Thursday, 14 December 2017


I began reading this essay on the portrayal of cartoon characters with alcohol problems because I was intrigued with the term sadcom—an apt name for the genre that consumers can hold at arm’s length with their anti-heroes—and reading further, it quickly careened to a demanding place I was not quite expecting.
Though not myself a connoisseur of the crop of shows mentioned here, I can imagine how the storylines would go and appreciate the analysis of how the parodied, cynical characterisation of coping looks filtered through the cultural movement we are experiencing in recognising that masculinity (and they’re all men) can be a toxic thing. I suppose part of the appeal is that these programmes are unchallenging to watch on a superficial level and a little irony is a tempting lure but I wonder if and how such sadcoms invite reflection and lubricates a difficult discussion or creates the framework and trope that allows us to rebuff it and dismiss it. What do you think? I did like the aside that there’s ultimately hope to be found in these narratives (as in most things, I suppose) but one has to work for it and awards come across as earned—in as much as in subjecting oneself to the arc of exhaustion of a prestige drama which takes much more of an investment.