Thursday, January 26, 2012

Random: Fairy Tales

I didn't realize Revenge was a repeat tonight, and with the State of the Union address last night that would mean two days without posts from me.  I didn't want to blog about the State of the Union, and I didn't want to leave you without a post from me for two whole days.  So I decided to write about a hypothesis of mine. 

If you are friends with me, you know that I come up with theories whether right or wrong; and I usually have some real reasons for my theories.  Below is my hypothesis for the emergence of fairy tales series on television.

Grimm and Once Upon a Time were both greenlit and premiered this past fall.  During the summer in anticipation for these series, there was a lot of chatter about how the series would fair? Why fairy tale shows were being produced?  Was there an audience for them? Would they fit in with a network's brand? 

Many reviewers and commentators easily surmised that given the economic climate and the current state of the world, fairy tales were form of escapism.  People just wanted to escape to fantasy land to avoid the problems of the real world in which they live.  I do not dismiss this theory, and I thought the same thing, originally.

But some reviewers were arguing against this theory, and they wanted to evaluate the shows based on merit.  However, it had me thinking.  If people do not watch fairy tales for escapism, why do they watch them? So my hypothesis is that fairy tales have an audience because there is an easily identifiable villain.  In fairy tales, there's the big bad wolf, the evil queen, the evil step sister, overbearing lord, etc.  Given the current societal woes, i.e. bullying has gotten out of hand; and on reality television you have people openly and actively brutalizing each other as well as themselves. You also has terrorism which has plagued the lives of Americans since 9/11, it has seeped into the consciousness as an elusive villain that is also a difficult to identify. 

I guess fairy tales are easy to define, especially good versus evil.  I think people are looking for good story telling with easily identifiable characters and motives because in real life the villains and evilness are becoming less and less recognizable.

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