Tony Soprano and his like being given the Boot
Smart women more in the vogue than the action-packed, gun-toting men of yore.
Guns and other action-oriented paraphernalia lie unused as the demand for their ilk gets reduced to practically zilch. Premium subscriber television seems to have totally given up on them.
While in the past there were the likes of Tony Soprano with his “Deadwood’s” Al Swearengen which ruled the roost, today women with much sweeter dispositions are preferred by viewers. As a direct result, the producers and creators are also conceiving characters of similar nature. Currently, emotions such as love and faith are given centre-stage. Alongside, the importance of the family is clearly highlighted on all major television programs.
Maturity, as defined by television shows has also got a whole new meaning. While in the past, it almost always implied violence and profanity, today it has gone even further, while leaving the violence behind. What has gone ahead is the openness and boldness with sexuality coming out of the closet and being displayed much more openly, even among teenagers, and shows meant for them.
And it isn’t just networks like HBO which are dropping their guns at a fast pace. Shows like Dexter, hitherto considered rather gory from amongst the shows currently on air, have also brought in a touch of emotionality to them. The central character himself is much more human and thoughtful than before.
Take for instance “The Tudors” which has plenty of intense violence going for it, but at its core, the show is essentially a costume drama, with colourful women prancing all around on the sets of the show. Brains have definitely taken over brawn, across many shows on numerous television networks. Shows like “Eleventh Hour”, “The Mentalist,” “Lie to Me” and “Castle,” have strictly given violence the complete slip. And violent shows like “Life on Mars” have been totally axed.
To give more instances, Patty Hewes, the calculating central character of “Damages” is better with words than being a mob boss. NBC’s “Southland” has violent hues, but only just.
It seems those who felt television had become too violent really need to have a rethink.
Television seems to have been taken over by women or lobbies that control guns. The fact that women dominate television viewers could possibly be a major reason behind the transformation.
There’s also another line of thought wherein it is felt that violent shows had their heydays which are now past the viewers “digestibility”. Additionally, successful violent shows of the past had been replicated over and over again, and so, over a period of time, completely lost their charm.
Therefore, innovators are now riding new waves and rewriting television scripts giving preference to the emotional over the corporeal, the luxuriant over the coarse, the mature over the childish, and the womanly over the manly.
That strategy may not always work and has the serious potential to backfire. This is particularly true of men, as they prefer to view other men while women tend to be more malleable and can watch people from both the genders on television, with equal pleasure.
It is for this reason that the show, “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” an HBO initiative, is unlikely to work.
The show is just too bland with no sex or violence – not even the slightest trace of it, for it to be considered even mildly exciting. It just does not live up to its name and claim to fame. Yet, it may well be considered a truly innovative show, with a fresh treatment and a totally unique approach.
Having said that, you may prefer a video game over the show!
In conclusion, one can safely conclude that human emotions have taken centre stage on all the numerous television shows. And for once, guns have been truly dropped!