Friday, October 23, 2009

Villains and Heroes...on TV and in life.

Why is there evil in the world? To entertain us.

Well, not in real life.

But in the world of entertainment, the personification of evil - aka "the villain" - is a crucial element. Movies, Television and Literature are all made more interesting when there is a clearly defined villain. Even sports are more engaging when there is a player or team that everyone loves to hate.

Case in point: Survivor - my favourite show on TV (see Survivor). Nine years ago, Richard Hatch arrived on the island of Borneo, perched himself on a tree limb and arrogantly looked down on his competition. 39 days later, everyone hated him...and he walked away with the million dollar grand prize. Survivor has been trying to find the next Richard Hatch ever since. Why? Because, like him or not, Hatch - the villain - made Survivor!

Over the years, diligent casting and creative editing have combined together, to establish individuals like Jerri, Jonny Fairplay, Tyson, Coach, and now Russell, as bonafied TV Villains. Now, although, I personally don't think any of them have knocked Hatch off the top branch of Survivor's Villainous Tree, they are certainly all worthy of sharing the same tree. They were evil and, quite honestly...I loved every one of them.

Good is great and all, but it doesn't create much of a story on it's own. It's the battle between good and evil that makes a story...and a hero. Heroes without villains are...not heroes. Heroes are created when good conquers something. If there is nothing to conquer, there is no conqueror...unless everyone just tries to "one up" each other's goodness. But only a villain would do that.

Without the villain, the heroes of our world are sapped of their legend and glamour. Superman, without Lex Luthor, is nothing but a really polite man, wearing really tight tights. Those crazy Dalmatians, without Cruella De Vil, are just a postman's nightmare. Luke Skywalker, without Darth Vader, is just a whiny, annoying little man with a glowing stick...oh wait a minute, that's what he is WITH Darth Vader. But you get my point.

And since we're talking about Vader. Let me state on the record, that Darth Vader is the best villain...ever. And quite possibly, the best character, good or bad, that film or television has ever developed.

Tonight, I found out - if the rumours hold true - that, to celebrate Survivor's 10th year and 20th season, Season 20 may be bringing back the competitors that fans loved AND loved to hate. They'd be pitted against each other in "Villains vs. Heroes". That would be awesome!

Initially, I was hoping for "America's Biggest Losers vs. America's Top Models" - tell me that wouldn't be engaging television - but they can always keep that idea for Season 21.

For me, this could become the best Survivor ever (which, presently is Survivor: Australia). A pure Good vs. Evil challenge. The "Villain" tribe would be an absolute blast to watch. They'll either eat each other up, or merge their evil brains into one "Super-villain", and go on an unprecedented tear. It will also be intriguing to see who would rise from amongst them to become the "Villain of Villains".

Although, in a game like Survivor, someone on the "Hero" tribe would, almost assuredly, manifest villainous traits, as well. Who will turn to the dark side? Who knows.

But you can bet the farm on this: If true, Internet discussion boards will be lighting up! The "love-in" for potential contestants like Amanda and Stephanie, will pale in comparison to the time spent and venom spewed over Russell, joining the likes of Coach and Tyson (Hatch won't be there, 'cause he's on house arrest in real life). You can count me a fan of "Tribe Villain", before it even gets going. It's going to be electric...and great fun!

Now, as for real life.

It would be absolutely AMAZING, and world changing, if just some of the deep passion, that is directed at fictional villains, was instead aimed towards a REAL villain.

There is a REAL battle going on and there is REAL opportunity for REAL heroes to emerge.

PLEASE take a few extra minutes to check out this awesome VIDEO CLIP.

"Where you live should not decide whether you live or whether you die...We can be the generation that ends Extreme Poverty." - Bono

Remember, boo and hiss all you want (it is fun after all) but always keep a proper perspective. Survivor Russell isn't a true villain...he's entertainment. Extreme poverty is a real villain. Become a real hero. Help defeat extreme poverty!

Here's two organizations that are working towards that end: One and World Vision

Have a good one,



  1. well said tim. I saw that clip last night - so good. I'd have to agree, with Jerri as a villain - - I don't know any of the others - I sure hated her!.

  2. Thanks.

    And, Jerri was a great villain. The only person to be booed off the stage at a season ending reunion show. Which is sad really, because the editors created her "villain" persona much more than I think she really is. But, some people can't divide fiction & reality.


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