5 popular fictional alcoholics and the reality of alcoholism

Television history is full of characters from a number of shows who exhibit the signs of alcoholism but they may or may not have ever suffered the real life consequences of their behavior. The behavior patterns of all of the following five fictional characters clearly indicate an alcohol addiction, but all five characters, we are made to believe, are still able to function well in their daily lives.

After all, would it be entertaining to watch a TV character have a black out or get the shakes from alcohol withdrawal after a long night of drinking? Of course not!

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Often an alcoholic character is shown drinking so that he or she may display a personality that is more fun, showing off a sense of humor and even slapstick that the sober audience would find amusing. The following is a list of television characters that comes to mind of chronic alcoholics who somehow still managed to entertain the television audience.

Don Draper

“Mad Men” was one of the most popular shows on television in recent memory. The main character, Don Draper, is high-powered executive who works for an advertising agency. The timeframe of the television show is the 1960s, when it was more common for business people to drink alcohol at lunch meetings. Don, who is usually married –depending on the season of the show, is the consummate ladies’ man who often sips his favorite cocktail, the “Old Fashioned.” When Don is working, he keeps a handy bottle in his desk and openly drinks with his colleagues while they discuss business matters.

Even though Don drinks hard liquor night and day, he rarely experiences any serious consequences that would occur in real life. Even though Don should have a daily crushing morning hangover, he is still able to conduct winning presentations for his powerful clients. In reality, Don would probably not be such a success in the advertising business because he would be at home too many mornings sleeping because of his alcoholism.

Karen Walker

On the show “Will and Grace,” Karen is the filthy rich wife of a millionaire who works as a receptionist at her friend Grace’s design firm to stay busy and to get out of the house, or “the manse,” as she calls it. Karen feeds her daily alcoholism habit by consuming vodka and various kinds of prescription pills to keep her mood up and to continue being funny to her co-stars on the show. Karen’s appearance is rarely less than flawless, with porcelain skin and impeccable fashion choices.

While it is funny to watch Karen, we know that her humor and vivaciousness would probably have never existed in real life. Nurturing one’s alcoholism by drinking and taking pills just isn’t that glamorous.

Captain Jack Sparrow

In the movie series “Pirates of the Caribbean,” Captain Jack Sparrow is the primary character. Like many pirates, Jack loves to drink rum while he roams the Caribbean to pillage trade ships of their valuables. Sparrow’s love of his rum often derails his inner “magic compass” and he is known to have captured an entire shipment just to gain possession of its cargo of rum. Jack is rarely violent, but instead uses his quick wit, resourcefulness and his powers of negotiation to escape from conflict.

Captain Jack is a wonderful hero but he lives only in fiction. Wouldn’t it be great to be so clever while drowning in alcoholism from being constantly drunk on rum? It might happen once in a while, but most of the time Captain Jack probably would have trouble standing up, much less evading capture.

Cul-de-Sac Crew from Cougartown

Cougartown was a comedy show in which a group of 30-somethings in a southeast Florida cul-de-sac regularly get together for their often wild adventures and some serious wine drinking. A bottle of red is never too far from the kitchen counter where members of the group joke with one another about their lives. On the show, members of the crew almost always appear to be in good moods and humor, despite their substantial alcoholism practices

The crew on Cougartown looks like a lot of fun, except that the show is a little too pretty for real life. After too many glasses of wine to count, it is more likely the crew would be passed out rather than getting into hilarious situations in the cul-de-sac.

Homer Simpson

“The Simpsons” famous Homer, who is married to Marge and is a father of three kids, Lisa, Bart and Maggie, is unquestionably a lover of beer. His favorite haunt is Moe’s Tavern, from which many of Homer’s madcap adventures begin in the town of Springfield.

You have to love Homer, but the truth is he lives in an animated world where the real life consequences of heavy beer consumption just don’t exist like they do in reality. This husband and father would probably end up divorced and alone if he really did support his alcoholism by drinking all that beer.

Let’s face it. We can’t live our lives like our favorite television characters because in real life, there are consequences for our actions. If we don’t get help, we can’t succeed at client presentations like Don Draper, be funny and beautiful like Karen Walker, escape capture like Captain Jack, be adventurous like the cul-de-sac crew on Cougartown or even be as lovable as Homer Simpson.

Leave the fictional characters at the movies and on the TV. Get your life back on the right course and call to get help now!

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