Anti-Heroes Are What We Want

Topics: Morality, Ethics, Protagonist Pages: 5 (1501 words) Published: April 21, 2014
The Anti-hero is What We Want
The anti-hero is becoming more popular on television. It is easier to access television series by using Netflix and streaming episodes back to back. Some of televisions big name characters are Dexter Morgan, Jax Teller and Tony Soprano who are all anti-heroes. An anti-hero is a dramatic protagonist who can be downright evil and is more flawed than other characters. They magnify the frailties of humanity and they may be a badass or a screw up. According to Stephen Garrett’s article, Why We Love TV’s Antihero, “It appears that no one on TV can be truly good or evil anymore, we’re suffering from what is called an antihero overload. It’s starting to seem like the bad guys are the only good guys” (Garrett, pg.320). Garrett also says the classic heroes of old like Superman no longer fit society’s purpose and never will so again. In our day and time we have crooked politicians, unfair business leaders and unjust laws. So when we watch a TV series with a crooked character, we are more likely to relate to them. Television’s anti-heroes are influencing audiences both emotionally and psychologically. The flawed characters on television are the ones that we love the most. Some of televisions best shows take us deep into the scariest areas of the human psyche. For example, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, Dexter and The Sopranos. Opposite of the flawed character is the traditional hero who is upright and steadfast with a morally good soul. Superman was great decades ago when he portrayed his justice in a positive manner. He had a strict set of morals and never went for a killing blow. Instead, he tries to find an alternative to end a fight. But this type of character is viewed as less realistic in today’s society. One might look at hero movies as boring. Viewers love to watch shows that contain killings like Dexter because that’s what happens on our streets and in society. According to Johnathon Michael(2013), author of the article The Rise of the Anti-Hero, “we watch because there is truth, no matter how painful, in the natural sequences to a slippery slope of bad choices”. If you have ever watched the show, The First 48 Hours you would see the attempt of investigators as they gather evidence to solve a crime that usually involves a murderer who makes a bad decision and kills a victim. One of the show’s most visited cities is Ciudad Juarez which is located off the border of Mexico. This location was named the murder capital of the world in 2008, 2009, and 2010. The violence comes from the gangs who killed anyone including women for the control of drugs and money. This is a perfect example of a real city with real consequences that people everywhere can relate too. So, if a television show contains killings, loss and violence then viewers are more likely to believe it’s real since violence is happening every day in cities like Juarez. If this city was murder capital of the world then why do citizens still live there? It’s because as a society, we have come to accept that violence, suffering and killing is a normal part of everyday life. Jonathon Michael also states, “Brokenness is a part of humanity, and we can relate to the choices a character makes on a television show if they are broken too”. Viewers feel better about themselves when they watch someone else struggle or suffer. We can easily sympathize with a character like Dexter Morgan because he only kills other murders who escape the legal system. We can set aside the fact that he is committing a murder due to the fact that he is also giving justice to those who are already guilty. Dexter is part of the Miami homicide unit and he examines blood splatter. This job title makes it easier for him to get a lead on murderers. Dexter represents a man enslaved to his appetites and insists upon self-justification. Because of this, Dexter Morgan is considered an antihero. To viewers who watch the show, they can accept him as...
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