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:
In this bustling world we find ourselves in today technology is continiously improving to create a more convinient lifestyle for us. So as I work most nights of the week to pay my rent do I have time to tune into my favourite television shows as they aired? Or do i have enough money to afford full cable allowing me to watch the quality television shows i actually care about?
The answer is no to both questions. Well this is now no longer a problem it seems. As a poor student i tend to illegally download television shows, but in the more regulated countries such as America this is not as easily done. So we see a new trend occurring. Netflix began as a DVD rental by mail-service but has transformed itself into one of the largest sources for streaming media. Understanding the need for convinience, Netflix is eliminating the need for television as it is a purely internet based, streaming website. It’s subscription is cheaper then high level cable prices and its accessibility is unrivalled. It has now taken it one step further by releasing entire seasons of original shows straight to the website without appearing on a television network first. As a serial binger releasing all episodes at once is a tantalising but scary notion.
Netflix received 14 Emmy Award nominations in 2013 after its release of the critically acclaimed political drama House of Cards. Netflix also boasts ownership of the fourth season of the highly celebrated comedy Arrested Development and one of my new favourites, Orange Is The New Black. We might as well throw our televisions in the bin now!
It seems even President Obama can’t get enough of the convinience of Netflix, calling for House Of Cards to be aired a day early due to a snow day: Obama Wants House Of Cards Now!