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TV shows with no moral anchors.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by _MementoMori_, Apr 1, 2021.

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  1. _MementoMori_

    _MementoMori_ Tele-Afflicted

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    I quit watching Vikings last night after season 1 episode 8. I quit watching Breaking Bad and Mad Men a few episodes in too, though it's been years now and I don't remember how far I got in them.

    Does anyone else have no tolerance for these new TV shows full of morally bankrupt characters painted in 100 shades of gray? I get the sense that Vikings wanted me to like Ragnar, but he is a dirtbag. I did watch the entirety of Game of Thrones. For all of its other flaws, that show DID have morally upright characters and also great character arcs with some characters redeeming themselves from their previous actions.
     
  2. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's

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    Stories with completely unquestionable/unquestioned right and wrong are boring. On the other hand, using moral grayness as a destination rather than a vehicle seems like lazy/scared writing that doesn't want to take/defend a position. It's a balancing act not everyone succeeds at, and of course we can always disagree on whether a specific case succeeds or not.
     
  3. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    If you're painted in shades of grey you're not morally bankrupt although your account may be currently overdrawn.

    Take Mad Men. Don Draper, was he morally bankrupt? No, but he was complex. Loved the show, too bad you didn't hang in there.

    Those are the shows I like the most. Morally upright? Yawn. Save that for Sunday School.
     
  4. Esquire Jones

    Esquire Jones Tele-Meister

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    Just the latest chapter in the Decline and Fall of Western Civilization...

    About the only shows we watch anymore are Golden Girls, old Star Trek, Baywatch, and Seinfeld. Good writing and smart one-liners. Yup we’re old
     
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  5. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm of the Seinfeld generation. Morally bankrupt in the name of comedy!
     
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  6. Danb541

    Danb541 Friend of Leo's

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    If all the characters held the same moral belief system as the viewer, wouldn't that be boring? It's fiction. Good vs. evil makes a good story. Great thing is we can all change the channel.
     
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  7. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    +1. That's the whole driver of the show.
     
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  8. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    +1. That's the whole driver of the show.
     
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  9. _MementoMori_

    _MementoMori_ Tele-Afflicted

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    Absolutely. I'm all for good vs. evil. What I can't get into, and what is so prevalent today, is evil vs. more evil vs. even MORE evil. In this scenario, I'm supposed to root for the evil guy to win over the more evil guy, but evil is still evil.
     
  10. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's

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    The best Star Trek does typically plant its flag re. right vs wrong, though it often gets there in an interesting way rather than simply stating "This is right and that is wrong". Deep Space Nine explores this a lot, where both individuals and the Federation in general do questionable or even outright "wrong" things in order to achieve some later (and perhaps higher) good. Even the original series does like, like in "City on the Edge of Forever". Kirk makes a choice, albeit a tortured one, to do something one might consider wrong (or at least, to not do something that, by itself, anyone would consider "right"), in order to prevent something worse.
     
  11. buster poser

    buster poser Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    People used to make that judgment about the Sopranos, but I saw it differently. Then everyone saw it differently after this, one of the best scenes from the entire run.

     
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  12. fraser

    fraser Tele-Afflicted

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    Theres a whole lot of morality portrayed in the vikings series. Maybe not as you know it, but its there.
    The historical innacurracies didnt bother you?
    Bothered me, but there isnt much else worth watching.

    the other shows you mention always just seemed stupid to me, never watched them.
    I have a very low tolerance for garbage,
    Morality isnt a concern of mine, i just dont watch crap.
    Usually.
    Sometimes i pass out drunk and wake up to see something wretched on the tv.
    (Like ancient aliens, entertainment tonight, anything with oprah in it)

    I shut it off, shudder and feel dirty for a few minutes,
    Then forget it.

    I still watch seinfeld regularly.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2021
  13. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Doctor of Teleocity

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    It really comes out in a pretty brilliant Seinfeld Finale. Amazed at what's covered in a half hour.
    ( side: Wonder if writers 'bookmarked' scenes/episodes early on, for the finale show idea?)

    Funny, just speaking for myself
    ( maybe just engrossed in the humor and writing), but I didn't pickup on just how selfish/self-centered the principals were until I saw the reruns 100 times.

    Then it hit me, " These folks are bad people!"
    But I'm bad too, as I still watch, almost daily...
     
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  14. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I'm pretty open-minded, but I know what the OP is talking about. We watched Mad Men and felt it got unbearable toward the end, due in part to, yes, apparent complete moral bankruptcy. On the other hand, I loved Breaking Bad. It seemed to be about the tension between good and bad, and the slow slide from one to the other. I loved the Sopranos, but my wife disliked it because there was no "good guy," nobody to root for, every character was irredeemable. Over the years there have been other shows and movies that fall into this category, exploiting ugliness just to titillate, with no real moral or "point." Everything does not need to be a morality tale, but the past 10 or 20 years the style has grown more and more toward stories that never resolve, they just abruptly end, and we as the audience are left to figure out what it means, if anything.
     
  15. OlRedNeckHippy

    OlRedNeckHippy Friend of Leo's

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    This is why I watch a lot of old westerns these days.
    The Bad Guys always Die. I like that.

    This is also why I still watch WWE (WWF), Evil wins over good a lot, but in the end, good always triumphs over evil.
    They may win the battle, but they won't win the war.
     
  16. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Have rarely watched TV during my adult life. Seems like I have not missed much, but this thread reveals how much TV reflects society.:(
     
  17. skunqesh

    skunqesh Tele-Holic

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    I do like the OP's gut feel - I get frustrated with moral ambiguity. Thru out my life I enjoyed questionable characters (in fiction and occasionally in life). A lotta Clint Eastwood roles wouldn't be possible without shading in grey.
    The desire for certainty, moral goodness, and clear lines seemed to hit me big time after I had a kid.
    Which made watching GoT and BB VERY difficult to stomac (spoiler - kids characters get hurt, badly - in these shows).

    When people talk about the influence of pop culture, for better or worse, in my humble gasbag opinion - the sappy happy endings in so many American movies/tv shows has lead us, as a culture, to believe everything will turn out okay, if we just hug it out.
    Well - Making myself a better person, to be a role model for my kiddo makes me want those saccharine sweet lessons to be possible.

    however, there's a reason I love that every European Fairy Tale ends predictably.
    Schtuff doesn't always work out - and there are permanent consequences.

    Krampus01.jpeg

    Fwiw, this video is over 30 years old
     
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  18. Danb541

    Danb541 Friend of Leo's

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    Okay yeah, I see your point. Some shows celebrate some seriously bad behavior.
     
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  19. Manual Slim

    Manual Slim Friend of Leo's

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    I’m entertained by sharp writing, complex characters, set design and costuming, etc. Big dumb fun is acceptable too. Show business. Jeez, I go to rock shows, for crying out loud. If I crave moral absolutes I talk to people and feel good about my opinions vs. theirs, but even that’s just a temporary fix.
     
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  20. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Just remember, EVERYTHING you see on broadcast television is fake.

    Except Star Trek.
    The real one, with Kirk and Spock. :cool:
     
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