You remember ‘The Sopranos’? That was the hit TV show HBO produced about a mafia family living in New Jersey. Tony Soprano, the head of both his personal family and the ‘family’ that ran organized crime in Northern New jersey, has his hands in just about every aspect of organized crime. There are more than a few episodes that deal with loaning money and the consequences of even making a late payment. But back to that in a little bit.
We loved the show, not because its main character was some sort of hero, but because Tony was a complicated figure who had crises both personal and professional. He was a bad guy who wanted to be good to his friends and family, and sometimes couldn’t even do that. This was the groundbreaking series that led to a whole genre of “bad guy as main character” shows like HBO’s ‘Deadwood’, AMC’s series ‘Hell on Wheels’, ‘Mad Men’ or the astonishing ‘Breaking Bad’.
What is the point of such entertainment? Most of us don’t root for the bad guy. But we think there’s something fascinating about a villain type character who gets him or herself into trouble, and we want to see how long they will get away with it.
Movies have featured this type of character in the lead role. Films like ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ or ‘A Simple Plan’ demonstrate our morbid fascination with a sympathetic villain in the lead role because we want to see how long he can go before he’s caught. This is why gangster films are so popular. ‘Godfather’ and ‘Goodfellas’ give us a peek into the life of a criminal and his friends and family. We wonder how much like us they might be, or if they are like us at all. ‘Goodfellas’ in particular is an interesting glimpse into the life of a Mafioso because it’s actually based on a true story. We can see that where these guys are all into breaking the law and doing their best to get away with it, they also have issues that we also deal with; recall the famous scene where Ray Liotta’s character is trying to make spaghetti sauce while smuggling a stockpile of weapons out of his garage without getting caught.
We’ve had some fun looking at a certain type of character that we enjoy for entertainment purposes, but these folks do exist, and we don’t think they’re such a good source for payday loan places near you. Yeah, we know, of course you’re smart enough to stay away from a so-called ‘loan shark’, but be cautioned; they don’t all wear gold pinky rings and speak with Italian accents. Sometimes they set themselves up as a reputable cash store locations when they actually aren’t. Always examine the source of the loan before you ‘shake hands’ on the deal.