The Evolution of the Modern Hero
In the article “Why We Love TV’s Anti-heroes,” Stephen Garrett speaks of the fading line between the good guys and the bad guys in televison. The 21st century has ushered in a new kind of hero: the anti-hero. These heroes are taking over both the drama and comedy genres in today’s television programming. He believes “TV drama to be a barometer of sorts to the age that gives birth to it” (Garrett 319). These new television shows are simply beginning to reflect the modern world. Garrett claims society can most clearly see the changes of TV heroes in modern crime dramas. He gives the example of the original Hawaii Five-O as a crime show that had its main characters portrayed as true heroes. He compares it to the more recent crime drama, The Sopranos, which has no true heroes, only a murderous anti-hero, Tony Soprano (Garrett 319). He goes on to state “there’s no going back” (Garrett 321). Garrett believes these traditional heroes are gone for good.
In “Mad Men and the Paradox of the Past,” Natasha Simons goes deeply into the anti-hero of Don Draper in the hit show Mad Men. Simons describes Mad Men as “a show about an unbending generation on the cusp of dissolution” (322). Simons describes a difference in reception from the audience based on political views. Conservatives watch with fear of what is to come for the characters while liberals watch with eagerness of what will happen. Everyone knows of the social change to come for society at the end of the 1950’s and early 1960’s, but it is the view of these events that draws the political line. Simons claims the problem with Don Draper is that head writer, Matthew Weiner, loves the character too much. He is fearful of leaving him behind in the 50’s to serve as a “relic waiting to be phased out” (Simons 323). However, by not wanting to completely make Don Draper a piece of the past or wanting to completely move him into the 60’s, contradictions arise. This...
Cited: Garrett, Stephen. "Why We Love TV 's Anti-heroes." Signs of Life in the U.S.A.: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers. 7th ed. Ed. Sonia Maasik and Jack Solomon. Boston: Bedford, 2012. 318-21. Print.
Simons, Natasha. “Mad Men and the Paradox of the Past.” Signs of Life in the U.S.A.: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers. 7th ed. Ed. Sonia Maasik and Jack Solomon. Boston: Bedford, 2012. 322-25. Print.
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