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Here come the heroes

If you watch enough news, you might start to reconsider ever crossing the threshold of your home to the outside world.  Between hurricanes, fires, floods, and the occasion tsunami, Mother Earth is kicking humanity’s butt.  But then, add in the suicide bombers, nuclear missiles, mass shootings, and White Supremacists, and it looks like humanity is reaching around to kick its own posterior.

Fortunately this TV season, heroes are on their way.  We’ve got the old reliables: the NCIS family, and Chicago’s Fire, PD, and Med.  And this fall, the networks trotted out their own version of super-soldiers to protect us.  Some are more familiar such as S.W.A.T. and SEAL Team.  (You know they’re good when they’re written in all capital letters.)  Then there are some new teams including The Brave’s “Defence Intelligence Agency” and the imaginary  “Shadow Raiders” helicopter pilots of the CW’s Valor.

Of course, it’s basically a boys club although the networks remembered to add a few XX chromosomes in the less combative roles.  The female few are cast as snipers, coordinators, analysts, and even a boss or two.

But ironically, after a year of outcries in Hollywood for racial equality, there continues to be an alarming lack of Asian actors or characters of colour suiting up on these shows.

On the plus side, they’re all really pretty.  Shemar Moore heads up the S.W.A.T. team in all his toned glory, guaranteeing a dedicated following from his “Baby Girl Nation” fans.  And David Boreanaz of Angel and Bones fame is aging handsomely as he suits up to lead his team of SEALs around the world.

The one potential chink in their armour is, well, reality.  In previous seasons, a real-life major tragedy had a nasty habit of derailing the TV schedule if a storyline accidentally mirrored events too closely.  It was considered insensitive to run the episode at that time.  (Of course, a week later is be perfectly acceptable.)

Unfortunately, with the steady increase if catastrophic events, it’s getting harder and harder to avoid parallels between television and real life.  Especially when these new shows are inspired by the real world.

So how do you avoid appearing insensitive without torpedoing your fall schedule?

Networks may have found the solution with this new crop of shows.  They have shifted from solving crime after-the-fact to stepping in before tragedy strikes.  Thus, they create a more positive “what if” scenario that avoids a direct comparison to any real-life tragedy. 
And better yet, it allows an ill-informed public now to second-guess real-life combat situations in the news.

Because these stories aren’t real life.  From the speed at which they travel across the world to the instantaneous development of strategic plans, reality takes a back seat.  Regardless, every episode ends with viewers feeling just a little more safe and secure inside their home.

Of course, you may still not want to cross that threshold to the outside world.  After all, they haven’t managed to wrangle a tsunami yet.  And Shemar Moore is waiting.