For weeks, Donald Trump has been touting his mutiny-in-the-making travel ban plan as the only way to keep “bad people” out. Also referred to as “bad dudes” and later, in an attempt to prove his bilingualism, “bad hombres.”
Unfortunately, it appears he’s too late. The bad people have already invaded the United States and they’re taking over our television sets.
Primetime television used to be a safe haven for the battle of good versus evil. Bad guys struck. Good guys stopped them.
Initially, they wore spandex and had cartoon sound-effects popping up with every “Sok!”, “Thwack!” and “Kapow!” Later, they wore bell-bottoms and slid across the roof of their Gran Torino in hot pursuit. That car was then traded for a Ferrari and a Hawaiian shirt. And a few years later as technology developed, teams of law enforcement specialists from departments we never knew existed used computers, gadgets and barely-there science to find clues and spawn spin-offs in search of criminal forces at large.
Good guys were in high demand and the network studios always found new ways to package them for public consumption.
But in recent years, our reliable heroes have been overshadowed by characters that are not so black and white. Morals have become so twisted that even heinous criminals are considered the champions of the story.
The boom of this trend seemed to start with Dexter in 2006, a sociopathic serial killer who worked with the police as a blood splatter expert. He should have been the worst of humanity. Instead, he became a sort of hero to a multitude of viewers because although he enjoyed his work, he only killed the guilty who escaped justice.
Today, The Blacklist’s Red Reddington is considered another near-Robin Hood crusader. He’s a criminal who helps the FBI take down even worse criminals. The only problem: he’s also a killer and a thief who financially benefits from his so-called good deeds.
How to Get Away with Murder should have been self-evident in the title. But initially, many felt the law students were just innocent kids, caught up in a series of horrible events. Now, they’re liars, thieves, and killers. And there’s nobody left to cheer for.
Instead, viewers root for the Devil, himself, as Lucifer recently moved to Los Angeles. The hope is that he settles down with his new girlfriend.
Scandal began as a group of Gladiators who fought for the little guy amid the limited ethics of Washington politics. However, several seasons in, the body count continues to grow with killers in every office. And nobody’s even bothering to look for them. Instead, they spew high-speed monologues distorting reality and justifying their bloodshed as part of “the greater good.”
The greater good: a white-washing over-simplification that ignores the damage done to individuals – much like Sean Spicer’s daily White House briefings.
So bad dudes are already here and they’ve become quite popular. The irony is that with the amount of television Trump watches, you’d think he’d know this.
Especially since the worst of them all is currently all over CNN.