Meta stories of deception and relentless evil


For Democrats, seeing where the themes are going in movies and TV shows is important. We need hope and we need to feel like we can change things. In our imaginations and our fantasy, can we imagine success?

Deception seems to be the strongest theme this year. Indeed the general expression seems to be a theme of not being able to tell good from evil. Both of the TV shows, Ringer and the Lying Game, have the theme of twins where you can’t tell them apart. Trying to figure out secrets and who can be trusted is the theme of both shows. Going further and darker, is a show called Revenge. A very rich young lady is extracting revenge from the very rich friends who wrongly framed her dad when she was young. A large list of police shows ring with a theme of battles won but losing the war. Generally there is a thirst for justice unfulfilled. I think this deception theme resonates in politics through the distrust of Romney, the flip-flopper.

Happy endings are no longer a theme. The new TV show, Grimm, and long standing TV show, Supernatural, are about relentlessly fighting hidden evil. In the TV show about fairy tales, “Once Upon a Time,” the hope is that the very end of the series there might be a happy ending. Christmas used to feature uplifting stories like “It’s a Wonderful Life.” This Christmas features “The Darkest Hour” and “The Girl With Dragon Tattoo.” “The Girl With Dragon Tattoo” features a wrongly convicted writer and abused computer-genius female heroine. It speaks of our times, when a serial killer, Dexter, is a hero in the long running TV series with the same name. In a way, these movies and shows are giving us the strength to fight our own relentless evil, greed and deception.

The uplifting theme now seems to require super heros as in the Harry Potter series and X-Men series. “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn” seems to be the most hopeful popular movie coming out soon. These shows are uplifting, maybe if we feel positive enough then we can continue acting.

For me the greatest hope comes from the theme of ordinary people that comes through in reality games like “Survivor.” Shows like Idol and So You Think You Can Dance focus on finding the talent among ordinary people, not the already privileged. And Dancing with the Stars makes heroes out people who can’t dance all that well. We now tell our own stories with services like Youtube and even this blog. Stories of heroes coming from ordinary people are perhaps the most important of all. We are the heroes that we have been waiting for.

What are your favorite TV shows and movies? What themes resonate with you?