This month’s Netflix* viewings were heroic and nostalgic. I introduced my children to one of my favorite TV shows when I was their age: “The Incredible Hulk” — the one with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. They liked it. Sure, the special effects are a bit dated (read: hokey) now, but seeing a bulky green man throw a bear across a river was pure television gold. My son especially loved it.
Seeking a heroine instead, the girls started watching “Supergirl.” I watched a few episodes with them on a rainy weekend this month, and we all enjoyed it. We tried “The Flash” as well.
When the kids were in bed, the Mrs and I finished this season of “Daredevil” in Friday night increments. I learned she’d been watching “Jessica Jones” on her own (a point I resented a bit, as I’d wanted to see it, too), and next on the agenda is “Luke Cage,” which just dropped a couple days ago.
From what I see on social media, action hero shows and films are crazy successful these days. “The Avengers” seems to be the only franchise guaranteed to make billions of dollars with each succession, which means we can likely count on continued installments indefinitely, given Hollywood’s aversion to risk. I can’t help but think our lack of a hero–in sports, politics, business, etc.–in real life helps fuel this seemingly insatiable appetite for “make believe” heroes in our entertainment.
When I was a kid, I had posters of professional athletes on my wall; my boy has Avenger and Lego posters on his. Whether this difference is good or bad, I see one certain benefit: make believe heroes don’t fail or disappoint. They don’t get caner, get busted for drugs or gambling, or get tried for murder. They just fight evil and help people.
But what about the more adult-focused shows featuring heroes, like “Daredevil”? Why do we cheer for a hero who ignores due process, rules of order, and traditional law enforcement? Because we don’t trust our government to get it right. We’ve seen it fail and disappoint. And, given the news reports from Oklahoma, North Carolina, and other places recently, this will continue.
Frankly, I love the entertainment value of a trial lawyer by day who exacts vigilante justice at night. And honestly? A bit jealous.
*This is my final Netflix “stream team” post after 3+ years of partnership. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to promote our family’s only source of televised content during this time!