Saving the world is a prevalent theme in a lot of movies and television shows. It is such a common motivator for protagonists, that “get up, save the world” is listed among the TV tropes site, which spins it as an everyday, mundane occurrence. Yet audiences eat this up, time and time again if the show’s writing and characters make the journey worthwhile. We want to see humanity triumph over whatever dark forces are trying to destroy us, whether they are mad scientists or beings from another world/ dimension.
Such shows often feature one character, or an ensemble of them, and each one possesses unique gifts that are primed for doing good or evil. There may some conflict about having the power(s) and the use of such “gifts.” But in the end, audiences usually get a happy, or at least not world-ending, ending.
Since science fiction and fantasy allow for some creative explanations for the dire circumstances that require the most unlikely people to resolve, most shows fall into those realms.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. recently debuted, and like most comic book based stories there was a lot of action in this one, but when there are superheroes in the world (or gods as you may), you have to expect that things will get a little heated. Although this new crew has not been placed into the dire circumstances of world saving just yet, you can bet that it will culminate in that direction. They may not be superheros, but they could save the world from them.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Another Joss Whedon entry about the slayer prophesized to protect the world from no less than Hell itself. But deep down, all of the demons fought brought out truths about what it means to grow up. Whedon referred to this show as “high school as a horror movie.” Many geeks can and do sympathize with that thought.
Our heroes were reluctant. Initially brought together by connecting circumstances, a story unfolded along the five seasons of this show unlike no other. It just wasn’t a world at stake, there were two. Time was altered on several occasions in an attempt to achieve a balance and a future for our heroes and their family. In the end, the story seemed to convey the lesson that having powers and being special was often a detriment to those who had them. It also became evident that one doesn’t have to have superpowers from something like Coretexiphan after all. Ordinary people did extraordinary things. (Often in the name of love.) Love had the power to create or destroy.
With a huge cast of characters, this show never had a dull moment during its first few seasons. Viewers actually get to know these characters, feel for them, and understand their motivations. Just like with the X-Men, there is an organization that is not happy about these enhanced humans, who tried to kill them. On top of this the world needs saved, of course. Save the cheerleader. Save the World.
Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) awakens from the grave in modern day Sleepy Hollow. After being questioned by police about a series of murders involving decapitations, he’s partnered up with Police lieutenant Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) who has a personal stake in the murders and the developing situation in Sleepy Hollow. It’s revealed that there is more at risk; the horseman is Death himself, and he and his minions are tasked to bring the apocalypse to this sleepy town of 144,000. That is, unless a special group of chosen people can stop them, of course.