I spent way too much time being angry at the writers of Downton Abbey this week. Julian, you there? I was so angry that Matthew dies in the season finale, I said I was done. And even though it’s our favorite show, I skipped the replay.
My husband commented that we didn’t really know–the last scene was Matthew bleeding from the ears, the car on him.
I replied, “That was pretty intense, and misleading foreshadowing, if not.”
It made me mad that writers can’t let anything be happy and good. Yes, life has death, but we had barely gotten over Sybil’s! That was certainly enough to keep it real.
So do we really stay hooked by drama? They had to concoct something horrendous so we’d come back? Really? If it gets too happy we get bored?
What does that say about our society?
I also recoiled at hearing Downton Abbey called a British soap opera. I thought it was much more character driven and real than the high drama of soaps, and I was offended, even though angry myself.
I find that the most emotion-grabbing movies are the ones where unexpected good things happen–Mr. Holland’s Opus. And some of the best “good” movies are true stories: Chariots of Fire, The Blind Side, Invictus. What story is more powerful than Nelson Mandella’s?
Are we really more taken with fear and drama than issues resolved in happy endings? It was enough to go through all the turns and disappointments of Mary and Matthew, Anna and Bates; can’t we have some good things for awhile?
It makes me wonder if we are becoming addicted to violence and the macabre. Have we become so dark and cynical that we can’t relate to happiness?
I wonder too, if this comes from not being able to get our picture of God straightened out to one of an all-Loving Being. I don’t mean so loving anything goes. Obviously, real love has boundaries. But I am finding more and more beliefs we have misunderstood from Scripture.
For instance, blaming God for killing the first-born in Egypt, when I am convinced it was Satan, the Destroyer. The Destroyer isn’t God. But people will argue over it. Do they want a vengeful God?
God doesn’t have to kill anyone, if he came here, not human, we would combust immediately in his energy. He has to stay away physically so we aren’t killed by His presence. Ergo the Holy Spirit.
Is our need for revenge seeking expression? We want God to kill those who hurt us, rather than wanting God to eradicate evil and those who get off on it.
What does it say about us? It’s scary. I’m concerned about our appetite for violence. We need violence control more than gun control.
And since violence control just focuses us on violence, making it worse, we need people making better choices about the movies they watch and those they produce. Choosing what our kids watch and “play” if you can call video games playing! Setting “good” boundaries.
Make joy real and attractive. Get to know the God of happiness and peace–the One who turns everything into good if we trust. Take children’s lives–put some work in; they need challenges they can work through and succeed at so they get good at choices.
We are changed by watching. We are. Research and Newtown underscore it.