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Where did all the TV heroes go?

1614 Views 21 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  fried_egg
Last night I watched a documentary about a Japanese show called Shintaro, which aired in the 1960's and lasted 10 seasons, which took it well into the late 1970's. What surprised me a great deal was how popular the show was. At the time it was one of the only foreign program to achieve major popularity with young children (and some adults too), was dubbed with english voices, was black and white, but what surprised me the most was when the actor who played Shintaro made a visit to Australia, there was about as many, if not more people going bananas at the airport as there were when the Beatles toured down under.

Apart from the obvious explanation to why the show was popular (it was full of Samurai's and ninjas), Shintaro was a noble upstanding character, someone that young people could look up to and want to emulate.

This got me pondering, as a child there were a few role models on TV, may seem silly, but the Power Rangers were a big part of my childhood, teenagers (who looked like they were in their mid 20's) who had decent morals and hung out in a juice bar who fight evil seemed to be a rather alright show for youngsters to want to be like when they grow up (apart from the spandex).

Now when I look at the current T.V. lineup, either on Nickelodian or free to air tv, I see a great big influx of animated heroes (Ben 10, the X-Men for example) but a major influx of programs like Hannah Montanna, or icarly, dominating the prime time slots, as for programs that I watch, they tend to be geared more towards adults and leave little chance for youngsters to look up to some real life heroes who aren't in their tweens.

Am I alone in assuming this or am I missing out allot in children's television these days?
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Ben 10 is pretty decent, although they have Kevin 11 as an anti hero.
Teen Titans lasted 5 seasons and had some positive role models, except beast boy pirating a game.

Code Lyoko was pretty decent, sadly I never got to see the ending, they pulled it off cartoon network before finishing season 4...
It's because the people making TV shows are underestimating children these days and they think the "violence" is completely and absolutely banned from children shows so now all we have is teletubbies and the like...

Its a sad sick world...
Tony Montana happened.

what's "cooler" Anti-hero or a Hero?

in video games look at the Anti-heroes. Kratos, Duke Nukem, Niko Bellic(all GTA main characters), Altaïr and Solid Snake.
At lease Japan doesn't think so.....

Super Sentai is still running after 33 years.... The latest is Samurai Sentai Shinkenger.

Kamen Rider is still riding on, although it was on a long hiatus in the late eighties to early nineties. Currently it's showing Kamen Rider W. There's also the American adaptation of Kamen Rider Ryuki (Kamen Rider Dragon Knight)

Then there's Ultraman. The last one I watched was Ultraman Nexus which features characters from the first Ultraman.

But since you mentioned tweens. Sadly even the main heroes of these series are also in their tweens..... :/

Also it's a lot cheaper to produce animation than live action as it's easy to outsource work in animation, while it's kinda hard to do that in live action.
I share your feelings Snicko.

I don't see tv heroes on this side.
Think about how media has changed since the days of Shintaro. Compare the choices someone in their living room 30 years ago had compared to today.
i'll tell you what happened.

Pokemon ****ing happened.
Pokemon and crazy assed **** like Hamtaro.

Past that, theres all those goodie goodies who think a puppet with a pencil for a nose is going to send kids into hormonal sex romps ( i think school does that enough really...)
Kids these days are more mature (mature faster anyway) than we were back in the days, which in turn makes for more mature shows. Must be the internet fault:lol:
I highly doubt kids are more mature these days. A kid in the 30's would have a 50% higher chance of survival then a current generation child if left to fend for themselves.

Knowing all about sex, racism, drugs and mischief does not make a child mature, it just makes the more wayward.
The toys certainly are safer. They definitely couldn't sell wood burning kits today less they want a revolution from the Oprah generation of mothers.
Kids these day just believe they're more mature...

But still, I think people are underestimating kids and think that if they see a boob on TV its gonna turn them to EVIL-COMMUNIST-DOG-RAPING-SATANIST-DEVIL-WORSHIPPERS!!!:angry: And same thing is pretty much happening with violence on TV and video games... Thus ending the "ooh so violent" children shows:lol:

Just remembering the superbowl incident few years ago... I mean come on.:rotflmao:
3 of those characters be dead.
3 of those characters be dead.
Too bad they all aren't dead and the series canceled! :evil::thumb:
remind me why i let you live again......
remind me why i let you live again......
Because Hell isn't interested in "Pac Man thieves", and Heaven isn't ready for me yet either... Maybe neither side wants me, and you don't want me haunting people as a ghost? :evil::p
Good question snicko.

Radix makes some good points. Each generation seems to become increasingly immature and self serving. More and more, people seem willing to compromise on ideals. Industrialized nations particularly in the past 50 years have fostered ideas of individualism and self serving . Everyone is rushing for the almighty dollar, but few achieve the dreams of fabulous wealth. We are also in a melting pot society where people are disconnected from their neighbors and community, and that does not foster community serving ideals. We are no longer in fairly genetically homogeneous small villages with large extended families.

Also I think some of it has to do with the fact that we can no longer portray any male as superior or a dependable ultra reliable patriarch in society (i mean patriarch in a good society benefiting way, not the sexist female suppressing/domineering way). You look at comic books for example and every male character that was strong, dependable, constantly wise and reliable in the 60s-90s is now wrought with severe emotional issues, huge character flaws and massive frailties they keep hidden. I mean every single comic hero, even Professor X of the Xmen. In the past 15 years they've all had their fall from grace. Infact you see it with heroes in almost all forms western media now days.

It doesn't mean this is the real world absolute reality, but it probably reflects the general opinion of society, their increasing cynicism, and decreasing likelihood to blindly follow leaders at the top. And a decreasing reliability of our leaders at the top. A fair bit of which we can see is justified thanks to media and science dispelling certain images of false superiority societal elites throughout history attempted to portray and uncovering their routine abuses of power.

Many of the heroes of medieval europe were royalty or nobility who would sit back and watch as their peasants butchered themselves on the front lines, while they remained in a relative safer position protected behind a cadre of soldiers and covered from head to toe in heavy armor. Afterwards they had songs, poems, paintings and statues created in their name telling of their supposed valor and greatness.

Many heroes probably serve a role in representing an ideal. They may not be quite that ideal, but they serve as a symbol for that society or for a specific cause.
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