Monday, January 21, 2013

Happy Endings Only Happen in Hollywood

I tend to get a little frustrated with the way Hollywood treats death.  It seems as if characters die all the time in movies and many television shows, and the deaths are treated so lightly as to seem insignificant, unless the death is a key component of the story-line.  And maybe that's all that should be expected.  Hollywood aims to entertain, so that's all that matters, I guess.  But those of us who have experienced the loss of someone significant in our lives know only too well just how difficult it is to recover from something so traumatic.  And that's where Hollywood could learn a few lessons.

There are either five or seven stages of grief:  (Shock), Denial, Anger, (Guilt), Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.  One can go through these stages in a different order, or pass through some of them more than once, but these are fairly common.  Rarely do you see Hollywood characters go through all or even some of these stages, though.  There either isn't enough time, or they just aren't important enough to focus on.

A common story-line in movies and television shows is to have someone's spouse die in a horrific accident or due to a long illness.  The surviving spouse is shown to go through exaggerated stages of grief.  Depending on the length of the movie or show (which can stretch across several episodes), the character may even seek professional health.  But in almost every case, the survivor is able to find love again very quickly.  This may be true with a small handful of individuals in real life, but more often that not, it may take a few years before that person is even ready to start dating, let alone fall in love again.  But it happens over and over again in Hollywood.  Since we rarely get to see the character in a long-term relationship, one can only guess as to the problems the characters encounter as their relationship progresses.  But the Hollywood script is one that ends with, "...and they lived happily ever after."

I guess I get frustrated because I am one of those who hasn't found a new love relationship, at least one that's stuck, even after over nine years as a surviving spouse.  Certainly not by choice, especially now, but Hollywood has no idea how hard it is to go through such a traumatic event, and "move on".  Even one of the better examples out of Hollywood, the show GO ON, which I've blogged about in the past, has taken its' main character back into the dating world.  By my count, it's only been a few months since his wife died, but in true Hollywood fashion, he's already sleeping with his first date.  If only real life were that easy.

This whole thing is probably more a reflection of the absence of God in much of the media that surrounds us. By not having Christian beliefs "complicate" the characters, the makers of these movies and shows are able to create more "entertainment" for the viewers by bringing the characters into new relationships much more quickly, since I'm sure they wouldn't want the characters to have to take the time to actually go through real life situations.  Unfortunately, it's probably true that the viewers aren't looking for that kind of thing, anyway.  However, they do create unrealistic expectations for those individuals who have gone through these experiences and may be hoping to move on.  Hollywood won't listen, though.  That's not their job.  They just want to entertain.  Reality doesn't always have a happy ending.  But, with God, it can.

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