Kick The Puppy

Kick The Puppy

In the “good old days” it was easy for a writer/play write/screen writer had very simple conventions to show the good guys from the bad guys. It was a simple a black and white. Take a look at golden age movies and televisions shows. Good guys wore white hats bad guys wore black. Easy. All that changed with the advent of cine noir and spaghetti westerns.

The anti-hero was born. They didn’t look or act like classic good guys. They drank. they swore the consorted with lose women and bent the rules at every turn. But they resisted the spread of greed and corruption. The bad guys masqueraded as pillars of the community, merchants and businessmen. As the characters evolved a new convention was needed to help the reader/audience follow the story.

Actions took the place of appearance. The term became known as “Kick The Puppy-Pet The Puppy”. The bad guy sets the tone for his character by doing something dispensable. They kill an innocent, destroy a community, blow up a planet etc. This called Kicking the Puppy. Conversely the hero will do the opposite, save the innocent, protect the nation, destroy the Death-star and so on. Next time you delve into a new novel, watch a movie or some action TV watch for these clues.