Sunday, June 17, 2012

Moral Absolutism

What I find most frustrating about Filipino television drama is the moral absolutism. During those rare instances when a story asks complex moral questions, there is always a right answer. Characters can easily be judged as either good or bad, and the audience is invited, nay, forced to judge them. Compare this with a TV show like ANC's Mad Men, whose bread and butter are complex moral questions without right answers. Mad Men's lead character, Don Draper, is the Pontifex of Moral Ambiguity: brilliant, arrogant, kind, cruel, righteous, depraved, cool, petty, successful, empty... as many facets as cut diamonds in a pile of offal. And this is what makes him more magnetic than any version of the poor-lad-with-a-heart-of-gold trope we can bring to life in local teleseryes.

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