Movies, Pop Culture

8 reasons why we all love movies and shows about messed up people

Oh mother, aren't we all fucked up in life one way or another.

From sad comedy, dark humor, characters fearing of adulthood, even ones who struggle with deep trauma, mental illness and other disabilities, all on a big screen; you name it, we can find it. I like watching movies or TV shows that fall under such themes, so I find a way to joke out of my own misery.

I find a home in them and, sorry not sorry, I have to complete this Haruki Murakami quote: “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional… but sometimes it is the only reasonable option.”

1. They understand the everyday struggle.


It isn’t always easy for someone else who don’t experience “it” themselves to understand what is going on. Finding relatable movies or TV shows, to me, is comparable to finding the right person (or shrink!) to talk to, except that they are much more entertaining and less judgmental because they come in 2D and don’t casually tell us to “get over it” or “not exaggerate our condition.” Ha.

[bctt tweet=” Although it clearly is a part of me I have to acknowledge, but nope, it is not what defines me as a person.” username=”wearethetempest”]

2. They help me accept the way I am.

I’ve been struggling with clinical depression and social anxiety for more than five yea and used to think that my mental health is what defines me. Although it clearly is a part of me that I have to acknowledge, it is not what defines me as a person, nope.

Or at least that’s what I learned from watching movies and TV shows with fucked up characters in it, albeit not necessarily about people with depression and anxiety.

The gist of it is: I’m alright, you’re alright, we’re all alright.

3. They make me feel less alone.

sunshine of the spotless mind

In the sea of half-full-glass kind of people (read: mentally stable or completely normal), watching something with half-empty-glass kind of characters (read: the total opposite) starring in it gives me a virtual sense of belonging. It is important knowing that people out there, even if they’re on movies or TVs, also undergo the same problem.

It’s like yelling “we’re in this together, fam!” to the world.

4. They agree that representation matters.

mr. robot

“Fucked up” people are real, and “it” doesn’t just happen in our head. It’s a medical condition that’s often generally mistaken and, worse, misleadingly narrated.

How often do we hear that mentally ill people are perceived as strange, uncool, or even criminals (like, ugh, school shooters)? Instead, we have the chance to reshape the narrative by consuming or promoting movies and TV shows that befittingly picture what it’s like really to have mental health problems.

5. They induce sadness and laughter at the same time.

bojack horseman

During the watch time, I would laugh at the joke (self-deprecation and wittily crafted sarcasm are the best, right?) and often simultaneously get sad because it’s too real—they invoke this oddly melancholic emotion.

Silver lining: it’s what makes the movies or TV shows worthy of watching (I know right?!), and it isn’t weird at all to feel this way.

6. They depict the messiness of people just as perfectly as people in real life.

you're the worst

Yes, “fucked up” people are messy, but we’re human too. Some movies and TV shows are so good that I yell “this is what I’m trying to say by mumbling internal monologs all the time!” whenever I’m able to see a perfect amount of emotions. Not to mention, when and how the characters manage to develop and drive through the pain of not being able to handle one’s life can be mirror-like for us.

7. They are there to celebrate the darker side of life.

it's kind of a funny story

Life is neither a dichotomy nor a binary; it’s supposed to be a spectrum in which the light and the dark are envisioned. Ignoring one side just make it even worse—sometimes we need to go wild and celebrate both sides.

[bctt tweet=”It’s a medical condition that’s often generally mistaken and, worse, misleadingly narrated.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Knowing yourself more doesn’t hurt that much. It’s good to make mistakes and learn, even better with something we can watch and reflect on.

8. After all, they are sardonically honest.


Just like the rest of us, hopefully, inside those layers of public personas that we wear every day.