The good guy or gal traditionally wins in movies and books because we want him/her to do so. Most of us want good to win. We want fairness to win. We want the oppressed underdog to win. Stories that play to this deep-seated hunger satisfy us.
More books and movies today project a dark edge. Evil may win or, as in Gone Girl, the story doesn’t have a “good” protagonist.
Perhaps we are exhausted by the violence and hatred we witness in today’s world, the seemingly endless acts of anger: ISIS, school shootings, road rage, political hatred, slaughter of children in Syria—they go on and on and on. Perhaps the new stories cater to our pessimism.
Choosing hope while working for change during times of hopelessness requires courage. Those who do so are the placeholders. They keep hope alive for better times.