Do The Right Thing

I already did my post on the movie “Flight”, but it did get me thinking about a type of movie that I really just can’t enjoy. It isn’t a genre really, but it is a trend you see in a lot of entertainment these days, most notably in comedies, but also in a lot of dramas, including one television show I refuse to watch.

Everyone talks about “Breaking Bad” and how amazing it is, but I won’t watch it. Why? Well, my understanding of this show is that the protagonist of this show is a high school teacher who sees his life come apart and he eventually becomes a meth dealer.

I don’t avoid “Breaking Bad” because I think it is going to be a bad show. I’m sure it is just as well-crafted as you guys are making it out to be.  However, I can’t handle watching a character make bad decision after bad decision. Yes, it makes for good drama, but as someone who enjoys shows by emotionally investing in them and becoming sympathetic and empathetic with the characters, it is too much for me to handle.

It sounds crazy, but I become so anxious watching characters make bad decisions, that I can’t enjoy the movie or TV show anymore.  Take “Meet the Parents” as an example. Most people find this movie hilarious, but I can’t get through it without feeling miserable. Watching Ben Stiller’s character dig himself into mess after mess after mess isn’t funny to me because I am so stressed that he can easily avoid the situation by acting differently.  I literally squirm in seat, physically uncomfortable with what is happening before my eyes.

I understand how strange I sound, trust me. I wish I could watch “The Talented Mr. Ripley” without squirming or see the humor in the depressing demise of the heroine of “Bridesmaids”, but I can’t.  I don’t need happy endings, I don’t an absence of conflict, and I can even handle one or two bad decisions.

It seems like these avoidable descents are becoming increasingly popular in movies and television these days. So, what has been a type of movie I can easily avoid is increasingly becoming a popular trend in American popular culture. I see the effectiveness of the drama and the realism that comes with these descents without redemption.  I am aware this is my issue, not the movies. Nonetheless, it has me thinking why people seem to have such an appetite for something I have no stomach for–the relentless suffering of someone caused by their own poor judgment.

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