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Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Goth TV

Many TV staples of pop culture have their roots firmly embedded in Goth - we black-clad darklings had forbidden love and vampiric lust covered long before Twilight burst onto the scene; modern shows such as True Blood and The Vampire Diaries come from books that were being devoured (pun intended) by diehard vamp fiction fans (which are admittedly prolific within the subculture, stereotype or no) long before the TV studio bigwigs got their minds around the fact that suddenly, darkness sells. Not that I'm complaining.

Source: Dark Wallpapers
But it's not only vampires that have captured the hearts of a velvet-draped Gothic audience. Shows with emphasis on the paranormal, such as Charmed, Supernatural, The X Files and Doctor Who enjoy great popularity within the Goth scene as well as with their mainstream fans.

You're probably raising your eyebrows right now and wondering if I've forgotten something. How, you're asking, could I have worked my way THREE whole paragraphs down this post without mentioning such infamous all-time Gothic greats as Dark Shadows, The Munsters and... oh, what was that other one again? Oh, yes. The Addams Family! The Munsters and The Addams Family in particular have had a strong impact on the Goth aesthetic - ladies, hands up anyone who doesn't have a long black 'Morticia' dress or a 'Wednesday' outfit. Or both. (I am so, so tempted to start a Morticia Addams vs. Lily Munster debate going right about now...)

So even back in the days of black and white TV there were people who were amused, entertained and intrigued by dark themes.

Here's a short (and by no means complete) list of TV programmes that have influenced, been influenced by, or simply enjoyed popularity within Goth culture:
  • The Addams Family
  • The Munsters
  • Dark Shadows
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Angel
  • Dark Angel
  • NCIS
  • True Blood
  • The Vampire Diaries
  • Charmed
  • Supernatural
  • The X Files
  • Xena: Warrior Princess
  • Urban Gothic
  • Demons
  • American Gothic
  • Invader Zim
  • The Mighty Boosh
  • Dead Like Me
  • Pushing Daisies
  • Six Feet Under
  • The Venture Brothers
  • The Twilight Zone
  • Gormenghast
  • Metalocalypse
  • Twin Peaks
  • Tru Calling
  • The Ghost Whisperer
  • Afterlife
And more suited to younger Gothlings:
  • Growing Up Creepie
  • Mona the Vampire
  • The Tribe
  • Ruby Gloom
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy (Grim and Evil)
  • Beetlejuice (the cartoon)
  • The Addams Family (cartoon, which in NO WAY does the traditional Addamses justice. They made Wednesday almost... sweet. Christina Ricca was, in my opinion, the perfect Wednesday. But anyway.)
  • Gargoyles (I grew up watching this...)
  • Tales from the Crypt
  • Children of the Stones
  • Are You Afraid of the Dark?
  • Edgar and Allen
  • Batman: The Animated Series
  • Daria
  • Wolves, Witches and Giants (I used to watch this, too)
Also, many TV programmes now feature - or have previously featured - at least one Goth character, if only for a short time or in a small role. Off the top of my head, characters who are Goth, have been Goth, or are decidedly Goth-inspired:
  • Rogue from X-Men (animated series)
  • the Goth Kids from South Park
  • Serena from Downtown
  • Gwen from Total Drama Island
  • Sam from Danny Phantom
  • Miranda from Wizards of Waverly Place
  • Richmond from The IT Crowd
  • Freddy from Frasier
  • Amy from Buffy
  • Matt Daniels from Sugar Rush
  • Ellie from Degrassi High
  • Craig Harris and Rosie Webster from Coronation Street
  • Lydia from Beetlejuice
  • Abby Sciuto from NCIS
The BBC even featured a Spine-Chillers episode entitled 'Goths' and the subculture has been gently lambasted on QI. Spooksters attending Whitby even made it into an episode of BBC's Britain's Best Drives when star Richard Wilson stopped to give them a lift. The Cruxshadows' music, and a room filled with Cruxshadows posters, featured in an episode of CSI. Goths have featured on reality TV programmes such as Wife Swap and The Amazing Race, and made their way into even the cheesiest, fluffiest TV fare (hello? Wizards of Waverly Place?) - Sabrina the Teenage Witch was briefly a Goth for part of an episode. Hannah Montana also had a similarly short 'Goth phase'. Malcolm in the Middle had an episode featuring a school-age Goth clique.

Plus, the pasty visages of stereotypical Goths have been used in commercials to sell each and every product from computers to cars to (famously - or should that be 'infamously'?) Irn Bru. (Heh - speaking of Goths in advertising, here's an insider tip from a British Heart Foundation employee: check out the posters that will be going up in BHF shop windows in January. My boss tried to keep them hidden from me as a surprise!) Brands that have used Goths to sell their products include: Kodak, Heineken, Orange, Kia, Dell and XO Customer Service.


So now it's gotten to the stage where I can hardly turn on my TV without a stereotypical pallid black-clad creepster looming out of the screen at me - the Goths have invaded the TV guide and it looks as though we're here to stay.

3 comments:

Julietslace said...

I love that mini series called Goth on youtube, it's so funny :')

sd123 said...

I love ruby gloom and billy and mandy tnx

Nephälia VonDämonen said...

I love Twin Peaks, I watch it with my dad every weekend XD I do feel like it's very goth-appropriate even though (so far at least..) there are no actual goths in it.

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