With the thirst for more fairy tale stories to be made into movies and television shows the creators of these projects are challenged to tell a complete story with potential ‘legs’. In other words, making the story last for 20+ episodes in multiple seasons or multiple movie sequels. Just how do you do that without turning a beloved story into something unrecognizable? You go to the individual characters from the stories.
I have always been comforted with the dynamic of good vs. evil in these stories, with good always winning. It’s a safe feeling to know that no matter what happens on the journey filled with danger and even heartbreak, in the end everyone has a happily ever after. Lately I feel as though the villains representing evil in these stories are being watered down for the sake of the possibility of a sequel or more seasons on TV.
First case in point, Once Upon a Time. In the first season of the show we were given the familiar cast of characters for each side: good was Snow White and Prince Charming, bad was the Evil Queen and Rumplestiltskin. As the season unfolded and then went into a second season we got the Evil Queen’s backstory and now we feel sorry for her, having seen that she was not always evil. The same went for Rumple. Then each baddie that was introduced on the show was given their own explanation as to why, when and how they became evil, so that now we are left with what I call sissy villains.
Snow White and the Huntsman gives us another example of evil with a backstory. Ravenna was a cold, heartless and cruel queen and we loved to hate her – until we found out how she became the monster she is and then we just felt sorry for her. She was dealt a bad hand and now we can understand why she is so cruel.
In the upcoming film Maleficent, we will again be treated to an inside look at the evil queen who sought Princess Aurora’s demise and the takedown of a kingdom. I once looked at Maleficent as the scariest villain of all time but I feel that too is about to be changed.
Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying the movies and Once Upon a Time is one of my favorite shows on Sunday nights. I appreciate the talent that goes into creating these new stories. That being said I can’t help but wonder why the lines have to be blurred. Why can’t good just be good and evil just be evil? Because in the real world, although there is no such thing as perfect, good is still good and even sometimes great. Evil is just evil and its weakness is…well, good!
What do you think? Do you wish Hollywood would quit watering down our villains?