Insight Into Writing A Comedic Anti-Hero

29 07 2015

From Ignatius O’Reilly to Blackadder to well, pick any other Brit-Com:

“The keys to keeping Sunny palatable through all the sordidness is that the gang can never win, and that the show can never allow them to be truly sympathetic. The gang are all underdogs, which should lend them pathos. Yet they all harbor delusions of enormous self-worth, which causes them to act superior to each other and the rest of the world, and they lash out in unpredictably destructive ways when those delusions are punctured. If any member of the gang comes out on top in a particular episode, it’s at the expense of one or more of the others, and their victory only comes about through actions viewers can never truly get behind.”

I would add “…never win on their terms, for themselves.” A comedy anti-hero can create good for others, but by accident. The anti-hero can’t come out on top, otherwise his warped values go from funny to gruesome.


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