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The Damaged Character

Why do all TV shows seem to have a main character with a troubled past? And if not the main at least the supporting do. I know the creators want people to have a soft spot for their precious creations but hardly anyone I know comes from that type of past.

Let’s list the characters who have a troubled past or Childhood, or has a less than perfect family:

Castle: Becket

NCIS: Gibbs, Tony, Ziva

NCIS LA: Callen, Kensie, Dieks

CSI: Langston

CSI NY: Mac, Danny, Flack, Stella, Adam, Lindsey

Criminal Minds: Morgan, Reid, Hotch,

The Mentalist: Jane, Cho

In Plain Sight: The Shannon Family, Marshal

All these Characters have something in their past like the death of a loved one (Becket, Morgan, Jane, Mac, Gibbs, Hotch, Lindsey, Kensie), raised by not their real parents (Callen, Stella) or had a reckless youth or crazed parents and siblings. While I recognize that their are people out their who live similar lives and have been through rough things, most people live much nicer lives. My favorite character on TV, Greg Sanders, actually grew up in an over protective middle class family, which is much closer to the actual life I live and to the lives of the people I know.

Sometimes I feel like they go over the top. Horatio on CSI: Miami could probably have a book as long as Harry Potter with all of his issues.

In my life I have an overbearing mother who wants to know everything about me and my interests. We fight a lot but are able to stay civil about 70% of the time. My dad is the opposite, he doesn’t listen to anyone, is extremely stubborn, and cleans non stop. But a story like that isn’t too  sappy for a a TV show. I am okay with that, I wouldn’t wish to have the past lives of most of the characters on TV.

Sitcoms have the ability to overcome this for some reason. I think it is because the producers focus on the present and being funny much more than they do the past. And guess what? I still love those characters just the same.

I might contradict myself here, but I can understand how having a cast of middle class average characters could be boring. I just wish they weren’t all sob stories. It can get a bit ridiculous.







About durden99

I live a pretty boring life but over the years this boring life has allowed me to develop a love and appreciation for the the television and movie industries. I realized that I loved movies when I would sit down and watch the credits when the rest of my friends and family would leave. I have a deep respect for anyone in the TV or film making industries. My all time favorite movie is Fight Club because of the lessons it teaches and for its overall impact on my life.

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