20 February, 2007

This Is Just Freakin' Frabjous. (Note Sarcasm)

HBO, which can't keep a decent series to save its life (RIP, Deadwood) apparently has a new "groundbreaking" 12-part series.


What's so groundbreaking about this? Haven't we seen myriad tales of alcoholism, drug abuse and compulsive sex already? Is there something I'm missing or hasn't "addiction" been a theme in nearly every major television drama, and countless films? Isn't the Lifetime network pretty much "all addiction all the time"? Weren't there two major best-sellers about the theme of addiction? Well, "best-sellers" until it turned out that the addict author was also a pathological liar. Shocker!

For at least the past two decades, Addicts have been the new Cowboys. They are the romanticised figures who live on the edge, refuse to obey the rules of society and are celebrated for both their pain and their courage. We tiptoe around addicts because we don't want to worsen their addiction. Or we try to help them with offers of money and succor and support only to have them betray us time and again. Anyone who has had the rare priviledge of an addict in the family knows the drill. The promises to change and the glorification of the frailty when they can't. They are, after all, afflicted with a disease. A disease that harms everyone around them.

Granted, I have my own issues with the harm addiction has done to innocent bystanders. But I fail to see why a long documentary about the problems of addiction is going to do any more to help anyone.


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