I have recently listened to Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys. This was one of the first Audio books I bought from audible and I am so glad that I did. The Narration is incredible, and the book itself is great. I really like Neil’s stuff so it is not that much of a stretch to imagine that I would like this one as well.
There are no spoilers here so no worries if you have not read it. But I highly encourage you to read it is you have not. I will have a review coming of it soon.
There is one aspect of the story that always gets me and makes me think. It is, “When Tiger had the stories, they were all dark, they started with tears and ended with blood.”
The Idea being that at the beginning of the world things were rough and dark and pretty down right terrible. But when people started to figure things out, make life easier for themselves, the stories changed and became lighter and more fun, they became Anansi’s. Tiger has been trying to get the stories back ever since.
I have been watching Jericho with my wife lately. If you are not familiar with with the Jericho, it follows a young man, as he returns to his home, the town of Jericho Kansas after a tour in the Army. Shortly after his return what we presume is world war 3 breaks out, with nuclear blasts and everything. The town is too far away from any important cities to be directly effect, but instead they have to deal with all the other effects of surviving such an attack. Honestly, though the people have hope and they try to go on with their lives some what, the theme of the story, and the subject matter is pretty dark.
Jecicho is not a bad show, but It got me to thinking about what is on TV. Specifically what sci/fi is on TV.
There seem to be a large and growing number of shows with these dark and brooding themes. Think, the Walking Dead (which I have not watched, and probably will not)
Law and Order SVU, Game of Thrones and Dexter just to name a few. Even recent reboots of TV and movies have this dark and brooding side to them, I am thinking specifically of BattleStar Galactica and Star Trek Into Darkness. (No the new Star Trek movie is not out yet you didn’t miss it, but I think with a title like that there is no way it is going to be like a TOS episode.) Even a show like No Ordinary Family, had to take a pretty dark turn in a desperate hope of staying on the air.
On the flip side, there are shows out there, that are not sitcoms, that are not completely dark. Here I am thinking of Psych, Eureka, Firefly, Warehouse 13 and yes, even Star Trek. (Yes I know you could argue that Trek is a cult show and therefore it’s popularity can’t be added to this list.) While these all have tension and character development and good plot arks, they are not completely dark. And I would say that the fact that Eureka and Warehouse 13 had pretty long runs means that they were popular.
That brings me back to my original question. I know that we all seek out entertainment (what ever form that takes) for different reasons, and for some of us the thrill of a dark story is what we want, but with what I would consider the glut of shows out there being dark. DO you suppose that the reason is that Tiger has taken the stories back from Anansi? And if so, what does that mean for us. If it means anything at all.