensive face is suddenly transformed into a consensual smile. “I like the posterior,” she says.

'Reckless' scene from City Hall, June 29, 2014“Reckless” was made will the cooperation of the Charleston city government — some scenes are set in the City Council chamber in front of the full-length portrait of George Washington on his 1791 visit to the city. But it’s abundantly clear the show is not bound by any restrictive rules similar to the ones in the new Entertainment District that the City Council is in the process of adopting.

The premiere’s script with the rape-turned-into-consensual-sex scene was written by “Reckless” creator-executive producer Dana Stevens. “Honestly, I think it gets pretty sexy,” Stevens tells Zap2it  about the new show she’s running. “CBS told us, ‘We want you to push the envelope. We want you to do a sexy show.’ We would turn in episodes and think, ‘Oh, they’re never going to let us do this,’ but they did let us do it.”

Rape is becoming an almost obligatory trope in TV drama. “Game of Thrones” has a rap sheet of rapes. But Stevens decided to give her rape scene a twist by having the victim starting to like the violence not long after the cuffs snap on her outstretched arms.

'Reckless.' Jamie and Roy in front of courthouse, July 2014Stevens and CBS don’t appear to be too concerned about Charleston’s image, which the city promotes with the slogan “where history lives.” “Dark secrets simmer behind every door and threaten to tarnish the genteel façade of seductive Charleston,” CBS publicity says. It’s the place where the principal characters — the female defense attorney and her male courtroom rival, the assistant district attorney — go knee to knee on the front steps of the courthouse in the middle of the afternoon — an apparent homage to the nighttime kissy-poo of John Jenrette in 1981, when he was a congressman representing part of Charleston, and his then-new wife Rita (who has since remarried) on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. Charleston. (Rita Jenrette denied earlier, published gossip that she and her husband had sex among the columns of the Capitol Portico.)

“Prepare to be seduced,” says CBS about the show, which right now is built around sex scandal in the Charleston Police Department involving group sex on top of a patrol car that was videotaped.

As the actor who plays the defense attorney says, “We’re showing the other side of the South, the side that’s not as genteel.”

But it’s only a TV show. Like “Dallas.”


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