Following on from yesterday’s question of TV relationship, comes the relationship we love to hate the most.
This is a little easier. The relationship between Vic Mackey and almost any other character in The Shield could be defined by Mackey’s metaphorical dick-waving in a bid to prove himself as the alpha male.
He would break the law and encourage his colleagues to do likewise, yet it’s in his relationship with Shane (who is just as bad) that Mackey’s hypocrisy is revealed. Shane is prepared to stoop to the same level as Mackey, and a friendship turns to acrimony as a result – Mackey can’t tolerate anyone else being what he is. The end result of Mackey’s relationships with the other characters is for two of his closest friends (Lem and Shane) to end up dead, and yet the show suggests we should feel sorry for Mackey because his lies, deceptions and even acts of cold-blooded murder land him… a desk job.
I’m ranting a little here, and I realise this isn’t a conventional discussion of a relationship, but it’s a relationship worthy of this category. Bullies do have a ‘relationship’ of sorts with their victims – one all about power, and in a perverse sense, dependence. It’s a relationship founded on cruel behaviour, and nothing highlights this more than the relationship between Mackey and Dutch. Dutch is no angel, but his relationship with Mackey is a classic example of someone feeling the need to pick on someone else who is apparently weaker. Mackey does it to presumably boost his own ego, and maybe because he feels threatened by Dutch’s intelligence. Whatever the reason, it’s most definitely a relationship I hate!