Are we all just becoming bad people? I ask myself this as i think about my favourite shows. It seems that today’s central characters have more than just a few moral flaws. So do we now expect our protagonist to be a murderer, drug taker or sexual deviant? The answer is yes. Most likely yes to all three things and that’s the way we like it! Delving into this issue a little deeper is an article published in Refinery: The Anti-hero
Today’s generation is desensitised to gratuitous violence and hardcore sex scenes as everything is visible via the net. Every child from the age of five or younger seems to be connected to the net through some device. Through this desensitisation we can see there has been a general shift in want is considered socially acceptable to show. Sex scenes have become far more graphic, verging on soft core pornography, whilst violence is staggeringly realistic.
Today’s protagonist generally has a moral goal that appeals to the audience and justifies their heinous acts in some way. This could be centred in providing for their families, Such as Walter White or Tony Soprano, or maintaining a sense of societal justice, such as Dexter or Omar from The Wire. However…..there is an exception.
I refer to him as the ultimate anti-hero. Fuelled by a lust for power and domination, Frank Underwood appears to hold no strain of morality. Here are a few lessons in ruthlessness by Mr. Underwood
Interestingly, I found a video of the top 10 television anti-heroes and they are the central characters of 10 of the most succesful television shows of the last decade: