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Emotional Attachment to Entertainment | Aria Pictures Weblog

Dexter TV show title.

Date: January 29, 2014
Author: Gerald Martin Davenport
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Emotional Attachment to Entertainment

a Psychological viewpoint

Just finished watching Season 8, the Final Season, of Dexter, last night (Tuesday, January 28, 2014) with Tamara, and had an emotional crash: sadness, confusion, and anger engulfed me — my eyes were misty. Did I really make a connection and attachment to the characters? After 96 episodes, 96 hours of our lives, only 4 days when you put it in perspective, but over several years of watching, routing, and hoping everything turns out for the best, I guess I did make that Emotional Attachment. But why? And it was not my first time.

I know, I am not a Psychologist, my daughter Kyriè is graduating this year from Longwood University in Virginia with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, and I have always had an interest in the study, but again, not a Psychologist; however, I find this subject “Emotional Attachment to Entertainment” to be fascinating.

When I was a child back in the late ’60s and early ’70’s I was naive, unsuspecting, and innocent to the world, and did not understand that TV, and Movies, were not real life — they seemed real to me. I mean the Brady Bunch was a family just down the street; Jack Tripper was a guy who lived in LA, and I may have seen him on the streets; Doctor Johnny Fever was a DJ I would have listened too if I lived in Cincinnati, and there were many others that I fell in love with and became attached to that when the series was over, or I missed an episode, I felt like a friend had died, or moved away, and I would never see them again.

I became wise to the mysterious world of make-believe; I cannot say when because I do not remember, but I do remember watching a movie where a guy died and then seeing that same guy in another show. “I saw that guy die. How is he alive?” I remember saying out loud. I think someone said it was not real, but that was so long ago, but the feeling of betrayal mixed with sadness filled my mind.

Why the Emotional Attachment? It is just entertainment, right? It is supposed to be just entertainment, or is it? Do the Writers, Directors, Actors, Producers, and Studio Executives know about Psychology and the human emotions that they create things for that purpose? Either way, the good ones succeed in making you feel like you know these characters, they are a part of your life, you welcome them into your home, and when they are gone, it leaves you with an empty feeling, and it is hard to breathe.

I remember the time Gilligan, and the others, were finally rescued; I was sad because I would never see them in my house again. I followed Riggs and Murtaugh in Lethal Weapon through their lives, as though I was with them, and it made me happy that Riggs was okay, a happy kind of sadness came over me. I know I am not alone when I talk about how M*A*S*H was close to my heart, and the last episode — I am getting emotional now as I think about it — the characters, their lives, the stories.

I knew DEXTER was under my skin, in my bones, and running through my veins when I saw the finale for season 6 and 7. Something hit me when I was mortified by the outcome and could not wait to see what came about the situation; the nice thing is we did not have to wait long, cause we were seeing it way past the time it was made, so we got the next disk and continued. BUT AGAIN, WHY?

IT ALL SEEMED SO REAL; and maybe some of it was, which is why we make that Emotional Attachment; it reminds us of our own lives, family, or people we know; it is who we dream about wanting to be, be with, or where we want to be. Or the fact that that time in our lives, the time we looked forward to watching our favorite characters, is now going to be empty? they are not going be broadcast at that time, a new show is. Do I want to watch that new show and get attached again, just to have my emotions tossed about by some people on screen?

“It is just entertainment; a show, a movie. Come on you sappy little creampuff.” I know, I deserved that. And being an entertainment guy myself, how did I get caught up in these shows? It is what I try to do with my material. Is it a sign of great writing, directing, acting, or the subject matter? Or the weakness of our own existence that we need to fill that hole in our lives?

Is it true? “Entertainment Mirrors Real Life.” or is it the other way around? Maybe a little of both. But the fact remains we look to entertainers, and athletes, to hold up high; we do not pay our teachers as much as we do actors or athletes, and we do not put real detectives on a pedestal, but we do for someone who portrays one.

I wonder if we feel the same love and Emotional Attachment for our family, or friends as we do for an enduring made-up character in Entertainment; even the real people are portrayed by someone else.

Dexter actor in cellophane.

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