The End of Black And White

I’ve written about Battlestar Galactica and how it was gritty and showed all of the human flaws and that there were many gray areas to debate.  I think the reason why I like the new Bond is the same thing.  He’s not a pretty boy who’s suave and confident and has an air of aristocracy that gives him a commanding presence.  He takes his shirt off and you see scars and bruises and you see a brutal and savage history that the old Bonds never had (in the movies at least).

In the old Bond movies the bad guys were bad and the good guys good and never the two shall meet.  This is not so in the new Bond.  In Quantum of Solace I don’t think there is a single truly bad or good guy, including Bond himself.  Remember how the bad guy would also tell Bond his plan to control the world (remember that in The Incredibles they called it ‘monologuing’) while they were going about the business of killing him.  How stupid was that?  In the real world they don’t tell you why – they just put a bullet in your head.

No more cute little gadgets from Q that would save his life.  Now the technology isn’t as in your face and out of this world.  The movies we saw in the 60’s to recently are so dated now they’re almost unwatchable from a technology perspective.  The new series doesn’t make it a big deal of it though they certainly use it in a reasonable manner.  I think this means that these Bond fills will still be watchable in 10 years and not feel so outdated.

So being heavily influenced by TV shows from the 80’s, how would they be done nowadays?  A number of TV shows had easy to identify the good and bad guys.  Those shows would tank today.  But here are a few suggestions if anyone from Hollywood is thinking about reviving them.

Bo and Luke Duke would probably be robbing banks to keep Daisy from working the strip club (because she’s got to feed her cute kid and her sometimes drug habit).   Boss Hogg skims money from public works projects and funnels money to the orphanage he grew up in (and a little to his boy toy who’s threatening to expose him to his minister and his wife – in that order).

ChiP’s would have Jon leading an ‘alternative lifestyle’ which is threatening his job due to his excessive partying and drug/alcohol use.  Meanwhile, Ponch would be “looking the other way” when the local gang causes trouble because his little sister is in love and has the child of the gang leader (with another one on the way from a rival gang leader).  Their boss, meanwhile would be a recovering alcoholic that’s on the outs with her husband, her police chief ex-lover and is fending off the advances of Ponch’s sisters boyfriend (the gang leader).

The A-Team?  Please.  Remember how nobody died even with a ton of lead flying around?  I don’t think so.  Their leader, Hannibal Smith would actually be a war criminal with the Hague after him for following orders in Iraq.  He would make no apologies for it and because he felt he was screwed by his government he’d be uncovering atrocities (both his country and allies) at an alarming rate.  Lt. Peck would appear to be a suave playboy millionaire but is really from a poor community in the sticks of West Virginia and joined the military to get an education and away from his dysfunctional family.  Murdock wouldn’t just be acting crazy, he would have severe mental illness using a never ending sequence of drugs that don’t fully help him.  Murdock is always just a bit away from either going berserk or committing suicide.  BA Baracus would be a buff, but sensitive man who struggles with his sexual identity.  He purposely mutilates himself because he’s trying to push everyone away but still wants people to notice him.  They’d steal, they lie and in general would do the bidding of the highest bidder.

Those 80’s shows were awful in their own right because they were too black and white – but it was what we wanted at the time.  In those days the US was the good guy and the Soviets were the bad guys.  Simple as that.  We didn’t want to explore anything else.  They didn’t spend a whole lot of time exploring the human condition.  They failed to show us the weaknesses that people have and their lives were too simple and too easy.

Bond, Battlestar Galactica, The Watchmen, FireFly, and even House all give a mirror into our own psyche and push our buttons because of their moral ambiguity.  The good guys aren’t always good and the bad guys aren’t always bad.  Is Hollywood a reflection of what we think of the world around us or will Hollywood change our view and attitude of the world?  I don’t know about you, but I like seeing a movie/show that is a little less certain of what black and white is.  It certainly makes for better entertainment.  What about you?