I have become quite a fan of “The Sons of Anarchy” and “Dexter” and “Walking Dead” and “Breaking Bad.” These shows have their fair share of violence, sexual content, and other stuff that isn’t particularly good for people in large doses. There are as many differences among these shows as there are similarities. But right now, I am thinking about the light they shine on the human condition. There is a fundamental world view that I think is accurate reflected in these shows.
I know that lots of Christians might be tempted to offer some version of the statement “people suck and God rules.” For the record, I am not sure an analysis like that would be 100% wrong.
But that’s not the world view I am thinking about right now.
In differing ways, all the protagonists in each of these shows is stuck. There is something about the world that placed them in a position where they regularly do things that they know aren’t right. And there is something broken in each of these characters that likes the bad things they do.
But Jax finds himself longing for life outside the MC. He finds himself wondering if his dad was on to something and if he can follow that path. As Dexter forms a more and more convincing cover story-family around him, he begins to wonder if he can’t lose himself in the cover and just join the family. Rick longs for an escape to the tough choices he has to make as leader of his group in a zombie infested land scape. And Walter time and time again, finds himself pulled back into the meth business that he is trying so hard to get out of.
I think half the appeal of these shows is that they write in large print the desperation we can feel in our every day lives. (The other half of the appeal is the production values, and graitious violence.)
Don’t get me wrong. I love my life lots of the time.
But sometimes, don’t you feel stuck? Don’t you feel like that there is more than this? Do you ever do things, that a part of your broken-ness loves, but that you know is dead wrong?
We can be like Dexter, and try to use the badness in us for a greater good. We can be like Walter, and revel in the fact that we are so amazingly good at something which doesn’t do much good in the big picture.
No matter how we do it, though. We live with this suspicion that there is something better. And we live with this fear that there is no getting out.
Or maybe it’s just me.
When I am at my best, I hold on to this hope that I can be rescued. Not just in the next life, but in this one. I can transcend my past of my present, I can even be bigger than a future that looms so large I can’t see beyond it.
But, of course, I couldn’t do these things alone.