Good Guy or Bad Guy?

Movies and TV shows (henceforth called productions) nowadays are a confused lot, I’d say. Or maybe they’re just trying to make us think and rather not just accepting. Either way, interpreting a production’s real meaning is harder than it is 10, 20 years ago.

All good productions have believable drama, and all drama must have a protagonist (the one we sympathize on) and the protagonist (the bad guy). It used to be simple before, when the bad guy is as bad as he can be, just for the sake of being bad. And the good guy, he’s/she’s just plain good.

Productions nowadays, makes us sympathize with the bad guys as well. At times, we were taking an emotional ride, attaching us to the ‘hero(ine)’ just to realize that s/he’s the bad guy in the end.

Others, makes us rooting for the bad guy, and loath the good guys. This is the most apparent trick in TV series, where the good guy is constantly being oppressed, without much retaliation. Well, the bad guy did get it good, but the audience had to wait for the whole series to end before having a chance to enjoy it.

Take, for instance, Bawang Putih Bawang Merah (BPBM – Indonesian TV Series) and Natasha (Malaysian TV Series). Everybody knows Alia and Natasha as the heroine in the respective series, but most of the times, they are being hated, instead of the bad guy (in this case, Siska and Tina). Mostly because of their “stupidity”, “goodie-two-shoes”, and being too honest.

It’s not that we’re supposed to be rooting for the bad guy, it’s just feels like the directors are teaching us “don’t be like the bad guy, don’t be like the good guy too. Be somewhere in between”. Don’t be a bad person, don’t be too good either.