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Tragedy Porn – Let’s Ramble

tragedy porn
Depressing and Dark = Good TV?

Have you ever watched a TV program and thought the creators must not have been held as children?

I mean, heck, does everything need to be so incredibly depressing and dark? Quite frankly, this is going to come off as some cranky old Gen-Xer rant, but it doesn’t mean I’m wrong. Although, I still could be, but I digress.

Now, before I yell at you to get off my lawn, I’ve got to get some things off my chest, so listen up kids.

The Ramble

Firstly, I held off watching NBC’s This is Us because it’s utterly obvious that the show is nothing more than tragedy porn; catastrophe after catastrophe. It’s appointment TV for those who need to cry at a particular time, Rain Man style.

I can just imagine the writer’s room of This is US: What can we hit ’em with this week, gang? Drug overdose? Tragic fire? Insurance fraud?

Secondly, my wife and I finally got around to watching DC Universe’s Titans a couple nights ago and we still aren’t sure what we watched. Titan’s “edginess” was forced and cringingly awkward.

Oh, you didn’t know that Dick Grayson is still full of teenage angst at nearly 30 years old? Let’s have him scrape a thug’s face against a broken car window.  See how edgy we are? 

And don’t even get me started on Showcase’s Kidding starring Jim Carrey. I can’t be the only one who thinks that this show is simply dark for dark’s sake. Am I?

I mean it doesn’t even make sense. Honestly, would you even take a chance on a children’s program host whose clearly on the edge of losing his sanity? Seriously, it’s hanging by a single thread and it’s right up against a razor blade. 

Making a To-Do List

There’s very little organic about any of these programs. It’s less about storytelling and more about checking things off of a list.

Unlikely string of tragedy? Check 

Incomprehensible angst? Check

Lack of common sense? Check

Don’t get me wrong; stories don’t need to be sunshine and rainbows all the time. In fact, that’s the same problem, just on the other end of the spectrum.

Having rambled on and on, tales of a dark nature can be heartfelt, earnest, and can lead to introspection. Unchecked though, it doesn’t take much for stories to lose their meaning and become more about shock value and tragedy porn.

Rant over; get off my lawn!


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