The Grimness of HBO

I have noticed that most of the TV series on HBO are pretty grim. Rotten people doing rotten things to each other. “Deadwood”? Check. “Game of Thrones”? Check. “Boardwalk Empire”? Check.

I’m one of those people who loved “The Wire”. Fans of “The Wire” are regarded as tiresome by some, but it was an excellent, well-crafted product. Writing is taken more seriously in TV than film, but with “The Wire” they took it to a higher level by getting middlebrow crime writers like Richard Price and George Pelecanos.

“The Sopranos” was a bit different. The genius of it was that it showed, but it didn’t tell. It showed you the behavior of these people, without making an overt value judgment or asking you to do so. You could identify with and condemn the gangsters as the moment struck you. But fundamentally, it took the pattern of the other shows as portraying human existence as filled with banal evil.

“Girls” seems to be a bit different. For some reason various people are obsessed with the show- Lion of the Blogosphere, the former Half Sigma being one, and it seems to get written up a lot on the SWPL websites like the Atlantic and Slate.

What all these shows demonstrate is the insecurity and enervation of the elite. These shows are all the favorites of educated, affluent people in the blue states. It shows they have a pretty grim view of life as an ugly, zero sum competition. “Girls” furthermore shows the frustration of the people who have education but haven’t gotten on the gravy train.

They don’t believe in themselves and their own bullshit, beyond putting up a blustery face. They still keep people in line, but the kind of arrogant pride in their belief system you saw in entertainment in the 70’s is long gone.

About thrasymachus33308

I like fast cars, fast women and southern-fried rock. I have an ongoing beef with George Orwell. I take my name from a character in Plato's "Republic" who was exasperated with the kind of turgid BS that passed for deep thought and political discourse in that time and place, just as I am today. The character, whose name means "fierce fighter" was based on a real person but nobody knows for sure what his actual political beliefs were. I take my pseudonym from a character in an Adam Sandler song who was a obnoxious jerk who pissed off everybody.
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12 Responses to The Grimness of HBO

  1. Pingback: Daily Linkage – February 11, 2013 | The Second Estate

  2. mindweapon says:

    Great observation! I hope the elites are doubting themselves. It’s about time.

    I think they see their Paycheck Liberal paychecks drying up. The older ones are hanging to their Paycheck Liberal paychecks for dear life, but the younger ones get nothing, except huge student debt and Occupy Wall Street.

  3. mindweapon says:

    What do you think of Downton Abbey? I think it’s broken window theory economics , they think they are being productive just “employing people” to make them dinner and maintain the Abbey. he didn’t thjink he needed to do anything except be teh Earl of Downton.– His Lordship should have taken a more active part in business, instead of investing his and Cora’s fortune in some distant railroad. He should have been testing fhe aptitude of local English kids and educating the talented ones and creating high tech startups of 1920 — making toasters, improving telephones, making cars more reliable, et cetera.

  4. Brandon says:

    Re: Downton Abbey…I see in last night’s episode they, as most shows do, transferred today’s homo tolerance back to the early 20th century. Nothing new there. Writers are always doing that. Note the recent bit of jewlywood history in “Lincoln”.

  5. AAB says:

    Recently the television broadcasters in the UK have also had a preference for screening ‘grim’ films, many post-apocalytic ones (like Eli, Reign of Fire, Mad Max) or ‘prison fight’ films (like Death Race, The Condemned). I suppose the difference between grim series like ‘Girls’ and grim films like ‘Mad Max’ is the target audience: Girls = SWPL/Middle-Class types; Mad Max = Proles. (And come to think of it, possibly that the SWPL types are becoming more and more feminized, ergo, more and more masochistic, evidenced by the roaring success of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’).

  6. Heil Hizzle says:

    I saw all the documentaries about “The West Memphis Three” on HBO years ago, and like almost everyone else, I started to believe in their innocence. Last night I saw “Stand Up Guys” and I saw during the previews that they’re making another film about the boys, and I was wondering why, since the story has pretty much been told. Then it hit me: it is the quintessential Red States rednecks are evil film. The boys were railroaded by a justice system corrupted by religious fundamentalism, in the staunchly Red mid-south region. I believe the director’s name is Amy Berg.

    I never really bothered with The Sopranos. I’m not one who sees the Jew behind everything, but I did resent producer David Chase’s grafting of a Jewish dialectic like psychiatry onto a perfectly awesome subject like the mafia. I remembered liking his show “Northern Exposure” years ago, and I got it on Netflix a few months ago, hoping to enjoy the series this second go-round. Rob Morrow plays the kind of whiny Jew who can’t say the word ‘antisemite” without first saying “vicious.” The whole show is “Jew Jew Jew.”

    HBO. It’s not TV. It just costs more.

    • There was some discussion of the WM3 on aintitcool when the documentary came out. A few people said it was not as cut and dried as the liberals said and there was a lot of solid evidence for their conviction. They took an Alford plea, which means they admitted to that in court.

  7. Toddy Cat says:

    “the kind of arrogant pride in their belief system you saw in entertainment in the 70′s is long gone”

    There’s a lot of truth to this. Yeah, liberals are more liberal than ever, and more repressive and bloody-minded than ever, but the old cocksureness, that you saw on shows like “All in the Family” and “Maude” is gone now. Liberal premises are sounding increasingly hollow, even to liberals. American Liberalism has now entered it’s period of Brehznevian Stagnation. The Wall will come down in time, just wait.

  8. robroysimmons says:

    As Bob Whitaker has noted, the colored pets do not need the white/jewish libs as much as the libs thought they did. You could probably put the real black liberals on a small bus, the rest of the blacks are race socialists, so much for “liberalism.”

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