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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Other Topics  |  Television  |  Jerk Protagonists: the new comedy trend? « previous next »
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Author Topic: Jerk Protagonists: the new comedy trend?  (Read 908 times)
AoTFan
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« on: September 05, 2016, 03:51:03 AM »

Granted, maybe not "new" but has anyone else noticed a sharp rise in comedy shows that feature a main character who's a bit of a douchebag?  

Correct me if you believe I'm wrong, but I think up until recently most comedies featured main characters who were either "quirky" or a bit on the dumb side.  Nowadays though, seems like a lot of new shows (esp those aimed at the college aged crowd) seem to feature full-on jerks.  I mean, for example, you got shows like You're The Worst, Another Period, Archer, Rick and Morty and upcoming Son of Zorn seems to follow the trend (at least with the title character).

Not sure if this is a good thing or bad thing, I suppose mainly how it's handled by the series itself.  (Although any cliche can burn itself out pretty quickly from overuse.) I think one problem is when you have a show where it seems almost the entire cast is a bunch of assmonkeys, which can make it so you the viewers have no one to really care about or sympathize with, and that can get old fast.  (i.e. Another Period, Drawn Together etc).  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of some shows with Jerk Protagonists like Rick and Morty and Archer, but one thing that does bug me personally (and maybe I'm the only one) is when the jerk character(s) play "Karma Houdini" one too many times.  Especially, for example, Archer.  While in the early seasons his behavior would often come back to bite him in various ways (for example, Lana just snapping and SHOOTING his ass), lately he just gets away with all kinds of horrible stuff scott-free, and it makes me start to wonder why the hell anyone would hang out with him anymore.  

But anyway.. what do you guys think?  
« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 12:38:02 AM by AoTFan » Logged
WingedSerpent
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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2016, 09:48:41 PM »

Maybe its a little easier to get get away with jerk protagonists in comedy esp in animation, then it is in drama.  I like Archer and Rick and Morty too, but them being animated and getting into the strange things they do, its easier to accept them.  Plus the jokes can also off put some the @$$-hole behavior.  But you'd better have some good writing and jokes for that.  That's why I didn't like Allan Gregory or Border Town  plenty of jerk protagonist but not a single funny joke in their entire runs.

In drama's like House and The Mentalist, I got tired of them playing karma Houdini REALLY fast,  and where big reasons I didn't watch either show for very long.  But those had more serious plots so nothing really offset them.

 
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AoTFan
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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2016, 12:16:54 AM »

That's a real good point with animation, I can see where alot of the gags they show in Archer (and esp Rick and Morty) probably just would not fly as a live action show (at least not in a tongue in cheek way).

One good example I can think of is an ep where R&M are on a planet that does a Purge style event (ie, everything, including murder, is legal for one night).  Rick, of course, wants to hover above the town in his spaceship and watch the "fun", but Morty wants to leave.  Well, when Morty sees a young girl about to be attacked, they go down and start mowing down the planets denizen's with laser pistols.  As Rick blasts several people away he goes, "Oh, yeah, this is great!  And we're totally justified in doing this because we're trying to save a young girl!"

Maybe its a little easier to get get away with jerk protagonists in comedy esp in animation, then it is in drama.  I like Archer and Rick and Morty too, but them being animated and getting into the strange things they do, its easier to accept them.  Plus the jokes can also off put some the @$$-hole behavior.  But you'd better have some good writing and jokes for that.  That's why I didn't like Allan Gregory or Border Town  plenty of jerk protagonist but not a single funny joke in their entire runs.

Insert Brickleberry reference here.

In drama's like House and The Mentalist, I got tired of them playing karma Houdini REALLY fast,  and were big reasons I didn't watch either show for very long.  But those had more serious plots so nothing really offset them.

Biggest problem I always had with House was not really that he was jerk, but the whole "House is never wrong." thing the scripts kept doing.  I sorry, I don't care how much of genius you are, there are WAY too many X-Factors in medicine for a doctor working on cases like that to not make a mistake.  Not to mention the fact that, with few exceptions, no one else ever seemed to come up with the necessary solution to the problem.  

Plus in early seasons he was mainly a jerk to people who, at least in one respect, deserved it, but later on he just started being an a***ole to pretty much everyone.

And don't even get me started on all the rule violations (and in some cases felonies) he got away scot-free with.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 12:38:52 AM by AoTFan » Logged
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