ABC’s ‘Revenge’

I used to associate the Disney Corporation with good wholesome family values.
Their reputation was impeccable.
Squeaky clean even!
But as we get ready to send the kids back to school, and start the new 2011 fall TV season, I’m struck by the oxymoron that ABC (part of the Disney Corporation) is introducing a new show entitled “Revenge”. Though the series has not yet started, I can’t help but feel that somewhere along the way Disney has lost it’s way, even it’s brand. A brand that has been almost 80 years in the making.

Disney, of which ABC TV is a part, used to conjure up images of good old fashioned full length cartoon feature films, like “Snow White” and “Cinderella”, amongst many others. Sure there was always the villain in each plot – the Wicked Witch or Evil Stepmother. But the theme of the shows was good wins over evil. We always knew the prince would get his girl, or that the central character would be saved from harm’s way. It was predictable – sure. But it left us with the sense that all was right in the world. For me, and I suspect many others, the name Disney was associated with good values, and with shows which we could feel comfortable allowing our children to view.

Sadly, somewhere along the way, the Disney Corporation seems to have sold it’s soul, as evidenced yet again with a new “pilot” TV series named “Revenge”.

“Revenge is a prime-time soap set in the Hamptons. Wealth, beauty and status define the people in this town, but one woman is willing to destroy everyone for the sake of revenge. . . she’s returned to right some of those wrongs in the best way she knows how – with a vengeance.”

How family friendly does that sound?
Mr. Walt Disney surely must be shaking in his grave.

In my opinion, Disney, via their ABC Network, has caved to what they think young audiences (sadly) crave and decided to give them whatever will sell. They’ve essentially sold out. Sure the series might do well, and get the coveted ratings they so desperately seek. But at what cost? A drama based on the theme of revenge and vengeance, is a sad tale of how far astray we, as a culture, have fallen.

But Disney, I contend, could go back to their roots. Go back to what Disney used to represent. There is an unquenched thirst for great wholesome content – shows that a family can sit down and view together – and feel good about. Disney could again place themselves squarely into that niche, if they chose, and keep the reputation and image they have worked so hard to build.

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