A New Kind Of Hero Essay

1032 words - 5 pages

Anna Godberson once said, “She should have known that villains often come with pretty faces”. This is regularly the case in the film industry. Hollywood has an abundance of beautiful villains that steal people’s hearts. But, even though physical beauty is a common theme for glamorous Hollywood villains, there are many more means to ploy an audience to love a bad guy. In film, the audience is manipulated in to liking the bad guys in many different ways. With the use of physical attraction, schemas, and the fundamental attribution error (Keen, McCoy, and Powell 129-148) film developers master piloting their audience to love their villains. The directors and actors alike make these characters appeal to everyone who watches the film. Television shows including Arrow, breaking bad, and weeds all glamourize criminals that people have come to love.
In Arrow, the audience is drawn to the billionaire vigilante Oliver Queen otherwise known as Arrow. As with most vigilantes, Arrow is ultimately a criminal. Although he is saving innocent lives and tries to keep corruption at bay, by doing so, he is still killing people. A series of flashbacks help the audience understand his passion for righting his wealthy families wrongs. He gets shipwrecked alone on an island after he watches his father kill himself to save him. However the island is a vicious place. It is there that he gets trained for the survival of his own hell. When he finally returns home after several years, he is determined to save his city and make up for his father’s mistakes. In the show his friends and family do not know that he is the vigilante saving their city, but his audience does. Fundamental attribution error is one of the many ways the audience is managed to “root for the bad guy”. Because of the flashbacks, the audience finds themselves relating with arrow and this also gives them an understanding of his situation and why he is doing what he does. In the article “Rooting for the Bad Guy: Psychological Perspective” authors Richard Keen, Monica L. McCoy, and Elizabeth Powell discuss the various techniques used in film to make people smitten for the villains. They state: “…the villains we root for are generally not strangers to us; we know a great deal about them—from narration, from flashbacks, or because they talk to themselves and we get to listen.” This is exactly why the flashbacks are incorporated into this series. Another technique popular in the world of Hollywood is the use of physically attractive actors to play the parts of the bad guys. Arrow, played by Stephen Amell, is extremely fit and attractive for his role. This makes his character more appealing and definitely fits in with his superhero vibe, and nothing is better than a sexy superhero.
Breaking Bad’s Walter White is another prime example of a super-villain everybody hates to love. He is probably one of the darkest villains in America’s TV history but yet not a single person can get enough...

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