Ok, in all fairness, I just wasn't feeling up to writing in the blog this week. Instead, I'm sticking in a generic entry that I wrote a while back and never got around to posting :-)
After watching yet another fabulous episode of House Tuesday night I got to thinking about the show and the characters and why it's so popular. Yes, it's well-written and well acted but let's face it, House is certainly not what you'd call a likable character. And yet, we like him for that reason.
I then started thinking about all the other shows I like to watch. Most of them are pretty popular and they've all been given good reviews by the critics. There's House, of course, and Monk and 24 and CSI. Love those shows.
That's when I noticed a very common theme running through all these shows. They all center around damaged heroes.
House is damaged on so many levels it's hard to tell where to begin. And Monk, well anyone who keeps an updated list of his phobias, ranked by degree of fear, is hardly well-adjusted. Jack Bauer over on 24? Well let's put it this way, if Jack started therapy now, 8 hour sessions 7 days a week I think he'd probably die of old age before he was ever anything close to normal. If he were a real person he'd likely have had a complete nervous breakdown after any ONE of his featured days. And let's not forget our buddy Grissom over on CSI. Bug fan, approaches roller coasters the way some people approach fine wine. And let's not forget, he damn near went deaf too (with the same condition that I have I might add). He's by far the most normal of the group but considering who he's measured against, that's not saying much.
We like all of them though. I wonder why that is. Do we like them in spite of their damage or do we like them BECAUSE of their damage? It's hard to argue with their talent, of course, but you could make characters with the same ability, minus the damage, and we wouldn't find them nearly as interesting. The guy over on Psyche, for example, has many of the same talents as Monk but he's just not as fun to watch.
Maybe we like them because they're a bit like us. We can relate to them because they're no more perfect than we are. And yet they still keep at it long after most of us would have given up.
When you think about it, that also explains why I prefer my superheroes to be from the Marvel universe instead of DC. Batman is the only DC character with issues but compared to the sufferings in the Marvel universe, he'd probably be considered a crybaby. "What? Your only trauma is watching your parents get shot in a robbery when you were a child? That's the best you can do? Sorry Bruce but in the Marvel universe, that's just not going to be enough. Hell that's not even enough to make you a villainous henchman in the Marvel Universe. Come back when you've got something a little more scarring." :-)