Saturday, 27 December 2014
A thought occurred to me as I sat watching a feelgood TV programme with a happy ending the other day. Such programmes are called feelgood because that's how most people find them; it leaves them feeling good. Most people in my experience are touched and even tearful when they see or read about acts of kindness, and things turning out well for folk who've been through hard times. Most people genuinely hope for and enjoy happy endings, and feel cheated when that doesn't happen. I'm sure it isn't just me; so how is it that the vast majority of us whose instinct is for goodness and kindness and peace are so often seduced by the vicious and heartless minority that get off on division and cruelty and conflict? In fact we often pour a measure of scorn on the "happy ending", and persuade ourselves that this sort of programme is at best a guilty pleasure. Someone once pointed out to me as though it were an unanswerable fact of life that TV drama should reflect the gritty truth that the world is a sad place and often devoid of happy endings. Why? Might not TV drama be better reflecting our hopes and dreams and aspirations, and maybe real life might find its way to reflecting that?