America’s Unhealthy Obsession with Psycopaths

I have been watching a lot of tv shows recently. I have been watching shows from very diverse regions. Spanish, English, American, French,Nigerian, etc etc.

While there is a tendency to feature characters who are flawed in some way and bigger than life, I noticed that the most popular american shows not only featured many more characters displaying psychopathic traits than those of other cultures, but that these characters were often the main characters of the show.

House of Cards, Breaking Bad, The Americans, Shameless, Hannibal. What do these shows have in common? Their main characters are all criminally insane, dangerous, and loved by the American public. Little effort is made to hide their inherent villainy. They do not break the law or transgress moral boundaries for good reason. Their reasons are inherently selfish. Nowhere is this more apparent than the acclaimed House of Cards series. The idea that you have to do anything you can to get to the top seems to be an accepted facet of American culture.

These shows are all very entertaining, but it frightens me that their main characters are glorified. I would understand if these characters were polarizing and made people think, but the approval they garner for exhibiting traits similar to known and convicted felons makes me scared for the cultural upbringing of the next generation.

I shudder to see a world where Claire Underwood becomes a model of female success.

I guess this is nothing new. It seems to me that in the past however, the directors of tv shows were less blatant in their glorification of murderers and had them eventually get their just desserts. Not anymore. They get away with murder(literally) and proceed to become even more powerful.

Yes it is only TV, but what you watch, what you relate to and what you approve or disapprove of tells a lot about who you are as a person.