Televised Fantasies


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I’ve had a thought…

They say that television shows allow you to live out your fantasies. Who said it? Don’t know, but it was said at one point and I’m sure it’s true. The point being, that they prey on the dreams of children, teenagers, adults, and even the elderly. The writers are programmed to tell you what you want to hear. Visual artists are made to give you what you want to see. How else would the television industry be growing so rapidly? The main goal of a television show is to entice you, to keep you coming back for more. And what better way to do that then to help you realize your fantasies? Allow you to see things that you could only otherwise vaguely imagine in 3D and High-Def.

But, that’s not the thought that my mind kept coming back to.

As I sat watching some of my favorite popular shows like Teen Wolf, Vampire Diaries, and one of my absolute favorites, Dexter, I thought to myself, if these shows are designed to target our fantasies, to prey on our interests, and tug on our desires, does this really reflect upon the deepest wants of human nature?

In Dexter, we celebrate the unfeeling protagonist who kills for fun. We delight in the fact that he seems unable to be caught and that every horror he’s faced he has successfully wrapped in plastic and thrown into the river, chopped into pieces. We let ourselves drown in glee when he captures his prey and straps them to their doom. But worst of all we allow ourselves to justify his actions with the oh, so popular “Finally, he got him! That guy deserved it,” and feel every feeling and mourn every loss he receives. These feelings beg the question, what is it that television is showing us that we want? Is it true that in our deepest, darkest dreams we long to brutally kill and get away with it? That we honestly believe that people deserve to die at our hands, warm blood at our fingertips? That we truly wish to be void of feeling and be able to maim those we think “deserve it” beyond recognition?

Teen Wolf and Vampire Diaries draw out similar emotions albeit less dramatic. Here we root for heroes with deadly qualities that threaten the world we supposedly are a part of instead of siding with the “villains” who see them as a threat to the human race. In our minds, we fight for the ones least like us, wanting them to succeed in all their endeavors. We root for the strong. We root for the mighty. We root for those who, if we encountered in real life, would happily break our bones and suck out our blood. Here the underlying questions are simple. Do we as humans truly wish to be made unrecognizable from one another? Do we wish for the seclusion? Do we beg for the secrets?

The odd thing about these questions is that they can all be met with a resounding “Yes”. In the deepest part of our beings I believe we wish for every one. And if not wish… Then fear surely. So the last question of the night would be; is the television then bringing all of our deepest desires or fears to light so we can enjoy them in fantasy or simply giving them to us all to mull over and consequently poisoning both ours and our children’s thoughts with them?

Haha Think about it 😉

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