Binging the Bad Guys

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OK, I’ll admit it. I’ve been binge watching some of those series on Netflix for the last couple of years. Things I NEVER thought I would be interested in watching, and some that I REALLY had a hard time with at the beginning. I’m basically a pretty naïve, “good” person, who has done only the typical “bad” things most people try in their otherwise mundane lives. But these shows come at you with some REALLY inappropriate stuff. Downright disturbing characters and events. Horrible situations in disgusting places with evil characters making bad decision after bad decision. Even horrible things involving CHILDREN sometimes. Being a teacher makes this part extra hard to handle.

But here’s the thing. Even this white bread gal finds herself DRAWN to these incorrigible characters in their hopeless situations. I am hooked on them AND their bad decisions. I find myself not only NEEDING to see the next episode to make sure this or that character got through that drug deal, murder and making the body disappear part and is OK. I’m rooting for the bad guys to WIN! And when I’m out of the current season’s episodes, I MISS these awful people! They have become REAL to me! I WORRY about them! And I know from talking to my friends that I am not alone. Everyone is rooting for the bad guys and waiting for the next season.

How is this possible? What draws us to these characters and their shenanigans? Is it the thrill of living vicariously? Do we all have some sort of bad guy buried deep within us that just never developed? Or are we just that curious that we need to know how the other half lives? I really hope there IS no other half that is quite this awful. I think the fact that I just used the word shenanigans to describe the actions of these folks is proof that I am way to naïve to be watching these shows. But you will have to pry the remote from my cold, dead hands to stop me.

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