Years ago I enjoyed television dramas but now I can’t bear to watch them. Sopranos, Oz, Orange Is The New Black, House of Cards, Mad Men, etc.
It hit me when some friends had me watch a few episodes of Breaking Bad. I enjoyed the acting. Each episode was compelling. Other dramas also have stunning sets and effects and beautiful people. I want to watch each next episode.
But something bothered me. It took me a while, but I realized what made it dramatic was that people kept doing things just outside what I would expect people would do in life. The people are too beautiful and fashionable. These properties make the shows dramatic and thrilling but ultimately removed from life, meaning they didn’t tell me about being human. They just take me on an emotional roller coaster, which I would enjoy, except that they are always designed to leave me hanging at the end of the show. The shows have different names, clothes, periods, and other superficial properties, but they do the same things.
In other words, they characters make inhuman choices to reel me in. I feel like the script writers’ jobs aren’t like artists to enlighten or express, but more like engineers to hook people predictably. I bet the producers say people like that, but I think to like it you have to not realize the same thing keeps happening over and over, just sometimes with vampires and other times with a high-school teacher selling drugs.
I don’t watch sports as much as I used to, but at least a live sporting event takes you on an unpredictable roller coaster. Athletes in competition make realistic choices, unlike characters on dramas. I don’t like the Olympics because the broadcasters produce them into an engineered story with the same dramatic hooks.
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