Is there a little “escapism” corner in your brain? You know the place. It obviously related to Tony Soprano, Dexter, Walter White, and now is into Raymond Reddington.
These are horrible people and yet they enter our lives and live in our rebellious brain corner. Maybe it’s the turmoil in society today. Somehow we relate to these cynical, disillusioned bad characters that aren’t afraid to fight back for their twisted principles and will do whatever it takes. Yeah—even that.
When Netflix decided to get into the “series” business, they gave us the intriguing manipulating House Majority Whip (no…not Kevin McCarthy but Kevin Spacey’s character) Frances Underwood. (House of Cards)
This rise in television anti-heroes is not new. When my band was playing music in my lounge in Indiana we had to “stop the music” to find out who shot J.R. He was nasty and we loved him. Before him we loved Archie Bunker.
Television only copied the movies where we were getting used to loving twisted heroes. “Dirty” Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood), Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) and Jimmy Doyle (Gene Hackman) were bad dudes and we didn’t care.
The movies only copied older literature. My generation was enamored with Holden Caulfield.
My grandfather was mesmerized by Edward Rochester (Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre”).
William S. gave us some 16th century strange characters with Hamlet and the twisted female lead, Lady MacBeth.
The oldest anti-hero was probably 3000 years ago. From the pages of Homer’s “Illiad” we had Achilles.
So far, all the bad guys in my novels are getting wasted early. I’m still a lover, not a fighter.