a mash-up of mental (health) & crime
Disclosure. I’m neither a doctor nor do I have much actual experience dealing with mental illness in real life. In some ways that might mean I’m the wrong person to be writing an essay on the topic. In another way, it might just make me the right one to shine an amature perspective on notion that our perceptions of the same have been negatively shaped by modern media, specifically TV.
First let me just note that I consider myself a storyteller. I write and compose what could loosely be defined as literature. As a storyteller, I find myself prying apart the elements of stories when I encounter them, deconstructing plots in books, unraveling the nuances of film, or poking through the mesh of narrative in a television show. Thus, when I state my claim that I’ve observed a scale of diminishing complexity in stories, with the lowest, least complex of them usually lingering in the company of sitcoms and television dramas, my anecdotal evidence at the very least has a vague reference to back it up.
I doubt anyone would disagree. Of course there are those rare exceptions, the nuanced stories that emerge from the most modern of fare, based off of novels mostly, that twist and turn with a little more nuance. But to suggest that perhaps television writing is, well… simple… is not exactly a stretch.