A recent opinion piece examines the current television landscape and concludes that the way it has evolved may be beneficial to viewers’ mental health. That’s in part because the new TV model — with more shows overall, and each one appealing to a smaller audience — has resulted in a proliferation of offbeat characters and, by extension, greater insights into real-world mental illness.
That’s the point made by Emily V. Gordon, writing in The New York Times.
“The joy of TV now is that shows don’t have to be broad anymore — they can be small, weird and niche,” Gordon writes, adding: “TV can give us depressed, confused, weak, anxious heroes. And it can give us something else, in a better, bigger dose than ever before: the TV cure.”
The proliferation of unique characters and situations, Gordon explains, is creating opportunities for the viewer to establish greater kinship with the people we’re seeing on TV.
“Not only are people connecting to these flawed characters, but TV is so good and so specific now that people are connecting to the show itself as a way to cope, because they feel as if the show was made for them,” Gordon writes.
TV, she adds, “doesn’t replace relationships, or intimacy, or make us cold strangers to one another, but it can shine a light on our darkest, loneliest corners. It can give us something exciting to look forward to. It can help us find communities of people who like the same stuff we do, even if we’re not quite sure why it’s speaking to us.”
Please click on the link to The New York Times near the top of this story to read the rest of Gordon’s fascinating analysis.