Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Good Guys and Bad Guys . . I can't tell the difference anymore

I am a simple girl. I like things to be straightforward. I am getting very confused as to who are the good guys and who are the bad guys in some of my favorite TV shows.

First up: Scandal.

I loved the first season. Wow. I loved the cases they took and how they solved them. This season? I'm having trouble. I'm sure I'm going to end up putting SPOILERS in here so please be ALERTED, okay? So . . . Olivia Pope who I just adored for being smart and brave and tough, but still vulnerable, did something really really terrible in the past. She is continuing to do terrible things (some to people she cares about) to cover it all up.

Now, I love stories where people do the right thing for the wrong reasons or the wrong thing for the right reasons. Those stories intrigue me and that's how this story began. She did a wrong thing for a right reason. Now, however, she's just doing wrong things to cover her ass. She suffered a terrible emotional blow a week ago and I actually thought she deserved it. I think it's probably not good when I root for the heroine to have her heart broken. Sort of reminds of why I stopped reading Nevada Barr books. I found myself hoping that the heroine got murdered because I found her so obnoxious.

Second up: Southland.

Always very gritty. Always ethically gray. The trials and tribulations of the officers in the show really resonated with me. There was a real nobility to them even when things went wrong. I was super excited to see it show back up on my DVR and then I was super disappointed in the first episode. Again, SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER.

Suddenly, they're all jerks. Every one of them. There's nothing noble about hanging out with drunk, high strippers in a parking lot. What are you thinking? And Lydia, did it not occur to you that being a detective and being a single mom would be difficult? And Sammy? Control yourself. You know your ex-wife is bat sh*t crazy. Why are you letting her bait you like that? You were an idiot for marrying her in the first place. You're still an idiot.

Third: House of Cards

I've only watched one episode. It's Netflix's first (I think) original series. It's a political thriller starring Kevin Spacey. I can't tell if he's a good guy or a bad guy. I don't know if I'm supposed to root for him or against him. I do think the weird Sex and the City talk to the camera things are a little bizarre, but he does them really well. Anyone else watching this one? What do you think?


Stephanie Doyle said...

See that's the reason I gave up on Scandal. I wasn't thrilled with the acting. Something about Olivia was just a little too over-acted. But beyond that I wasn't sure if I was suppose to like her or not.

I just started watching Homeland (free Showtime - woohoo!) and yeah it's the same thing. So much ambiguity. In one sense you want your characters to have "sides" to them, but when you're completely up in the air - then it becomes difficult.

Maureen McGowan said...

Wow. A post about TV where I'm not watching any of the shows.

I remember really liking Southland when it first came out, then it disappeared from whatever channel was carrying it up here, and I never discovered it again.

Scandal, I think I watched the first episode...

House of Cards... I've seen posters advertising this show all over the bus shelters in Toronto lately. If I ever get around to signing up for Netflix, I will check it out.

I love morally ambiguous characters. But it's such a fine line.

I'm watching Banshee and it's one where the protagonist walks that line too. But I find myself rooting for him. Maybe because the actor is so hot.
But the violence on that show might have jumped the shark for me this week. Wow. Was that really necessary??? Anyone else watching this? Sinead?

Anonymous said...

I liked the little I've seen of Scandal, and that she's not entirely altruistic, but completely smart and capable, and if they take those attributes away, then I can't believe in her as a character any more.

I'm not watching Southland or House of Cards, but am enjoying Banshee, I think because he's such a creature of instinct, played with this crazy bravado by the actor and they walk a really fine line between awesome and crazy, but right now, it's sort of awesome.

But I haven't seen this week... yet

Eileen said...

That's interesting that you bring up Homeland. One of the things I liked about it is that I found myself rooting for the guy as much as I was rooting for him to be stopped.

I think you've hit the nail on the head, Steph. There can be too much ambiguity. I think Scandal and Southland took it a step too far for me.

MJFredrick said...

The way you feel about Southland is the way I felt about Rescue Me. Dang, how un-heroic could they get?

I still love Scandal for all the twists. I don't particularly root for Olivia because I always thought she was pretty cold, even to those she claims to care about. Revenge, however, I gave up.

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