America in Primetime: Season 1, Episode 4

The Crusader (Nov 20, 2011)

TV-PGTV Episode55 min.Documentary
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The character of the crusader, who always took some sort of risk to achieve the desired triumphant end, was very much the typical "white" hero in the very "black and white" characterizations of the 1950s and early 1960s. That sort of hero was most evident in the many westerns of the era. This characterization was borne out of the winning attitude of WWII, where many Americans wanted to believe their heroes - predominantly males - did no wrong. Men wanted to be like them, and women loved them. The Vietnam era ushered in a new compassionate view, reflective of a character like Hawkeye Pierce in M*A*S*H. The character of Andy Sipowicz in NYPD Blue was one of the first characterizations where the crusader was by no means perfect, but lived by his own moral code. More recent such characterizations, which often portray the crusader choosing the greater good - in the eyes of his own moral code - over personal happiness, and/or legal or political correctness, include Frank Pembleton in Homicide: Life on the Street, Vic Mackey in The Shield, Omar Little in The Wire, Gregory House in House and Dexter Morgan in Dexter. Perhaps the character with who most people within recent memory have rooted for, despite his internal struggles and flaws, is Jack Bauer in 24. In the few instances where the crusader has been a woman, she is often portrayed side by side, or even slightly subservient to the male crusader, such as Dana Scully to Fox Mulder in The X-Files. Written By Huggo  Less

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