The Secrets We Keep… TV’s Most Scandalous Characters Leading Double Lives
By Annie Murphy
Secrets. Secrets are no fun… unless they’re about other people’s personal lives and cause no harm to your own. Let’s call a spade, a spade, shall we? It’s this voyeurism that keeps audiences all over the world tuned into TV shows that revolve around the mysterious double lives of characters with a big ugly secret to hide.
More often than not, this skeleton eventually crawls out of its closet into an unmanageable mess, making for some juicy drama. Through it all, despite these character types’ wavering morals, they redeem themselves by being so damn charming… or just really, really sexy.
In Koldcast TV’s unique new drama Alouette, the beautiful and intriguing Lark leads a double life as a dancer-by-day, stripper-by-night in New Orleans. It’s a little secret that only her best friend Anastasia is privy to. And even Anastasia doesn’t know the extent to which Lark is ingrained in that city’s seedy underworld. It’s obvious she’s passionate about dancing, but that fine line that separates her art from her demons is tested over five episodes of scandal which segues stripping into prostitution, prostitution into porn, and innocence into thin air.
You are watching Episode 1 of Alouette, “I Might Be”
New episodes on Wednesday’s!
Like our sexy Lark, TV has produced a few multifaceted characters that sucked us into their dirty double lives and seduced us in the process. What’s the appeal? Do we all harbor desires to lead a secret, morally questionable existence? The juice may not be worth the squeeze. Let’s take a closer look.
Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) – Dexter
It’s hard to believe that a serial killer can be a hero, especially when they lead a double life as a cop. Then again, Dexter is one of the most beloved TV shows in recent history. Dexter’s job as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Metro Police Department helps him cover up his own handiwork. He can’t help that he was born a killer, but his code of ethics sets him apart from the other monsters in his field. He only kills killers. That’s why we can’t help but love the guy. Dexter’s inner monologue keeps the audience in tune with his feelings and exposes the light that cracks through the darkness within. Fans can’t help but come back to see how he will keep his little hobby a secret from his sister and co-workers.
Riley Parks (Jennifer Love Hewitt) – The Client List
After her husband leaves her and the kids with massive debt, Riley works overtime at a massage parlor, offering services expanded beyond the standard rub down. She must keep her new skill set a secret so as not to traumatize her little children and for that matter, disgrace herself. Not only does Riley need to keep food on the table but she has to save her home from going under. She’s bold in risking her reputation for her family’s security with her backroom bedding. Riley’s redeeming quality is her drive and the love for her children that fuels it. Audiences cringe with hope that her dutiful brother-in-law never goes in for one of her signature massages.
Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) – Weeds
Like Riley, this suburban mom-turned-weed dealer will literally do anything for her kids. After her husband’s death, she is left to fend for the whole family and keep up the upper-middle class lifestyle they’ve grown accustomed to. Nancy never had a career of her own and starting from the bottom wasn’t an option if keeping her kids in the best schools and neighborhood meant anything. Nancy makes a lot of mistakes as she is swallowed up by the drug-running business. Questionable decisions with lovers – DEA officials and gangsters to name but two – and dragging her family into the business prove she’s in way over her head. Nancy may not be the perfect mom, but with a venti coffee in one hand and a pound of Kush in the other, she sure as hell tries to be, at any cost.
Ray Drecker (Thomas Jane) – Hung
Struggling to make ends meet as a high school baseball coach, Ray shakes what his momma gave him and begins a second career by night as a male prostitute. His bitchy wife left him for a wealthier, bitchy man and took Ray’s weirdo kids along for her misguided ride. To add to his troubles, Ray’s home burns down, leaving him only with ashes and his God-given gift. It’s not all about the bucks though. He uses his endowment to help women with self-esteem issues and loneliness. Ray has nothing to offer his own kids other than his paternal love. Although the show never made it past a third season, Ray proved to be a complex and original character that many people loved. He whored himself out like the others, but most notably he was a he.
Bridget Kelly (Sarah Michelle Gellar) – Ringer
Bridget takes the place of her affluent twin sister after her sudden suicide. She literally leads a double life as both herself and her twin. It’s the perfect out from her less than glamorous existence back home, where she had her fair share of troubles. On top of being a recovering addict and stripper, she’s on the run from a dangerous maniac hell bent on killing her for being a witness to his crimes. Bridget’s redeeming quality is her drive to ultimately become a better person. This proves much harder after she realizes her twin sister was more evil than she could ever be. As we all learn at one point in our lives, Bridget realizes the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
Escaping into the double lives of TV characters keeps us sane as we battle our mundane day-to-day jobs of our own lives that most likely don’t involve drug dealing, prostitution, or serial killing. Watching these liars may be guilty voyeuristic pleasure, but better them than us.
So bring on the sex, drugs, and violence. Pretty please. With secrets on top.
Click to play Episode 2 of Alouette, “Do We Have a Deal?”
New episodes every Wednesday. Subscribe below.
Annie Murphy has been obsessed with writing since she learned English at age seven. Originally from Burma, her unique background gives her a fresh perspective and voice. She has an addictive personality mainly towards TV shows, Flaming Hot Lime Cheetos and gangsta rap.