Wednesday, November 3, 2010

rooting for the wrong side

Only recently I started watching The Good Wife, and I love it. I really like the characters and have been a fan of Josh Charles forever. The premise is very interesting, and something ripped from the headlines. How can the wife of a prominent politician stand by his side when the whole world knows your husband is scum. That he cheated on you, paid for it, and isn't shamed by it.

L to R: Josh Charles, Julianna Margulies and Chris Noth

Now, I'm all about keeping your marriage vows and working through any problems you might have, but if someone's infidelity is splashed around the internet and public media it brings a whole other layer to it. It's not just in your home, it's in EVERYONE'S home.

What to do? Hmmm.

But that isn't the point to my post. The point of this is, I keep rooting for the main character Alicia to leave her husband and get together with the romantic love interest. Her husband is a cheat, obviously, and kind of a shady character, but shouldn't I want her to work it out. I mean, that's what I would recommend to a real life friend. I would want them to at least try and work it out. But on this show, the chemistry is between Alicia and Will, her boss and college boyfriend. There are long pauses, stolen glances, and that one kiss. (If you've seen the show, you know what kiss I'm talking about!)

It is in the writing. I know it is entertainment. It is designed to make you want to root for certain characters. And they know you want to give her a "get out of marriage free" card because her husband cheated on her with prostitutes. And the husband character, although he does profess his love for her, just doesn't seem to get the whole situation. He doesn't understand why his wife doesn't just want to take him back.

So, in this situation, I don't want her to cheat on her husband. I want her to end it and move on to the other guy. I want this because this is television, and not real life. I want this because I have had a crush on Josh Charles for years (remember, I already said that.)

What do you think about television shows that make you wonder what you would do in real life?


Frizzy and Bird said...

Honestly? Cheating is the one thing I can't stand to watch on tv. I am not a prude. I know cheating happens. I guess, I just wish it didn't. I hate what situations like this have done to my friends. 3 of my closest friends are getting divorced due to their partner cheating. I hate to see their lost dreams and hopes because of infidelity.

Alison said...

If I were Alicia, I'd dump her husband. Even though he is Mr. Big! To me, there are certain deal breakers and cheating with prostitutes (especially) is one of them. If that were to happen to me, I'm not sure I'd want to work it out. I know marriage should be forever, but that would be one heck of a hurdle to work through.

I get what you mean, though. TV does a great job of romancing all sorts of situations. I do find myself rooting for those types of things when in real life, I wouldn't. Even so, I'd dump Mr. Big.

the misfit said...

There actually are SOME get out of marriage free cards available...I guess the approach I would take is this. If your husband has sex with a prostitute, on more than one occasion, and doesn't really see a problem with it, what did he really mean when he made his vows in the first place? Probably not what the vows actually say. (And if you're Catholic, if you can demonstrate that he never seriously intended to be faithful only to his bride, then you have legitimate grounds for annulment. With this sort of character, that seems likely to be the case.)

I've never confronted infidelity in my own marriage, and I know there are people who are able to put their marriages back together. Obviously my marriage will have serious challenges of its own; they all do. (Realistically, I know mine already has.) But I think that trusting someone again would border on impossible. Maybe it's harder for me than it would be for other people, but in some ways, adultery is the archetypal sin (splashed all over the Old Testament as the metaphor for Israel's betrayal of God), the one that everyone understands instinctively. Rooting for the wife to leave her husband seems like more a natural and proper reaction to her husband's evil behavior than an unnatural and improper impulse to see the wife behave badly. At least, so I see it.