Good morning everyone!
So last night Hubby and I were binge-watching a Showtime TV series on Netflix and I realized something fairly disturbing about our favorite series: The heroes are actually the villains.
Over the years I've come to realize I have a type: Tall, dark, and heroic with just a touch of bad boy. Tom Selleck, Mark Harmon, Scott Bakula were all my dreamboats through the 80's and into the 90's (and oh yes, I'm all over Mark Harmon and Scott Bakula on their NCIS shows on Tuesday...it's the highlight of my week). All of this culminated with the ultimate hero (with just a touch of bad boy) David James Elliott as Harmon Rabb on JAG.
With the exception of NCIS, however, I I realize that the "hero ideal" is sort of...non existent in TV today. Instead, we've replaced the slightly bad boy HERO with a completely decent BAD GUY.
Not sure what I'm talking about? Okay, let's look at just a couple of the biggest TV shows in the last decade:
Don Draper. Tall, dark, handsome, rich. Completely amoral. Smoker-drinker-womanizer-complete jackwagon at work. Oh, and let's not forget the whole stolen identity thing.
Walter White: Family man. Endearing father. Faithful husband. Dedicated High school teacher. Meth kingpin and murderer.
Dexter Morgan: Mild mannered blood expert. Family guy. Devoted brother. Crime fighter. Serial killer.
Marty Byrde: Husband, father, all around good guy played by the ultimate all around good guy, Jason Bateman. Oh, but Marty is a mob money launderer who also, if memory serves, stole a strip club.
These are the TV shows I can't put down. These are the heroes, if you can call them that, that I'm cheering for. Yes, I wanted Walter White to make the "good meth" and I'm cheering for Dexter to slaughter people because he only kills the really deserving. And I want Marty to succeed in laundering all the money he's hidden in the walls of the resort he also sort of stole. And as for Don Draper, well, yes, he must drink all the Scotch and sleep with all the women so he can be brilliant and save the ad campaign.
|Sing it, Bonnie.|
What has happened to our heroes? When did we decide evil criminals were the guys we were going to cheer for? Does the right motivation truly cover a multitude of sins? It must, because I fill my TV time with hours up hours of just this kind of material.
It can't just be about the lead being good looking. I mean...let's face it, Bob Odenkirk is many things, but good looking he is not. Yet, when I sit down to watch "Better Call Saul" or "Breaking Bad" I'm truly cheering for this sleezeball lawyer to win at all costs. (The same goes for Brian Cranston of "Breaking Bad".) The key is that they are compelling and sincere, even at their worst.
It doesn't hurt the antihero movement if the guy in question is good looking. I mean, Jon Hamm (Mad Men), yes please! (Although if my husband started acting like Don Draper, I'd show him the door. So I guess money and ridiculous good looks do count. I'm not proud that I'm admitting that. But I know I'm not alone.)
Where are the good guys? Where is the balance to all of the dark-souled evil we see in so many male characters now? Where is the
Oh, wait...maybe we just don't want them....
Are we simply getting what we deserve? Have we gravitated toward the "bad boy" side of heroes so far that we've lost the "hero" and just gotten the "bad boy?"
I would love to see another pure hero type all around good guy back on TV. A nice guy who is just out to "put right what once went wrong." You know, someone I could sort of fall in love with without feeling dirty.
(This one's currently fighting crime in New Orleans on Tuesday nights.)
Maybe I'll mount some kind of protest, you know, demand that TV bring back a true "knight in shining armor" kind of guy. Demand that we walk away from hot criminal and celebrate the "good guys" who are truly "good."
Wait, what's that?
TABOO season 2 is coming out soon?