***WARNING: TV show spoilers ahead***
Went out for lunch this afternoon and got to thinking about the TV shows that I’ve been watching lately. Had some strong feelings that I wanted to write down.
Ever since the Ex and I separated, I’ve been watching TV that is a little bit less family-friendly. I usually wait until kiddo is in bed or is away to watch my shows, so at least I’m being responsible about it. But I’ve been watching things like Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Sons of Anarchy, Breaking Bad, Dexter, and The Walking Dead. And there is a common thread throughout most, if not all, of those shows: there are few, if any, heroes.
Think about it. Who is the hero in Game of Thrones? Everyone has some secret, some dirty past to keep hidden. Just power, sex, and killing. Ned Stark seemed like a decent guy, got his head cut off. The Red Viper, as screwed up as he was, had an Inigo Montoya-like quest that I couldn’t help but get behind and then WHAMMO he gets his skull crushed. House of Cards, same deal. Frank Underwood is a flipping monster. He’s got plenty of blood on his hands. And still, you find yourself ROOTING FOR THE GUY. Ugh. SoA, same deal. Jax Teller is clearly the protagonist. Same story. Power, sex, killing. Toss in a little drug and gun trafficking to spice things up. Watch Breaking Bad and you’ll find yourself cheering on meth cookers and dealers. Watch Dexter and you’ll find yourself cheering every time he chops up a baddie. At least The Walking Dead has Rick Grimes, but still…Rick is going downhill fast. He lives in a world where there’s no room for mercy.
Dexter really put me over the edge last night. I watched the end of season 4 and could not believe what I was seeing. How good it felt to see him finally hack up the Trinity Killer, only to be slammed back down by the sight of Rita’s dead body in the tub and the baby on the floor. Jesus Christ.
Every show I watch seems to celebrate man’s weaknesses, his deplorable condition, his tendency to choose the path of corruption. Where are the real good guys? I think it’s why I like the Marvel movies so much. Captain America – good guy. Thor – good guy. Even the good guys who have spotty pasts are still good guys even on their worst days. I connect with their stories. I believe that deep down, people are good. I’m a good person. I’ve never wanted to kill anyone. I’ve never felt so hopeless that I felt the need to sell drugs to make money. I’ve never had a secret so dark that I would do anything to keep it from being discovered.
So why do we get off on watching people live that kind of life on TV?