I watch “Investigation Discovery” nearly every waking moment of my day. Consequently, I am familiar with all of their programming. At times it can feel a bit ridiculous. For example Charisma Carpenter, aka Cordelia Chase from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” hosts a show called “Surviving Evil.” Wouldn’t it be great if it was about getting out of Sunnydale, a city that was built on a hellmouth? Alas it is not. By far and away the best shows on the channel are “Evil Twins,” “Who the (BLEEP) Did I Marry?” and “Deadly Sins.”
In case you haven’t guessed, “Deadly Sins” is built around the seven deadly sins. Each episode has a theme other than the obvious: Murder. Perhaps the crime was driven by greed, envy, lust, or finding your wife’s head in a box. You shouldn’t have opened the box!
Recently, out of nowhere, like some gift from God, the host of “Deadly Sins,” Darren Kavinoky, began following me on Twitter. It was the best day of my life. I took advantage of it immediately and DM’d him with an interview request. Here is what transpired during one of the greatest conversations of my life.
Brightest Young Things: Darren, this is so exciting you have no idea.
Darren Kavinoky: Prepare to be underwhelmed. Ha ha ha…
Never. Nothing about your show and nothing about Investigation Discovery could ever disappoint me. Darren, it’s on my television right now. It literally, and probably frighteningly for a lot of people, doesn’t ever stop in this household. It’s really weird.
DK: It’s not weird and is totally normal and this behavior is encouraged. I would just make sure that anybody who shares your bed with you sleeps with one eye open because you’re not to be trusted.
True. So your show, Deadly Sins, is one of my favorites.
Wait until you see next season. It’s going to be the best ever.
Really? Oh, we just jumped right into it. I didn’t even ask how you are. Am I a monster?
Ha ha ha ha…no, if you want monsters just go to Deadly Sins. No, you’re not a monster at all. I’m fine.
Darren, in your life outside of Deadly Sins you do a lot of great work. You’re an inspirational keynote speaker and a certified interventionist. I’m worried this could affect Deadly Sins. That’s obviously a terrible thing to say. What I’m saying is I need all this weird, horrible thematic crime to happen or what am I going to watch all day?
The scary part in all this Jenn, is not just the stories we profile on Deadly Sins, it’s that we sift through a couple hundred potential stories for Deadly Sins that just narrowly don’t make the cut. The amount of really extreme misbehavior that goes on in the world is just shocking.
What is it about us humans, and we’ll use that loosely, why are we watching these shows Darren? Why can’t we just watch beautiful, heartfelt movies all the time?
If you look at Deadly Sins…each of the deadly sins really is a natural human extinct that everybody has, gone awry. For example, if you’ve got these traits as everybody does, but you’ve got them in a normal balanced way, in a normal balanced amount it actually serves a purpose. Without lust the human race would cease to exist. Without envy I might not be willing to get out of bed and go to work in the morning or certainly without greed. Without anger I might not take up the righteous cause of others but it’s when these things get out of whack, it’s when I’m only driven by lust or driven by greed or I’m driven by anger that’s when my behavior gets really whackadoo.
Great word. Off the top of your head what is the absolute most shocking, horrific story you’ve come across while researching for your show.
There are a couple that stand out. I think it was from the first season, the excerpt on envy with the woman who was so envious of her friend who kept getting pregnant. All she wanted was a baby. She knocked her friend out, put her pregnant friend in the bathtub and did a C-Section on her while she was still alive…ripped the baby out of her. The baby died and she died, everybody died in the end. That was, oh my God, that was horrific. And last season there was on in particular: I’d Kill For a Sex Change. That was a particularly dark episode where this couple was murdered so that this one guy could get enough money together for his sex change operation which he ended up not doing. He got caught, obviously, and prosecuted for the murders. Then he was engaged in so much self-mutilation while in prison that the tax payers of California paid for his sex change operation.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLuaXWlyUDw
(I audibly gasped here) And that state is one of the worst states in the union, financially.
I really stopped being surprised by these kinds of cases. That kind of goes back to your original question which is why do we watch these things? I think part of it is we like to sit in smug judgment and say I would never do that, I would never be that. And part of us wonders: If murder was legal, maybe? I think Louis CK has that whole comedy routine on that.
Yes, and that movie The Purge is about one night a year for 12 hours all crime is legal. And it’s just you know what? Everything you see in that movie is probably exactly what would happen. People would completely devolve into animals.
The social niceties would certainly be dispensed with. I guess there’s just a part of humans where we love to see what it would look like if the gloves came off and that’s what it would look like.
At this point I’ve watched so many hours of Investigation Discovery that nothing shocks me anymore. The episodes I really like are the old, very cold cases of things like from the 30’s or 40’s because for some reason you think of people as being a little bit more pure back then so I’m always like holy shit somebody from the 40’s beheaded somebody? That can’t be right.
I’m with you on that and what’s interesting about old cases too is the number of unsolved cases when you start looking back over the years is amazing. You like to think, and this is kind of a dirty little secret, that if somebody commits a crime the likelihood is that they’re gonna get caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law and when you really start looking at the number of unsolved murder cases that happened over the years you kind of feel like hey the odds are I could get away with this.
Sometimes it feels like if you watch enough Investigation Discovery you actually could learn how to commit a crime properly…could this happen?
I don’t think it could. It’s kind of like this…if we’re going to talk about the death penalty…people that are pro death penalty say the reason they’re in favor of the death penalty is the deterrent effect it has on serious crimes. People aren’t going to commit serious, heinous crimes because they’re fearful of the death penalty. I think that’s bullshit. I think if people are gonna go out, if they’re so screwed up in the head that they’re going to commit those kinds of crimes the idea of the death penalty is not going to deter their behavior. The possibility of the death penalty I would venture to say never entered the mind of Jodi Arias before she started on that drive with gas cans through the Arizona dessert. If you’re about to do some crazy, wicked shit, the idea that you’re going to learn how to do it because of something you see on TV is fairly ridiculous. There’s nothing I could see on TV that would make me feel like: Oh gee I guess I really should go out and behead somebody. The thing that’s holding me back and keeping me from committing heinous crimes is not lack of knowledge. It’s essentially wanting to live comfortably within my own skin.
That’s true and conversely sometimes I watch a show, and I’m going to freak everybody out, I think: Oh come on I could have done it so much better. What were you thinking? You left all that DNA, so much DNA.
That’s why I think the notion of, what I call felony stupid; it really is a major element of both criminality and crime solving. We’re not talking about our nation’s best and brightest when we’re talking about the people that are out there doing this stuff.
I guess only the serial killers end up being the weird geniuses because how do you get away with it for so long.
Yeah, yeah and there are some good ones out there. I was doing some research for a show idea that I had about unsolved murder cases and when you look at the numbers there are some people out there in the world who are actually pretty good at doing murders and getting away with it.
Yeah, because they’ve been watching Investigation Discovery…kidding!
So how does someone get on your show, or another show on Investigation Discovery, without actually committing a deadly sins themed crime? I’m very good at being rage-filled and playing the role of the victim. I could murder or get murdered really well.
(Darren then told me EXACTLY how I can get on his show but I won’t divulge that information here because I want it all for myself. In keeping with the theme that’s greed.)
It was a pleasure speaking with you Darren. Please keep making all this weird real life horror porn for me to watch and love.
Great talking to you, bye!
You can catch Deadly Sins on Investigation Discovery just about any time of day, always. Tune in. Never touch the dial again.